Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN in Seattle was first to break the news a little while ago:
Yes, that would be former top prospect Jesus Montero. Remember him? After losing 40 pounds over the winter, the 25-year-old was batting .332/.370/.529 with 15 home runs and 68 RBI over 84 games this season with Triple-A Tacoma while leading the Pacific Coast League in a bunch of major offensive categories.
It’s unclear where Montero will fit on the roster. The Mariners finally gave up on him as a catcher in 2013, so he’s been splitting his time between first base and DH this season. Putting him in the lineup would likely push Nelson Cruz to the outfield, at least on a short-term basis. The Mariners are set to face three left-handed starters (Hector Santiago, C.J. Wilson, and Andrew Heaney) this weekend, which likely played into the timing of the move.
Things haven’t worked out for Montero since he came over in the Michael Pineda deal and it looked like the Mariners were ready to give up on him altogether at one point. Most of that was because of his own doing. But he has worked himself back into good shape and earned another opportunity. Let’s see if he can take advantage of it.
White Sox ace Chris Sale entered tonight’s start against the Blue Jays with eight straight starts with 10 strikeouts or more, tying Pedro Martinez for the major league record. He fell a little bit short in his efforts of securing the record all for himself.
Sale struck out six batters (his lowest strikeout total since May 6) as part of a complete-game 4-2 victory over Toronto. He allowed six hits and no walks, with the only runs scoring on solo home runs from Chris Colabello and Josh Donaldson.
After an error by Jose Reyes, the White Sox rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning against Mark Buehrle. As a result, Sale notched his first win since June 8. This was his eighth career complete game and his first this season.
Sale owns a 2.80 ERA and 147/22 K/BB ratio in 112 1/3 innings over 16 starts this season. He has a strong case to start for the American League in next week’s All-Star Game.
Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco landed on the disabled list about a month ago with a right ankle injury and now Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports that he’s scheduled to undergo surgery next Monday. It’s unclear how long he’ll be sidelined.
Nolasco originally hoped to avoid surgery and tried a cortisone shot and orthodics, but he still felt discomfort after throwing off a mound. After consulting with three different doctors, he has decided to have a bone fragment removed.
Nolasco, in the second season of a four-year, $49 million contract, owns a 5.40 ERA over his first 34 starts with the Twins.
After beginning his career with an MLB record 0-for-66 (0-for-71 if you include the postseason) hitless streak, Cubs left-hander Jon Lester finally got off the schneid tonight against the Cardinals. Here’s the video proof:
It wasn’t the prettiest, but it counts in the box score. By the way, Lester has more hits tonight (one) than he has allowed (none) through five innings. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Lester gave up his first hit with one out in the seventh inning. So much for that.
It’s a bummer that Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will have to miss the 2015 Home Run Derby due to a broken hamate bone, but now we can also scratch Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper off the list of participants.
According to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com, Harper declined an invitation to participate because his dad, Ron Harper, recently had rotator cuff surgery and isn’t fully healed:
“Not having my dad throw with me, it’s a huge issue for me,” Harper said Monday afternoon before the Nationals’ series opener against the Reds. “I think being comfortable on a stage like that with somebody that I know can throw strikes for me, knows where my sweet spot’s at … you know, that’s huge for me. So hopefully in a couple years he’ll be OK and we’ll see where I go.”
With his dad throwing to him, Harper finished as the runner-up to Yoenis Cespedes in the 2013 Home Run Derby at Citi Field. It’s understandable why he wants to sit this one out.
While it would have been a treat to see Stanton and Harper in the mix, two power-hitting rookies appear poised to rise to the occasion: