Jose Fernandez’s recovery from Tommy John elbow surgery has advanced to the point that the Marlins have moved the 22-year-old’s right-hander rehab assignment to Triple-A.
He’ll start Wednesday for New Orleans, which will actually be the first Triple-A start of Fernandez’s career because he jumped from Single-A to the majors as a stud prospect coming up through the Marlins’ farm system.
Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that Fernandez is expected to throw 75-80 pitches, suggesting he’ll likely need at least a couple more rehab outings before being fully stretched out to rejoin the Marlins’ rotation.
Fernandez struggled in his first rehab start at Single-A on June 6, but tossed five shutout innings with four strikeouts and one walk in his second start Friday.
Matt Joyce was supposed to provide some pop from the left side of the plate for the Angels after they acquired him from the Rays this offseason, but instead he’s been terrible and has now been benched.
Joyce was out of the Angels’ lineup Sunday against a right-handed pitcher in what Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times calls “an indication they are running out of patience with the struggling outfielder.”
Joyce posted a .783 OPS from 2008-2014, including an OPS above .725 every season and especially good numbers versus right-handed pitching, but this year he’s hitting .183 through 56 games. It’s also worth noting that he struggled in the second half of last season for the Rays, suggesting his drop in production now may be more than just a two-month slump.
According to manager Mike Scioscia the team has not considered simply releasing Joyce, who’s making $4.75 million, but their alternatives would be unproven, relatively low-upside hitters playing out of position like Johnny Giavotella, Efren Navarro, Kyle Kubitza, and Taylor Featherson.
Torii Hunter’s post-ejection tantrum Wednesday, which included removing his uniform and throwing it onto the field after making physical contact with an umpire, has earned the Twins outfielder a two-game suspension and undisclosed fine from MLB.
Hunter is appealing the suspension, naturally, so he’ll be able to play in the meantime.
Here’s the video of Hunter’s meltdown, so you can judge for yourself what the proper punishment should be:
Hunter also claimed afterward that the umpire Mark Ripperger was intentionally making bad calls against him as “revenge” for previous complaints.