Tag: Pedro Hernandez

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers

Rays fall into tie with Indians for wild card spots, Rangers one back


The AL wild card battle tightened up Friday, with the Rays losing in Toronto and both the Indians and Rangers gaining a game.

The current standings:

Rays: 90-70 (two in Toronto)
Indians: 90-70 (two in Minnesota)
Rangers: 89-71 (two vs. Angels)

The Rays, who had won seven straight, were undone by some sloppy defense in the third and fourth innings, when they gave up all of their runs in the 6-3 loss to the Blue Jays. Evan Longoria committed two of the team’s three errors. Jeremy Hellickson, who was picked earlier this week to make the start, was charged with thel six runs — three of them earned — in his 4 2/3 innings.

Hellickson fell to 12-10 with a 5.17 ERA for the season, and he’s nearly certain to be left out of the rotation should the Rays advance to the ALDS. David Price, Alex Cobb, Matt Moore and Chris Archer are their top four now.

The Indians jumped out to an early 7-0 lead over the Twins and held on to win 12-6. Pedro Hernandez was brutal once again for the Twins, with his ERA jumping to 6.83. He lasted six innings in just one of his 12 starts this year. The Indians got a surprisingly disappointing performance from Corey Kluber after all of the early support. He ended up allowing six runs in 5 1/3 innings, yet he got the win anyway.

Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera both had three hits for the Indians, while Carlos Santana went 2-for-3 with two walks and three runs scored.

The Rangers prevailed in another tight one against the Angels, winning 5-3. With the score tied 3-3 in the seventh, Alex Rios singled in Ian Kinsler. Rios went on to steal second and then came around to score on A.J. Pierzynski’s grounder up the middle after Erick Aybar made a nice play to snare the ball, then pulled Mark Trumbo off the bag with his throw. Rios never stopped running on the play and beat Trumbo’s relay home.

Saturday’s action will see all three contenders playing simultaneously in the afternoon after the Angels-Rangers tilt was moved up due to the expectation of some evening storms. The Rangers will throw Derek Holland in their 11 a.m. local-time start, while the Angels will counter with Garrett Richards. Holland, coming off a shutout of the Astros, is 7-6 with a 5.81 ERA lifetime versus the Halos. He gave up eight runs in a loss in Anaheim three weeks ago.

The Indians get to face another pushover in the form of Cole De Vries. He has an 11.70 ERA in his three starts for Minnesota. The Twins lost those three games by a combined score of 41-11. The Indians will use Scott Kazmir.

The Rays-Jays game will feature a Chris Archer-J.A. Happ matchup. Archer is coming off one of his worst starts of the season, but he’s 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts against Toronto.

Indians, Rangers survive: wild card standings stay unchanged

Jurickson Profar

After the Rays made a sweep in Yankee Stadium look as easy as can be, the Indians and Rangers injected some drama into the AL wild card race before eking out one-run victories.

The Indians seemed to have things well in hand against the Twins after scoring three runs in fourth and taking a 6-1 lead into the ninth. That’s when struggling closer Chris Perez intervened. Perez, fresh off his vote of confidence from Terry Francona, gave up four runs while getting two outs in the ninth before being replaced. A Josmil Pinto two-run homer was the final blow. That brought in Joe Smith, who allowed a single and a walk before striking out Oswaldo Arcia for his third save.

Perez has now given up six runs and three homers in two appearances and 10 runs in 9 1/3 innings for the month of September. It’s hard to imagine that Francona will give him any additional save chances this weekend, which will force him to rely even more on Smith and Cody Allen.

The Rangers were never so in control as the Indians. They scored three runs in the bottom of the first against the Angels, but fell behind 4-3 in the top of the second. Matt Garza was able to rebound from there, and the game was tied 5-5 entering the bottom of the ninth, when Jurickson Profar, taking his first at-bat of the night, hit a walkoff homer off Michael Kohn.

To his credit, Ron Washington actually used Joe Nathan in a tie game in this one after keeping him in reserve in a tie game in Kansas City last weekend. Nathan got the win for his scoreless top of the ninth. Garza allowed 11 hits in all while working 5 1/3 innings, but just one of the four runs he allowed was earned. Mitch Moreland, Ian Kinsler and Adrian Beltre all committed errors in the three-run second inning.

The current wild card standings:

Rays: 90-69 (3 at Blue Jays)
Indians: 89-70 (3 at Twins)
Rangers: 88-71 (3 vs. Angels)

The Rays beat the Yankees 4-0 on Thursday and outscored the Bombers 17-3 in their three-game sweep. They’ll start Jeremy Hellickson against R.A. Dickey as they look to maintain their lead Friday. Considering that the Blue Jays had Munenori Kawasaki DHing, Ryan Langerhans playing first base and Moises Sierra batting cleanup in Thursday’s loss to the Orioles, they don’t seem poised to present that much of a challenge.

The Indians will throw Corey Kluber against Pedro Hernandez in Minnesota. Hernandez has a 6.05 ERA, and has given the Twins one quality start (against Houston) in 12 tries this year. The Rangers will pitch Alexi Ogando against 17-game winner C.J. Wilson. Working in the Rangers’ favor: Wilson is just 1-2 with a 7.92 ERA in seven starts against his old team since signing with the Angels prior to last season.

So, someone is going to have to be the AL Rookie of the Year, right?

Jose Iglesias

The AL fired off all its rounds with a 2012 rookie class that featured Mike Trout, Yu Darvish, Yoenis Cespedes, Jarrod Parker, Hisashi Iwakuma, Matt Moore, Tommy Milone and many others. This year, the strong rookie class is in the other league, with Shelby Miller, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Julio Teheran leading the way and Yasiel Puig potentially putting in a charge.

The AL class, on the other hand, is extraordinarily weak 40 percent of the way through the season.

Here are all the AL rookies with 100 at-bats:

Aaron Hicks (CF Twins): .179/.249/.326, 6 HR, 19 RBI, 4 SB in 190 AB
Conor Gillaspie (3B White Sox): .248/.313/.360, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 0 SB in 161 AB
J.B. Shuck (OF Angels): .278/.324/.349, 0 HR, 13 RBI, 0 SB in 126 AB
Brandon Barnes (OF Astros): .282/.341/.419, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 4 SB in 117 AB
Robbie Grossman (OF Astros): .198/.310/.243, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB in 111 AB

Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias, hitting a completely unsustainable .446/.494/.581 in 74 at-bats, has been the league’s top position rookie so far. Still, the true rays of hope come in the form of the Rangers’ Jurickson Profar (.258/.315/.379 in 66 AB), the Twins’ Oswaldo Arcia (.255/.318/.449 in 98 AB) and the Mariners’ Nick Franklin (.250/.353/.455 in 44 AB).

The pitching side isn’t much better. Six AL rookies have made at least five starts so far:

Nick Tepesch (Rangers): 3-5, 3.92 ERA, 45/16 K/BB in 62 IP
Justin Grimm (Rangers): 5-3, 5.25 ERA, 51/20 K/BB in 60 IP
Dan Straily (Athletics): 3-2, 4.67 ERA, 44/15 K/BB in 52 IP
Brandon Maurer (Mariners): 2-7, 6.93 ERA, 32/17 K/BB in 49 1/3 IP
Pedro Hernandez (Twins): 2-1, 5.85 ERA, 17/10 K/BB in 32 1/3 IP
Brad Peacock (Astros): 1-3, 8.07 ERA, 23/17 K/BB in 29 IP

Those last three are all back in the minors now.

And while some relievers have enjoyed moderate success (Ryan Pressly, Preston Claiborne, Cody Allen and Alex Torres most notably), none of them are threatening for closing gigs. There doesn’t seem to be an Addison Reed or a Sean Doolittle in the bunch.

A couple of rookies will emerge as the year goes on. Tampa Bay’s Wil Myers should debut soon. Seattle called up Mike Zunino today. Profar and Arcia could force their teams to play them regularly. Baltimore’s Kevin Gausman and Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer could start fulfilling their potential, and maybe Bruce Rondon will yet factor into the closing mix for Detroit. Still, as of June 11, we’re probably looking at either Nick Tepesch or Jose Iglesias as the AL Rookie of the Year and that’s pretty hard to fathom.

Some pitching feats in tonight’s action

A.J. Burnett

A.J. Burnett turned in his third consecutive solid effort, holding the Reds to three runs over six innings tonight, striking out eight.

Since 2000, there are only ten occurrences of a pitcher tossing at least five innings and striking out eight or more in at least his first three starts of the season. Randy Johnson had 15 such starts to open the 2000 season and only six have done it four or more times. With his start tonight against the Cincinnati Reds, Burnett has three such starts in a row and now sits on 27 strikeouts in 16 innings. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s an average of 15 strikeouts per nine innings. As a percentage of batters faced, Burnett’s strikeout rate is 36 percent. The highest strikeout rate among starters last year belonged to Max Scherzer at 29 percent. Small sample size caveats apply, of course.

Burnett also accomplished the feat in 2002 when he was with the Florida Marlins. Click here for the full list.

Meanwhile, Twins starter Vance Worley lasted just one inning against the New York Mets in snowy, 34-degree weather in Minnesota tonight. The bespectacled right-hander allowed nine runs (seven earned) on seven hits and two walks while striking out only one. Five of the runs came in the first inning, and four more were credited to Worley as he failed to retire a batter in the second inning.

John Buck, arguably the hottest hitter in baseball right now, hit a grand slam off of Pedro Hernandez, who came in to relieve Worley. Buck now has six home runs, tied for the Major League lead with Chris Davis, Mike Morse, and Justin Upton. The four RBI also bring him into a tie for the MLB lead with Davis as well.

In Cleveland, it was quite the pitcher’s duel. For seven innings, White Sox starter Jose Quintana and Indians starter Justin Masterson traded goose eggs. Quintana was lifted after seven innings, allowing just one hit and no walks while striking out seven. Masterson tossed a full nine innings, allowing five hits and one walk while striking out seven. His ERA on the season is now 0.45. The Indians walked off in the bottom of the ninth when Nick Swisher drove in Michael Bourn with an RBI single.

We’ve also had a triple play turned tonight. And the night isn’t even over yet.

Twins place Cole De Vries on 15-day disabled list

de vries getty

From MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger comes word that the Twins have placed right-hander Cole De Vries on the 15-day disabled list with a right forearm strain.

The move was made retroactive to March 31, so De Vries will be eligible for activation early next week.

De Vries was supposed to start Sunday’s series-finale against the Orioles, but he hasn’t recovered from an arm injury that he suffered late this spring. Pedro Hernandez, who was recalled from Triple-A Rochester in a corresponding move, will take the bump in his place Sunday versus Baltimore.

The Twins also activated Anthony Swarzak from the disabled list and optioned Tyler Robertson.

De Vries, 28, registered a 4.11 ERA and 58/11 K/BB ratio across 87 2/3 innings last season.