Author: Drew Silva

St. Louis Cardinals v Philadelphia Phillies

Cole Hamels throws successful bullpen session, on track to rejoin Phillies rotation Wednesday

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Phillies ace Cole Hamels had to be scratched from his scheduled start Friday night against the visiting Cardinals because of hamstring discomfort, but MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that the left-hander made it through a bullpen session Sunday morning without issue and is on track to return to the rotation Wednesday against the Yankees.

Phillippe Aumont took the mound in Hamels’ place on Friday versus St. Louis and got shelled for six earned runs on seven walks and five hits. He was designated for assignment the next day.

Hamels, one of the biggest names on this summer’s trade block, boasts a 2.96 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 103 strikeouts through 94 1/3 innings.

Ervin Santana sharp in first tuneup start at AAA Rochester

Ervin Santana
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Twins right-hander Ervin Santana is eligible to return from his 80-game PED suspension on July 4. He’s been throwing on the side for months and will spend the next few weeks making minor league starts to get his arm in proper game shape. The first one of those outings was Saturday at Triple-A Rochester

Not bad for a guy who had been mostly idle since March. Santana signed the biggest free agent contract in Twins history over the winter — four years, $54 million — after posting a 3.95 ERA and 179/63 K/BB ratio across 196 innings last season for the Braves. He had a 3.24 ERA in 211 innings with the Royals in 2013.

Watch all 27 outs of Max Scherzer’s no-hitter

Max Scherzer, Wilson Ramos
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MLB.com has spliced together video showing all 27 outs of Max Schezer’s no-hitter Saturday against the Pirates. You’ll also see Max hit Jose Tabata on the elbow, which cost him a perfect game …

Scherzer now has a 1.76 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, and 123/14 K/BB ratio over his first 102 1/3 innings with the Nationals. $210 million seemed like a crazy amount of money for any pitcher, but he’s on his way to justifying that contract. Scherzer’s next start is against the Phillies. Putting out a preemptive perfect game watch.

Video: Carlos Correa shows crazy hops on leaping grab

Carlos Correa
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Look at young Astros shortstop Carlos Correa getting way up to rob Mike Zunino of a hit Saturday …

Correa, 20, is batting .314 with a .908 OPS in his first 12 games. We’re witnessing the rise of a superstar.

Justin Nicolino shut out the Reds over seven innings in his major league debut on Saturday

Justin Nicolino
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23-year-old Justin Nicolino was rushed to Cincinnati on Saturday morning after Tom Koehler had to be scratched from his scheduled start against the Reds due to a neck injury. Maybe it was helpful to the kid that he had no time to process all of his emotions.

Nicolino fired seven scoreless innings in his major league debut Saturday afternoon at Great American Ball Park, yielding only four hits and two walks in one of the least pitcher-friendly stadiums in Major League Baseball. Miami grabbed a 5-0 win.

As noted by Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, the young lefty is the only pitcher in the 23-year history of the Marlins to debut with seven shutout innings. More perspective from Spencer’s game story …

The only other pitchers to make their major-league debuts with the Marlins and go at least six innings without allowing a run were Josh Beckett in 2001 and Adalberto Mendez in 2010.

Brad Penny allowed just one run over seven innings in his debut in 2000.

Nicolino had an impressive 2.87 ERA through 78 1/3 innings this season at Triple-A New Orleans, so maybe this is legit. He was rated a top-100 prospect in 2014 by MLB.com but fell off that list this past winter.