Lost in Cole Hamels saying his decision to intentionally hit Bryce Harper was “old school” is that someone who’s actually old school thinks he should have been suspended for longer than five games.
Jim Leyland, who’s 67 years old with 21 years of big-league managing experience and a World Series title, told Jason Beck of MLB.com that “five games is way too light, in my personal opinion.”
Leyland called Hamels “a very good pitcher” and “a very talented guy” but noted “that ball could have missed, hit [Harper] in the head or something else like that.” And the Tigers manager was also bothered by the “braggadocious way” in which Hamels admitted to the plunking being intentional.
It’s a moot point, as Hamels has already decided to serve the five-game suspension and will essentially just have his next start pushed back by one day, but when “old school” is being thrown around as some sort of absolute state of mind it’s interesting to hear from a baseball lifer like Leyland on the subject.
The Angels have placed Andrew Heaney on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, the club announced Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 17, though it’s not yet certain that he’ll be cleared to pitch again by the end of the month.
It’s an unfortunate development for the 28-year-old southpaw, who has battled inflammation in his pitching elbow on and off since spring training. In fact, his arm issues date back several years, including the shoulder impingement that put him on the shelf in 2017 and the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2016. With such a complicated medical history, it makes sense that the Angels would want to proceed with caution as they facilitate the lefty’s eventual return to the mound.
Given his ongoing struggles, Heaney has seen mixed results with the club in 2019. Prior to his recent IL assignment, he pitched to a 1-3 record in nine starts with a 5.09 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, and 10.6 SO/9 through 46 innings. Since the end of June, however, his starts have gotten shorter and shorter; he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his final outing against the Astros, expending a tremendous 103 pitches and issuing two runs, two walks, and five strikeouts during the team’s eventual 7-2 win.
In a corresponding roster move, the Angels claimed lefty reliever Adalberto Mejía off of waivers from the Twins. Mejía, 26, is expected to be activated ahead of Saturday’s game versus the Mariners. Over 13 appearances with Minnesota, he turned in an 8.80 ERA, 7.0 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 in 15 1/3 innings.