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Michael Pineda could undergo Tommy John surgery next week

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Yankees’ right-hander Michael Pineda could undergo Tommy John surgery as soon as next Tuesday, according to a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. Pineda sustained a flexor muscle strain and a partial UCL tear in his right elbow and was officially placed on the 10-day disabled list on Friday, retroactive to July 6. The club has recommended Tommy John surgery, but the right-hander is expected to seek a second opinion from Reds’ physician Dr. Timothy Kremchek before moving forward with any treatment plan. Should he choose to commit to the procedure, however, he’ll be sidelined through the first half of the 2018 season, if not longer.

This is the latest in a long line of injuries for the 28-year-old, who dealt with a devastating shoulder injury in 2012 and was beset with elbow issues during his time in the Mariners’ farm system in 2009. He completed his first injury-free season in 2016 and was working toward some career-high numbers during the first half of the 2017 season, pitching to a 4.39 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 over 17 starts and 96 1/3 innings.

Not only is Pineda’s loss a terrible blow for the Yankees, but it will have a significant impact on his chances of landing another gig when he hits free agency this winter. Via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:

We’ve lost somebody of importance to us in Michael Pineda,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “I’m sorry that has happened. First and foremost for Michael, as he approaches free agency, [he was] obviously interested in having a big year. We’ve been interested in benefiting from his performance in helping us win and compete on an everyday basis. This is a significant loss for our team.

While the team hasn’t announced an official replacement for Pineda in the rotation, Hoch notes that they will likely look to acquire affordable pitching depth at the deadline, as they’re not ready to recall top prospect Chance Adams just yet.

Phillies walk off winners thanks to a poor decision by Marcell Ozuna

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The Phillies’ bullpen, which has not been good as of late, gift-wrapped Monday’s game for the Cardinals. Starter Nick Pivetta was brilliant, fanning 13 while allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But things unraveled after he left the game. Victor Arano took over for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 4-2, but he allowed a one-out single and a double. After striking out Harrison Bader, Arano appeared to strike out Yairo Munoz for the final out of the game, but the ball trickled through the legs of catcher Andrew Knapp, allowing a run to score and the tying run to move to third base. Lefty Adam Morgan came in to face pinch-hitter Kolten Wong. Wong tied the game up, sneaking a single into center field.

In the 10th inning, Jake Thompson gave up the go-ahead run on a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham. It seemed like it was just going to be another one of those losses that have become increasingly common for the Phillies lately. But the Phillies’ offense didn’t go down quietly, even though it hadn’t put a runner on second base since the start of the second inning when J.P. Crawford doubled. In the bottom half of the 10th, Hoskins blooped a single into shallow left-center to start the inning. Hoskins moved to second base on a ground out from Odubel Herrera. Matt Bowman intentionally walked Carlos Santana, then struck out Jesmuel Valentin. That brought up Aaron Altherr, who replaced Nick Williams after Williams took a baseball to the face off of the right field fence. Bowman fell behind 2-1, then threw a 90 MPH fastball that Altherr lined into left field. Rather than keep the ball in front of him, Marcell Ozuna decided to dive for the ball to make the final out, but he missed. The ball trickled past him, allowing the tying and the game-winning runs to score, giving the Phillies a come-from-behind win.

On the list of people happy to see Ozuna miss that ball are Altherr (of course), Arano, Morgan, and Thompson. But perhaps no one was happier than manager Gape Kapler. The win might help take the heat off of him somewhat after another poor performance from the bullpen. When a team struggles, everyone wants a scapegoat and Kapler is an easy target. He has been all year, undeservingly.

Phillies radio broadcaster and former major league reliever Larry Anderson said after the bullpen meltown, “Not everybody can pitch in the ninth inning. And I know Gabe Kapler thinks they can, but they can’t.” Aside from Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez (who was unavailable after throwing 52 pitches between Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee), no one in that bullpen has been reliable. The closer, Hector Neris, just got optioned to Triple-A. You work with what you have, and right now, Kapler doesn’t have a whole lot. Thankfully for him, he wasn’t punished with another loss thanks to Ozuna.