California high school pitcher Lucas Giolito, who was widely projected as a top-five pick and potential No. 1 overall pick in June’s draft, will miss the remainder of the season with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.
When a pitcher tears his UCL it requires Tommy John surgery and a year-plus recovery, but Nathan Rode of Baseball America reports that Giolito is not expected to need surgery and has been given a 6-10 week recovery timetable.
Of course, sprained UCLs unfortunately become torn UCLs on occasion, so you can bet the injury will hurt Giolito’s draft stock and cause interested teams to do extra homework on the 6-foot-6 right-hander’s health status.
It may end up costing him millions of dollars and could potentially convince Giolito to delay his professional career, play a couple seasons of college ball, and give the draft another try once he’s healthy.
Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler made a critical catch in the eighth inning of Wednesday afternoon’s series finale against the Nationals. With the Cardinals leading 5-1, the Nationals were threatening with runners on first and second with one out against lefty Andrew Miller. Asdrúbal Cabrera worked a full count before serving a 3-2 outside slider to right field. The ball had home run distance, but Fowler tracked it, leaped at the wall, and robbed Cabrera of a three-run home run.
Carlos Martínez relieved Miller, getting Victor Robles to ground out to end the inning. The Cardinals would go on to win 5-1.
The game had playoff implications on both sides. The win bumped the Cardinals’ hold on first place in the NL Central to 2.5 games while the Nationals’ lead over the Cubs and Brewers for the first NL Wild Card shrinks to just one game.
The Nationals will close out their final road trip of the regular season with three games against the Marlins before hosting the Phillies for five games and the Indians for three. The Cardinals, meanwhile, begin their final road trip of the regular season with four against the Cubs followed by three against the Diamondbacks before closing out the season at home with three games versus the Cubs.