The Padres swapped All-Star closer Huston Street to the Angels last night in a six-player trade and they likely aren’t done making deals.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, the Padres are expected to trade outfielder Chris Denorfia before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. The 34-year-old is batting just .244/.295/.329 with one home run this season, but he owns an .809 OPS against southpaws for his career and could be a useful platoon player/extra outfielder for a contender. He’s making $2.25 million in 2014 and will be a free agent this offseason.
The return for Denorfia will likely be minimal, but the Padres could fetch more if they end up dealing third baseman Chase Headley, right-hander Ian Kennedy, and new closer Joaquin Benoit. All three names continue to surface in trade rumors, with the Blue Jays among the teams linked to Headley.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.