There’s a pretty cool comeback story in the works here …
Gutierrez didn’t play any sort of MLB-affiliated ball in 2014 after being diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis that primarily affects the spine and causes problems in many other joints. And he averaged just 58 games between 2011-2013 due to a variety of injuries. But the 32-year-old was slashing .317/.402/.500 with seven home runs and 31 RBI in 48 games this season at the Triple-A level and he is starting in left field and batting second Wednesday in his first major league game since September 27, 2013. Good for Guti.
Game 2 of the College World Series Finals was looking like a classic pitchers duel until the bottom of the sixth inning, when University of Virginia freshman Ernie Clement broke a 0-0 tie with an RBI single to left field. Virginia senior Thomas Woodruff followed with a two-run single to center, giving the Virginia Cavaliers a 3-0 lead over the Vanderbilt Commodores that would hold up through the final three frames.
Virginia left-hander Adam Haseley pitched well in multiple situations that called for damage control, yielding four hits and three walks but yielding zero runs over the first five innings of the game. Virginia righty Josh Sborz then turned in four shutout frames in relief.
Sborz was selected 74th overall by the Dodgers in this month’s MLB Draft. He allowed the first two batters to reach in the ninth inning Tuesday but struck out two of the final three batters he faced to keep Vanderbilt off the board. Sborz has now gone 27 straight scoreless innings without allowing an earned run. But he tossed 73 pitches Tuesday in Game 2 and will be unavailable for Game 3 on Wednesday night in Omaha.
Vanderbilt took Game 1. Virginia took Game 2. The winner of Game 3 will take the title.
Hector Olivera’s big league debut has been delayed.
According to beat writer Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, the Cuban infielder landed on the disabled list Tuesday at Triple-A Oklahoma City after being diagnosed with a Grade 1 left hamstring strain.
It’s the least-severe type of hamstring strain and shouldn’t cost him more than a couple of weeks. Olivera will do his rehabbing at Camelback Ranch, the Dodgers’ spring training facility in Arizona.
The 30-year-old has been impressive so far in the minors, batting .358/.393/.528 with two home runs and seven RBI in 13 games between Double-A and Triple-A.
Olivera signed a six-year, $62.5 million deal with Los Angeles in late March.
As first reported by Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest, outfielder Josh Hamilton has been cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment Wednesday with Double-A Frisco and expects to rejoin the Rangers next week in Baltimore.
Hamilton suffered a Grade 2 left hamstring a week into his return to Texas and will wind up missing about a month. He was batting .273/.385/.636 with two home runs, two doubles, five RBI, and five runs scored over his first seven games with the Rangers.
Texas opened play Tuesday three games back of the first-place Astros in the American League West standings. If his first seven games were any indication, Hamilton can be of huge help in closing that gap.
Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez made it through a five-inning minor league rehab start on Saturday at Double-A Bowie and has been cleared to rejoin the major league rotation on Thursday in Boston, per Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun.
Gonzalez has been on the disabled list since June 11 because of a groin strain. The 31-year-old had a solid 3.33 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 59/24 K/BB ratio over his first 73 innings this season for the O’s.
Baltimore is currently in fourth place in the American League East standings but only 2 1/2 games back of the first-place Tampa Bay Rays. It’s probably going to remain a tight race all summer given the absence of a single dominant team.