Ryan Braun is back in the Brewers’ lineup this afternoon against the Twins after missing two games following another cryotherapy procedure on his right thumb.
Braun initially had the procedure in October, which involves exposing a nerve in his thumb to sub-zero temperatures. This week’s follow-up was essentially pre-planned maintenance aimed at keeping him close to 100 percent as the season moves along. The Brewers were originally hoping that he’d be able to return to the lineup Sunday, so that he’s back sooner than expected is good news about how he’s feeling.
Braun, 31, is batting .258/.332/.489 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI over 52 games this season. He struggled out of the gate, but has hit 11 home runs with a .960 OPS over his last 33 games.
After playing 39 games as a rookie in 2011, Salvador Perez agreed to a five-year, $7 million extension with the Royals in February of 2012. The contract includes three club options which could have the deal max out at $26.5 million through 2019. Perez has turned out to be arguably the best bargain in the game, but he now has regrets about signing the extension and tells Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports that he hopes to renegotiate the deal.
“I had nothing,” Perez said. “That’s the problem, you know? Where I’m coming from, they’re talking about a million dollars. And I don’t got nobody in that moment to explain to me how it’s going to be or how high it could be. I don’t know what arbitration is. I don’t know free agency. After I signed the deal, I heard from a lot of players, ‘Why you doing that? You don’t know what kind of player you are.’ ”
It sounds like Perez might have had some bad guidance here, but the risk was shared from both sides. That was a big chunk of change to guarantee someone with very little in the way of service time. It’s worth remembering that Perez suffered a torn meniscus in his knee months after signing the extension in 2012. If for some reason he was never the same or failed to meet expectations, he would still have $7 million guaranteed. You can understand where he’s coming from with the way things have played out, but the Royals also gambled on the future here.
Despite all that, it seems that Perez’s concerns aren’t falling on deaf ears. Passan hears from a club source that the Royals plan to talk to Perez “in the near future” about a new deal. He already looks like a long-term building block, so it could make sense to restructure the contract somewhat and tack on a couple more years in order to make him happy. Then again, if no new deal is reached and the Royals exercise all three of the club options as currently constructed, Perez would be eligible for free agency after his age-29 season. There might be a mega-deal waiting for him if he can stay healthy and productive.
Perez, 25, has compiled a .284/.311/.432 batting line over his first 452 games in the majors. He’s already a two-time All-Star and has won two Gold Glove Awards for his defense behind the plate.
Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg landed on the disabled list last weekend with a left trapezius strain, but he’s already back on the mound.
According to Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com, Strasburg threw 30 pitches in a bullpen session this morning at Nationals Park. Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports that he felt good, but the Nationals will see how he responds tomorrow before deciding on the next step.
The Nationals will have to hope that the time off will prove beneficial. Strasburg hasn’t looked anything like himself this season, posting a 6.55 ERA with a 45/14 K/BB ratio in 45 1/3 innings over 10 starts. Only Kyle Lohse and Ian Kennedy have a higher ERA among pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched.
Michael Pineda has been excellent for the Yankees this season, but he’s currently on pace to shatter his career-high in innings, so Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that he’ll get some extra rest before his next start.
Pineda, who allowed two runs over six innings in a win over the Mariners on Monday, won’t start again until June 12 against the Orioles. That will give him 11 days between starts. The Yankees have a pair of off-days next week, so manager Joe Girardi explained that this is the perfect time to give him a break.
“It’s only because of innings,” Girardi said. “This is a guy that has not thrown a lot of innings since 2011. He probably threw [76 1/3] last year; 2011 he threw 171. With these days off, we feel like we can do that without overtaxing the other pitchers.”
Pineda, 26, owns a 3.33 ERA and 76/6 K/BB ratio over 70 1/3 innings this season. He’s just six innings shy of his total from all of last season and has never thrown more than 171 innings in a season before. And that was back in 2011, before his labrum surgery. He’s currently on pace to eclipse 200 innings for the first time in his career, so Girardi hinted they’ll likely give him some more rest around the All-Star break to manage his workload.
The Tigers dropped their eighth straight game last night against the White Sox. And it happened in heartbreaking fashion.
After getting a strong outing from rookie left-hander Kyle Ryan and a go-ahead two-run single from Josh Wilson in the seventh inning, the Tigers appeared primed to finally snap the losing streak. Joakim Soria, who has been very solid since taking over the closer role for Detroit, had the White Sox down to their final out in the bottom of the ninth. However, Adam LaRoche provided some heroics for Chicago by slugging a game-tying solo home run. Gut punch.
Then we move to the 11th, when Alex Wilson allowed back-to-back singles to Adam Eaton and Alexei Ramirez. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus understandably decided to intentionally walk Jose Abreu to load the bases, but then this happened…
Yes, a walk-off hit-by-pitch. Ouch. Well, double-ouch, really.
The Tigers have now have their longest losing streak since 2005. They have slipped to an even 28-28 on the year, putting them five games off the pace in the American League Central. They’ll look to ace David Price to stop the bleeding tonight.