David Wright exited Tuesday night’s game after straining his hamstring on a stolen base attempt and now the Mets have placed the seven-time All-Star third baseman on the disabled list.
Wright was off to a nice start following a career-worst, injury wrecked 2014 season, but he’ll be out for at least the rest of the month and the Mets’ options to replace him at third base include Eric Campbell and Ruben Tejada.
Wright has played more than 135 games in a season just once since 2011 and his missing 28 games last season actually understates his health issues, because he played through shoulder problems while hitting just .269 with eight homers and a .698 OPS.
Campbell, who was called up from Triple-A to replace Wright on the roster, hit .263 with three homers and a .680 OPS in 85 games for the Mets as a 27-year-old rookie last season. He’s also a career .335 hitter with a .956 OPS in 159 games at Triple-A, albeit in a very hitter-friendly environment.
Out since suffering a major knee injury covering first base on August 20, right-hander Garrett Richards looks ready to rejoin the Angels’ rotation.
His most recent minor-league rehab start wasn’t very impressive, as Richards allowed five runs and handed out four walks in five innings Tuesday at Triple-A, but Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that “if Richards checks out OK the Angels plan to start him against the Astros on Sunday.”
Richards threw 91 pitches Tuesday, so his arm strength is built all the way up, and he previously had very good results (and plenty of strikeouts) before struggling somewhat Tuesday.
A healthy Richards would provide a big boost to the Angels’ rotation. He had a breakout season last year at age 25, throwing 169 innings with a 2.61 ERA and 164/51 K/BB ratio before the knee injury.
Boston needed emergency infield help Tuesday night. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval exited the game after being hit on the foot by a pitch and shortstop Xander Bogaerts was already sidelined by a knee injury, so manager John Farrell asked shortstop-turned-left fielder Hanley Ramirez if he’d be willing to move back to the infield.
Ramirez said yes, at which point Farrell gave him the choice between shortstop and third base. Despite logging more than 9,000 innings at shortstop, including 115 starts there for the Dodgers last season, Ramirez picked third base because he didn’t want to make Bogaerts’ fill-in, super-utility man Brock Holt, move positions again:
Brock. He’s a good shortstop. He made a couple plays in the beginning of the game, so why do I want to move him to third when he’s been feeling good at short? So I said I’ll just go to third.
Ramirez does have some experience at third base, starting 97 career games there, but he hasn’t played the position regularly since 2012 with the Marlins. Holt was very appreciative of Ramirez’s gesture, telling Jimmy Toscano of CSNNE.com:
It’s huge. Especially a guy with his tenure and his stature, you know? He could have easily said, “No, I don’t want to do that,” but he did because we needed it. And I think that speaks volumes to the guys we have in this clubhouse and I think everyone’s rooting for each other and everyone is pulling for each other and everyone wants to win. So that showed it tonight.
Ramirez is also helping the Red Sox win by hitting .281 with three homers and a .914 OPS through seven games of a four-year, $88 million contract.
For the first time since returning from last year’s season-ending beaning Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton took the protective face mask off his helmet for an at-bat Tuesday night.
Stanton wore the face mask for his first four trips to the plate against the Braves, but then ditched it for his ninth-inning at-bat and explained afterward that he did so because a left-hander was on the mound. And he promptly smacked a double down the third base line.
Stanton had two previous plate appearances versus a lefty this season in which he wore the mask and it sounds like he’s still deciding whether or not to stick with it all season, telling Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald: “Honestly, it’s whatever I feel like doing.”
Stanton had a big game Tuesday, but the MVP runner-up is off to a modest start with a .231 batting average, zero homers, and a .719 OPS through seven games.
Nationals reliever Craig Stammen is headed to the disabled list with right forearm tightness and the team has called up Taylor Jordan from Triple-A to replace him in the bullpen.
Stammen has been an underrated part of Washington’s relief corps, posting a 2.80 ERA and 237 strikeouts in 257 innings since shifting to the bullpen full time. He logged 88, 82, and 73 innings during the past three seasons.
Jordan has thrown 77 innings for the Nationals, but they all came as a starter in 2013 and 2014. He’s posted consistently strong numbers in the minors as a starter, but it’s unclear how much manager Matt Williams will trust him in a key bullpen role.