Aaron Gleeman

David Ortiz Getty

David Ortiz to “disrespectful” critics: “I’m not washed up … I can wake up and hit, bro”

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David Ortiz is 39 years old and off to a terrible start this season, hitting just .219 with six homers and a .673 OPS in 51 games, but the Red Sox designated hitter insists he’s not “washed up.”

Here’s what Ortiz told John Tomase of WEEI.com:

I’m not washed up. I guarantee you that. I can wake up and hit, bro. That’s my nature. I’m not washed up. … I was asked on camera the other day if I was washed up. And I pretty much didn’t react to it, but I thought that was very disrespectful.

You don’t disrespect people like that, you know what I’m saying? I’ve come a long way, and everyone knows my status, and to come and wipe it in my face just because things are not going well right now, I don’t think the question was fair. That tells tells me how things are around here. People forget too fast, and I don’t think it’s right.

Ortiz has been an amazing player in Boston for 12 seasons, so naturally he thinks being asked if he’s “washed up” after two bad months seems disrespectful, but when a 39-year-old’s production plummets for any length of time it’s just as natural for people to wonder if it’s more than just a slump.

Ortiz has hit .190 in his last 25 games and his OPS is down 200 points from 2014. If any slumping 39-year-old can turn things around it’s certainly Ortiz, who’s aged better than just about anyone to remain a star into his late-30s, but most slumping 39-year-olds don’t turn things around and that’s why the questions get asked.

Another prospect promoted to Houston: Astros calling up Vincent Velasquez

Vincent Velasquez Astros
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After averaging 104 losses during the past four seasons the Astros have the most wins in the American League and general manager Jeff Luhnow isn’t messing around.

Baseball’s best prospect, 20-year-old shortstop Carlos Correa, has been called up to Houston to make his MLB tonight and the Astros are calling up another top prospect too.

Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that they’ve promoted 23-year-old right-hander Vincent Velasquez to the majors from Double-A, where he had a 1.37 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 26 innings.

Velasquez came into this season with zero experience above Single-A, but is now headed to the majors with all of five starts at Double-A and zero starts at Triple-A. He ranked as a consensus top-100 prospect this spring and joins 21-year-old Lance McCullers in moving into Houston’s rotation without throwing a pitch at Triple-A.

Velasquez will make his MLB debut Wednesday against the White Sox and veteran right-hander Roberto Hernandez has been demoted to the bullpen after posting a 5.18 ERA in 11 starts. Houston is ahead of schedule and going for it.

Lance Lynn had forearm tightness in Sunday’s start

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Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn threw fewer than 100 pitches Sunday for the first time since April 15, exiting his start against the Dodgers after five innings in part due to forearm tightness.

Lynn and Mike Matheny both downplayed the injury after the game, saying he could have remained in if needed, with the manager telling Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com:

One of those, “Let’s go ahead and be smart here.” Everything is pointing that it’s OK, not that big of a deal. But at 100 pitches, he’s about out of the game anyway.

Dodgers hitters fouled off a ton of pitches and Lynn had several very long innings, sticking with almost exclusively fastballs. For now it sounds like the Cardinals expect Lynn to make his next scheduled start.

Lynn has a 3.07 ERA and 77/23 K/BB ratio in 73 innings this season and a 2.83 ERA in 45 starts dating back to last year, emerging as one of the best pitchers in the league.