Pirates starter A.J. Burnett threw a simulated game on Friday, and will throw a bullpen session on Sunday, MLB.com’s Tom Singer reports. The right-hander said, “I expect to be throwing soon for the Pirates, because I feel great.”
Burnett hasn’t pitched since late July due to inflammation in his right elbow. There was some concern that the 38-year-old veteran might have thrown his last pitch in the majors, as he plans to retire after the season. However, it sounds as if a mid-September return is in the cards, which would give him three or four starts.
Burnett currently holds a 3.06 ERA with a 114/36 K/BB ratio over 135 1/3 innings.
Orioles first baseman Chris Davis tied and then surpassed Mariners outfielder Nelson Cruz for the major league home run lead, blasting his 39th and 40th home runs in Friday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
The first blast was a solo shot in the second inning off of starter Drew Hutchison to open the scoring. Davis then went yard in the sixth off of Hutchison again with a man on base.
Davis has homered in each of his last three games, including two on Wednesday. Cruz hasn’t homered since August 26.
C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Pensacola on Saturday.
Hamilton has been on the shelf since August 18, when he suffered a sprained capsule in his right shoulder. With the minor league season ending soon, the speedy outfielder will likely be activated by the Reds next week.
Hamilton, 24, is batting .226/.272/.290 with 54 runs and leads the majors with 54 stolen bases in 61 attempts.
The Padres announced that outfielder Wil Myers has been activated from the 60-day disabled list on Friday and is in the starting lineup, batting sixth and playing first base against the Dodgers.
Myers had been out since mid-June after undergoing surgery on his left wrist. The wrist issue caused him to miss over a month between May 10 and June 11, and only played in three June games before returning to the disabled list. He was batting .277/.327/.459 with five home runs and 19 RBI in 159 plate appearances for the Padres.
The Padres acquired Myers in December from the Rays in a three-team trade that also involved the Nationals.