Mike Yastrzemski
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Giants call up Mike Yastrzemski

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The Giants called up minor league outfielder Mike Yastrzemski in advance of their game against the Diamondbacks on Saturday. The grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, Mike was acquired by the the club in March in a trade for right-hander Tyler Herb. In a corresponding move, struggling outfielder Mac Williamson has been designated for assignment.

It’s been a long road to the Show for 28-year-old Yastrzemski, who has ping-ponged between Double-A and Triple-A for the last three years without turning in the kind of consistent numbers needed to graduate to the majors. Since his arrival in Triple-A Sacramento this spring, however, he’s batted an encouraging .316/.414/.676 line with 12 home runs, 25 RBI, and a 1.090 OPS across 163 plate appearances. He’ll start in left field for his MLB debut.

Given his recent performance, Yastrzemski certainly seems capable of delivering the kind of offensive contribution the Giants are in desperate need of; following a devastating 18-2 loss to the Diamondbacks on Friday, they hold the second-lowest winning percentage in the National League and fourth-lowest overall. Per FanGraphs, their offense also ranks third-worst in the NL with a collective .219 average and 2.1 fWAR.

Nationals to reinstate Max Scherzer on Thursday

Max Scherzer
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Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.

It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.

While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.

If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.