American League home run leader Nelson Cruz is out of the Mariners’ lineup for tonight’s game against the Indians after leaving Tuesday’s game with back spasms.
In in his absence Seattle is using Mark Trumbo in right field and Seth Smith at designated hitter versus right-hander Trevor Bauer.
Cruz led the league with 40 homers last season while playing on a one-year deal with the Orioles and then cashed in as a free agent, signing a four-year, $57 million contract with the Mariners. So far so good, as the 34-year-old right fielder/designated hitter is batting .326 with 18 homers and a .988 OPS in 58 games.
The Diamondbacks activated third baseman Jake Lamb from the 15-day disabled list, the club announced on Twitter. To make room for him on the roster, C/IF Jordan Pacheco has been designated for assignment.
Lamb, 24, had been sidelined since mid-April with a stress fracture in his left foot. He was off to a hot start, batting .414/.514/.690 with one home run and nine RBI in 35 plate appearances.
Pacheco, 29, had been serving as the Diamondbacks’ back-up catcher, but he became expendable after the club acquired Jarrod Saltalamacchia and traded for Welington Castillo. He is hitting .242/.333/.333 with two home runs and eight RBI in 78 plate appearances.
After a historic May, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has been a little quiet so far this month. No longer. Check out this solo blast off Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel this afternoon.
Harper now leads the majors with 19 home runs. Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton are both sitting on 18 coming into Saturday’s action.
Hammel was pulled after Harper’s homer, but the Cubs hung on to beat the Nationals 4-2.
Rays starter Jake Odorizzi was tended to by a team trainer, then was taken out of the game with one out in the fifth inning during Friday’s start against the Mariners. Odorizzi had allowed an infield single to Brad Miller, then struck out Mike Zunino before walking Dustin Ackley on four pitches. Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune suggests the injury has to do with Odorizzi’s right side.
Odorizzi, 25, has been stellar in 11 starts for the Rays entering Friday’s action. He compiled a 2.61 ERA with a 59/14 K/BB ratio in 72 1/3 innings. Needless to say, losing Odorizzi for any amount of time hurts the Rays, who are 29-26 and only a game behind the Yankees for first place in the AL East.