Author: D.J. Short

Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda

VIDEO: Daniel Murphy hits go-ahead three-run homer as Mets stun Marlins

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There’s been quite a bit of chatter among Mets fans in recent days about whether prospect Dilson Herrera would be a better option at second base than Daniel Murphy. Well, Murphy quickly changed the conversation with this go-ahead three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning against the Marlins tonight:

Murphy also made an outstanding defensive play in the bottom of the ninth as the Mets went on to win 3-1. The game took just one hour and 58 minutes to complete thanks to strong pitching performances from Dillon Gee and Jarred Cosart.

The Mets improved to a major league-best 15-5 with tonight’s victory. Meanwhile, the World Series favorite Nationals fell to the Braves tonight for their sixth straight loss. They are now 7-13 on the year and eight games back in the National League East. There’s still a long way to go, but that’s pretty stunning.

Anthony Rendon scratched from rehab game due to fatigue

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Anthony Rendon’s rehab from a sprained MCL in his left knee has hit what could be considered at least a temporary snag, as Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that he was scratched from a minor league rehab game with Double-A Harrisburg today after feeling “fatigue” during afternoon workouts.

Rendon injured his knee on a diving play at third base in early March. He finally began a minor league rehab assignment on Friday and played in back-to-back games, but had a scheduled day off yesterday. The Nationals mapped out a plan that could have had him make his season debut as soon as Thursday against the Mets, but that’s on hold for now.

Rendon, 24, batted .287/.351/.473 with 21 home runs, 83 RBI, and 17 stolen bases last season. He’s expected to see playing time between second base and third base upon his return.

Report: Marlins talking to five teams about a trade involving Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Miami Marlins v New York Mets
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The Marlins designated catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia for assignment earlier today and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe hears that the team’s general manager, Dan Jennings, has already talked to five teams about a potential trade.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick pegs the Red Sox, Indians, Mariners, and Diamondbacks among the potential landing spots. And sure enough, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic hears that the Diamondbacks are having “internal discussions” about the possibility. It’s not a bad idea when you consider their current catching tandem consists of Tuffy Gosewisch and Jordan Pacheco.

Saltalamacchia owns a disappointing .209/.310/.351 batting line in 123 games dating back to the start of last season and is owed $7 million this season and $8 million next season, so the Marlins would have to pick up most of the tab to make a deal palatable. They have 10 days to find a match. Otherwise, he’ll hit free agency and be able to sign with a team of his choosing at the major league minimum.

Homer Bailey headed to DL with right elbow ligament sprain

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Troubling news here for the Reds, as right-hander Homer Bailey was placed on the 15-day disabled list this evening with what is being termed as an elbow ligament sprain.

Bailey underwent surgery last September to repair a torn flexor mass tendon near his elbow. He was behind schedule at the start of spring training and began this season on the disabled list, but made his return on April 18 and posted a 5.56 ERA across his first two starts while showing diminished velocity. This sort of terminology from the Reds makes you wonder if Tommy John surgery could be next.

Bailey, who turns 29 in May, posted a 3.71 ERA over 23 starts last season. He’s in the second year of a six-year, $105 million contract.

With Bailey out, the Reds are likely to turn to either Raisel Iglesias or Michael Lorenzen in the starting rotation.

Brandon McCarthy diagnosed with torn ulnar collateral ligament

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Dodgers right-hander Brandon McCarthy had to leave Saturday’s start with elbow tightness and tests have revealed the worst-case scenario. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that McCarthy has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament, which means that he’s almost certainly headed for season-ending Tommy John surgery.

McCarthy turned a strong finish with the Yankees last season into a four-year, $48 million contract with the Dodgers over the winter. Some saw that as a risky deal, but his injury history has all been about his shoulder until now. McCarthy had a 5.87 ERA with nine home runs allowed over his first four starts with the Dodgers this season.

McCarthy has a torn ligament in his elbow and now has a lengthy rehab process in front of him, but at least he still has his trademark sense of humor:

We here at HardballTalk look forward to seeing McCarthy back to full strength next season.

The Dodgers are also without Hyun-Jin Ryu at the moment and it’s hard to count on Brett Anderson to stay healthy, so the back-end of their rotation has some big questions. Scott Baker made a spot-start against the Padres yesterday and Joe Wieland and Zach Lee linger as alternatives. Similar to the Cardinals, they could eventually look to the trade market, with Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels a logical possibility.