Texas placed Mitch Moreland on the disabled list after the first baseman left last night’s game with a strained hamstring.
Moreland is the only Ranger to play in each of the team’s 58 games, hitting .288 with 12 homers and an .899 OPS that’s more than a 100-point improvement on his career mark.
For today Lance Berkman is starting at first base and Jeff Baker is at designated hitter, but the Rangers have called up first baseman Chris McGuiness from Triple-A. Acquired from the Red Sox in 2010 as part of the Jarrod Saltalamacchia deal, McGuiness was selected by the Indians in the Rule 5 draft this winter and then returned to the Rangers during spring training.
He’s hit .275 with six homers and an .858 OPS in 55 career games at Triple-A and has the potential be a decent short-term fill-in for Moreland if given an extended chance at first base.
Astros starter Justin Verlander was voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America as the 2019 American League Cy Young Award winner. Teammate Gerrit Cole finished in a close second place at 159 points. Charlie Morton finished third at 75 points, Shane Bieber fourth at 64, Lance Lynn fifth at 18, Eduardo Rodríguez and Lucas Giolito sixth at eight, and Mike Minor eighth at seven.
Verlander, 36, won the AL Cy Young Award (and AL MVP Award) in 2011 with the Tigers). He and Cole became the first pair of teammates to finish first and second on the ballot for the AL Cy Young Award. Four NL teammates accomplished the feat: Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in 2001 and ’02, Don Newcomb and Sal Maglie in 1956, and Mike Marshall and Andy Messersmith in 1974.
During the regular season, Verlander led all starting pitchers in wins (21), games started (34), innings pitched (223), and WHIP (0.803). He also compiled a 2.58 ERA with a 300/42 K/BB ratio. Along with a 300-strikeout season, Verlander achieved other milestones, including reaching 3,000 strikeouts for his career and 200 career postseason strikeouts (an all-time record).
2019 was not without controversy for Verlander, a future Hall of Famer, as he had a well-publicized disagreement with Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. He tried to have Fenech barred from the clubhouse during media availability despite the collective bargaining agreement ensuring access to BBWAA-credentialed reporters. It was one of many Astros-related scandals in 2019.
Verlander is the first Astro to win the Cy Young Award since Dallas Keuchel in 2015. Roger Clemens (2004) and Mike Scott (1986) also won the award back when the Astros were in the National League.