Just in time for Baseball’s Civil Rights Weekend celebrations in Atlanta, Roger McDowell, the Braves’ gay-slurring pitching coach, returns from his suspension today:
An emotional Roger McDowell has returned from his two-week suspension and is vowing he won’t repeat the inappropriate comments and crude gestures he made to fans that led to his punishment by Major League Baseball. McDowell’s eyes were red as he apologized Friday “to anyone who was offended by my actions.” He struggled to remain composed while he talked about his return as the Braves’ pitching coach.
In other news, the Braves record and team ERA was better in McDowell’s absence than it was before his suspension. But let us not equate correlation and causation.
The Blue Jays placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list with a contusion in his right index finger, per a team announcement on Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to Friday. In a corresponding move, righty Marcus Stroman was activated from the DL (right shoulder fatigue) and will take the mound for the Blue Jays at 9:07 PM ET tonight.
Sanchez, 25, is in his fifth season with the club. He hasn’t looked his sharpest so far this year, going 3-5 in 15 starts with a career-worst 4.52 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 through 79 2/3 innings. It’s not yet clear how long he’ll be sidelined, though he could miss as little as one turn in the rotation before returning to the roster in the next week or two.
Sanchez isn’t the only struggling starter in Toronto’s rotation, either. Per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, the team placed southpaw Jaime Garcia on the DL (right shoulder tenderness) as well, with lefty reliever Tim Mayza scheduled to take his spot on the roster. In 13 starts this season, Garcia carried a 2-6 record, 6.16 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 61 1/3 innings. Any further decisions pertaining to the rotation — including Tuesday’s starter against the Astros — have yet to be publicly addressed.