Wednesday's quick hits – Indians make deals

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– After Matt Lindstrom’s second straight ugly outing Tuesday, it was
determined Wednesday that he had a sprained elbow ligament and would
miss at least six weeks.

Lindstrom, who injured his shoulder in the WBC, has likely been
pitching hurt all season. The results certainly suggest it, not that
they stopped the Marlins from having him pitch in both games of a
doubleheader during May and work on three straight days twice in the
last month. If rehab doesn’t work, Lindstrom is likely looking at Tommy
John surgery. Leo Nunez is going to take over the closer’s role and
should be an upgrade.

– The Indians made a pair of minor deals, shipping first baseman
Michael Aubrey to the Orioles for a player to be named and acquiring
reliever Jose Veras from the Yankees for cash.

Veras had a 3.59 ERA in 57 2/3 innings for the Bombers last season,
but he was at 5.96 this year before getting designated for assignment.
His velocity is down a bit and he’s always had poor command, but he
might be an adequate middle man for a team that could use one.

The Orioles, on the other hand, don’t gain anything by picking up
Aubrey, a 2003 first-round pick who had his potential sapped by
injuries. A singles and doubles hitter, he’s a poor man’s Sean Casey.
The retired Casey, not the one who was a quality regular in his prime.

– Gary Sheffield received a cortisone shot for his sore right knee and won’t start again until at least Friday.

Maybe Sheffield’s body would have held up had the Mets been able to
limit him to a couple of starts in the outfield per week. However, they
can’t be blamed for trying to make him a regular when he was playing so
well and injuries decimated the lineup. Unfortunately, his knee
problems seem destined to put him on the disabled list, though the Mets
say that’s not a consideration right now. Fernando Tatis and Jeremy
Reed stand to pick up more playing time.

Kendrys Morales pitched a scoreless inning Sunday

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Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.

Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.

Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.

On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.