Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders returned to the disabled list this week due to renewed discomfort in his surgically-repaired left knee and Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports that he’s expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
Saunders, who was acquired from the Mariners over the winter, injured his knee in a freak accident in late February when he stepped on a sprinkler head at Toronto’s spring training facility. Surgery was originally expected to leave him on the shelf until around the All-Star break, but the timetable was moved up after he had 60 percent of his meniscus removed. The 28-year-old made his season debut on April 25, but batted just .194 (6-for-31) with a .499 OPS over nine games before landing on the DL this week.
The hope is that rest will do Saunders some good, but Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos admitted that he might not be 100 percent until the offseason. Bad news for someone who looked like a quality pickup for Toronto.
Dalton Pompey was demoted to Triple-A after a slow start and Jose Bautista has been limited to designated hitter duties due to a shoulder injury, so the Blue Jays are currently relying on a combination of Kevin Pillar, Chris Colabello, Ezequiel Carrera, and Danny Valencia in their outfield.
We have been showing you plenty of Nelson Cruz home runs in the early part of the season, but check out his walk-off RBI single in last night’s 2-1 win over the Red Sox:
Red Sox manager John Farrell elected to pitch to Cruz despite having first base open. It didn’t pay off. According to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com, Farrell was quick to hold himself accountable after the game by saying it was a “terrible decision.”
Cruz had a monster season with the Orioles in 2014 and he’s thriving so far with the Mariners. His .358 batting average is tops in the American League and he leads the majors with 15 home runs. His walk-off single last night gave him 30 RBI for the year, which ties him with Oakland’s Stephen Vogt for first in the AL.
Kenley Jansen made his season debut last night against the Rockies after returning from left foot surgery and he didn’t need much time to shake the rust.
Jansen tied a major league record by striking out four batters in one inning. Carlos Gonzalez struck out swinging to begin the eighth inning, but he ended up on first base after the ball got away from catcher Yasmani Grandal. Jansen then struck out Nick Hundley, Drew Stubbs, and D.J. LeMahieu (all swinging) to accomplish the feat. He needed just 14 pitches to get through the inning.
Jansen is the 74th pitcher to strike out four batters in one inning and the first since Oliver Perez last September. You can see the full list here. Here’s the video of Jansen’s inning:
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly decided to ease Jansen into things by having him pitch the eighth inning, but it’s safe to say that he’ll be closing games again really soon.
UPDATE: So it turns out that those leaked “pillbox-style” hats were just a concept by one designer unaffiliated with MLB and not the real deal. This was first reported by Darren Rovell yesterday, but read the explanation of Phil Hecken from Uni Watch here.
I was fooled too and regret running with it without official confirmation, but at least those who hated the design can feel a sense of relief now.
Thursday, 11:30 p.m. ET: Via Phil Hecken of Uni Watch, the caps for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game have apparently been leaked. Check them out below:
This year’s All-Star Game is set to take place in Cincinnati. Just in case it wasn’t obvious, these caps were inspired by the pillbox hat of Reds mascot Mr. Redlegs. The concept was actually foreshadowed in the logo that was released a little while back.
MLB introduced the idea of team-specific All-Star caps for last year’s game in Minneapolis. Those were inspired by the 1970’s batting helmets of the Twins and frankly were much sharper looking than these. It would be cooler if these were true pillbox hats as opposed to simply “pillbox-style,” but it’s hard to get too worked up about something everybody will forget about as soon as it’s over.
Hey MLB, our own Craig Calcaterra has a catchy jingle to sell those hats if you’re interested. I’m sure Bob Dylan will be cool with it:
After coming up empty-handed in his previous four opportunities, Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw finally has the 100th victory of his career.
Kershaw struck out 10 batters over 6 2/3 innings last night as the Dodgers defeated the Rockies 6-4. The southpaw held the Rockies scoreless over the first six innings before things unraveled a bit in the seventh. He gave up an RBI single to D.J. LeMahieu and walked pinch-hitter Michael McKenry before being replaced by Paco Rodriguez, who eventually allowed both inherited runners to score on a bases-clearing double by Daniel Descalso. However, the bullpen was able to keep Colorado’s offense in check the rest of the way.
Jimmy Rollins led the charge for the Dodgers, going 4-for-5 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. The veteran shortstop is now up to 900 RBI for his career. He’s pretty much the only member of Don Mattingly’s lineup who hasn’t been hitting, so it would be scary if he can get it going too.
At 27 years old and 57 days, Kershaw is the second-youngest active pitcher to reach 100 career wins. Seattle’s Felix Hernandez was at 27 years old and 14 days when he notched his 100th career victory last April.
Your Friday box scores:
Rockies 4, Dodgers 6
Pirates 10, Cubs 11 (12 innings)
Angels 3, Orioles 1
Indians 8, Rangers 3
Diamondbacks 3, Phillies 4
Yankees 1, Royals 12
Giants 10, Reds 2
Rays 2, Twins 3
Brewers 7, Mets 0
Blue Jays 4, Astros 8
Braves 5, Marlins 3
Tigers 10, Cardinals 4
White Sox 7, Athletics 6
Red Sox 1, Mariners 2
Nationals 10, Padres 0