We routinely cover the minutiae of injuries around here, so it’s easy to get desensitized to it. But this one will truly make you cringe.
Athletics outfielder Billy Burns was forced to exit Friday’s game against the Giants due to what was referred to as a “testicular contusion.” That’s right. Burns suffered the injury in the bottom of the third inning when he tapped a foul ball and was hit in a very sensitive area. While he somehow managed to finish the at-bat, he didn’t feel well enough to continue after going out to play defense in the top of the fourth.
Here’s his explanation to Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com:
“It never got better,” Burns said. “I felt like I was going to throw up in the outfield. I could run fine, but as soon as I was trying to stand up, that was the worst. The left side of my stomach has been hurting ever since.”
Burns said he’s dealing with swelling in the ureter tube that leads to the bladder. You know, just in case you want the really painful details. The good news is that it isn’t something that is expected to send him to the disabled list. Athletics manager Bob Melvin said he’s doubtful to play this afternoon, but it sounds like he should be back relatively soon.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told reporters Thursday that he has no plans on trading Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, or Steven Matz. However, it appears that another one of their young guns is on the table in the right deal.
According to Andy Martino and Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News, the Mets have discussed right-hander Zack Wheeler in trade talks this month. Wheeler, of course, had Tommy John surgery in March and will likely be out until around midseason next year, but he’s just 25 years old and is under team control through 2019.
The Reds (who are known to be shopping Jay Bruce, among others) are one of the teams who inquired on Wheeler, though nothing is going on with them currently and Martino and Ackert are hearing that the Mets “remain unlikely to move him.” It’s unclear how the dynamic has changed after Friday’s deal for Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson, but the Mets could use another outfielder. Wheeler is an interesting case given that he’s not going to pitch again for a while, but he has the potential to bring back a valuable piece.
Yasiel Puig’s name has been floated in trade speculation this week, but CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Dodgers have told the outfielder that they don’t plan to trade him this season.
Puig asked the Dodgers about his status after he heard about a rumor which linked him to the Reds. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the rumored return package included Aroldis Chapman and Johnny Cueto. That would be quite a blockbuster, but it turns out it was never actually discussed. Meanwhile, Heyman hears that the Dodgers “are not having any conversations about Puig and are not interested in moving him.”
Puig missed a large chunk of the early part of the season due to hamstring injury and has had a pretty quiet year when healthy enough to play, batting .259 with six home runs and a .759 OPS. Still, he’s just 24 years old and remains under team control through 2019. He might not be the most popular guy in the Dodgers’ clubhouse, but you don’t give up on this sort of talent unless there’s a monster deal coming down the pike. That scenario hasn’t presented itself yet.
After acquiring Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson from the Braves on Friday night, the Mets have designated John Mayberry, Jr. for assignment in order to clear room on their 40-man roster.
The Mets gave Mayberry a one-year, $1.45 million contract over the winter in hopes that he would provide some thump off the bench against left-handed pitching, but it just didn’t work out. The 31-year-old batted just .164/.227/.318 over 119 plate appearances, including a .628 OPS against southpaws.
As you might recall, Mayberry batted cleanup against for the Mets against Clayton Kershaw on Thursday night. A little over 24 hours later, he’s a goner.
Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon is a strong possibility to be dealt by next Friday’s non-waiver trade deadline, but there’s a chance he could stay in the National League East.
According to FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal, the Nationals have had trade talks with the Phillies about Papelbon. Washington is reluctant to take on significant payroll during the season, but the thought is that Philadelphia might be willing to cover a large part of his remaining salary (he’s making $13 million this season) in order to get a deal done. However, there’s one big issue which could keep this thing from happening.
Papelbon’s contract includes a $13 million option for 2016 which vests if he finishes 48 games this year. He’s just 14 away right now and Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com hears that he won’t sign off on a deal unless he’s in a position to get his money.
It’s hard to blame the guy. Of course, the Nationals already have an excellent closer in Drew Storen, who has posted a 1.73 ERA and 44/9 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings this season while going 29-for-31 in save chances. Clearly they are looking for additional late-inning help, but Papelbon might not be the best fit. Perhaps his opinion could change if the option is guaranteed as a condition of the deal and the Phillies pick up most of the tab.
Papelbon, who has been vocal about his desire to be traded to a contender, owns a 1.59 ERA with 40 strikeouts and eight walks over 39 2/3 innings this season. He’s a perfect 17-for-17 in save chances for the last-place Phillies.