Some very good news here for the Dodgers …
Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports that injured outfielder Yasiel Puig has been cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Thursday with the High-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. Puig will serve as the DH in his first couple rehab games before eventually testing his hamstring in the outfield.
The 24-year-old Cuban has officially been on the shelf since April 25 with a left hamstring strain, but the injury first began bothering him in early April. He figures to rejoin the Dodgers’ active roster by the middle of next week.
Puig was batting .279/.380/.465 with two home runs and four RBI in 11 games this season.
Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez had batted either fourth or fifth in his first 26 starts this season, but he is 2-for-25 with 16 strikeouts in his last six games and so the 27-year-old is getting a demotion of sorts for Wednesday night’s game against the White Sox.
Here is the Detroit starting lineup for Wednesday, with Martinez hitting sixth and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes getting the bump up to the fifth spot …
Martinez was a breakout star in 2014 at age 26, batting .315/.358/.553 with 23 home runs and 76 RBI in 123 games for Detroit. But he also showed flashes of promise during his time with the Astros before eventually falling back to earth. The former 20th-round pick is a .269/.315/.443 career hitter in the major leagues.
Jeff Samardzija officially dropped the appeal of his five-game suspension on Wednesday, temporarily opening a spot in the White Sox starting rotation.
And top prospect Carlos Rodon is going to fill it.
Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports that the 22-year-old lefty will make his first major league start on Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Field against the visiting Reds. Rodon was called up from Triple-A Charlotte on April 20 and has been working out of the White Sox bullpen for the past two weeks, boasting a 2.84 ERA and four strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.
Rodon, the third overall pick in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft out of North Carolina State University, struck out 51 batters in 34 1/3 minor league frames before the White Sox opted to promote him to the bigs.
He should eventually replace John Danks or Hector Noesi in Chicago’s rotation.
White Sox reliever Matt Albers was placed on the disabled list April 25 after suffering a compression fracture in his right pinkie during Chicago’s brawl with the Royals on April 23 at U.S. Cellular Field.
The hope was that a little rest and rehab would heal the injury, but he hadn’t been making much progress and now Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that Albers underwent surgery on Tuesday. The 32-year-old righty is expected to be out 6-8 weeks.
Albers had allowed just one run in 5 2/3 innings of relief this season for the Pale Hose, striking out five batters and issuing only one walk. He was signed to a minor league contract in February.
George Springer has been robbing opponents all season, and he did it again Tuesday night …
But the Astros wound up falling 7-1 to the visiting Rangers and have now lost two straight games. They still have a cool 18-9 record, good enough for first place in the American League West standings.