John Gast exits early with shoulder injury

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Cardinals starter John Gast exited today’s start against the Dodgers after recording just three outs. Gast walked Scott Van Slyke on five pitches to lead off the second inning before being taken out of the game with shoulder tightness, tweets Jenifer Langosch. This was the third start of the 24-year-old’s young career. He had allowed six runs in 11.1 innings prior to today’s start.

Joe Kelly relieved Gast, retiring the three Dodgers he faced in the second inning. Kelly is one option to replace Gast if the injury requires a stint on the disabled list. Prospect Michael Wacha is another option. Wacha, who turns 22 on July 1, has a 2.05 ERA in 52.2 innings with Triple-A Memphis.

Gast joins teammates Chris Carpenter, Jason Motte, Jake Westbrook, Jaime Garcia, and Fernando Salas as Cardinal pitchers to succumb to injury issues through the first eight weeks of the season.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).