Phillies

MLB Notes: Mets not worried about Noah Syndergaard's finger issues

MLB Notes: Mets not worried about Noah Syndergaard's finger issues

MIAMI -- New York Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard's exits from two recent starts because of finger issues aren't cause for concern, manager Terry Collins says.

Syndergaard left Friday's game at Miami after six innings due to two bleeding fingernails, and he left his first start of the season after six scoreless innings because of a blister.

"If it was the same thing, we'd have to look at it," Collins said Saturday. "But since it's two different things, I don't think it's anything to worry about. I think he'll be OK."

Despite the issues with his fingers, Syndergaard is 1-0 with a 0.95 ERA in three starts, with 20 strikeouts in 19 innings.

"He's one of the top pitchers in baseball right now," Collins said. "I give him a lot of credit. He's a tireless worker. He keeps himself in tremendous shape. He asks a lot of questions. He tries to refine pitches. And he commands his stuff."

Cashner activated from DL for first start with Rangers
SEATTLE -- The Texas Rangers have activated Andrew Cashner from the 10-day disabled list for his first start of the season against the Seattle Mariners and optioned right-hander Nick Martinez to Triple-A Round Rock.

The Rangers also activated Tanner Scheppers and assigned him to Round Rock on Saturday.

Cashner is making his first start for the Rangers after signing as a free agent this winter. Cashner missed most of spring training and the start of the season with soreness in his right bicep.

Last year, Cashner was 5-11 with a 5.25 ERA with San Diego and Miami.

Giants' Parker injured crashing into left-field wall
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants left fielder Jarrett Parker left Saturday's game against the Colorado Rockies after appearing to injury a shoulder when he crashed into the wall on a running catch.

Parker's grab robbed D.J. LaMahieu of an extra-base hit with two outs in the fourth inning.

After the collision, Parker sprinted toward the infield, stopped and dropped to his knees on the outfield grass. He grimaced, was examined by trainers and was replaced by Aaron Hill.

Reds' starter Finnegan leaves after 1 inning with strain
CINCINNATI -- Reds left-hander Brandon Finnegan left after only one inning on Saturday because of a strained muscle in the back of his left side.

Finnegan walked three, threw a wild pitch and allowed a pair of runs by the Brewers. He threw only 10 strikes out of 24 pitches and was replaced by Robert Stephenson in the second inning.

Finnegan's injury further depletes Cincinnati's rotation. Homer Bailey and Anthony DeSclafani opened the season on the disabled list and aren't close to returning from elbow problems. Rookie Davis is on the disabled list with a bruised right forearm.

Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

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AP Images

Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

Gabe Kapler on Friday added to his coaching staff by naming Jim Gott the Phillies' bullpen coach.

Gott was the minor-league pitching coordinator for the Angels the last five seasons and the pitching coach for the Arizona League Angels the three years prior to that role.

He played for the Blue Jays, Giants, Pirates and Dodgers over 14 major-league seasons as a starter and reliever. Gott, now 58 years old, compiled a 3.87 ERA while making 96 starts and converting 91 saves.

Kapler and the Phillies still need to name a pitching coach and first-base coach. Last week, they named Dusty Wathan third-base coach and hired John Mallee as hitting coach, while retaining Rick Kranitz, who was the assistant pitching coach last season (see story). He could fill the main pitching coach vacancy, although his role is currently to be determined.

In 2017, Bob McClure served the Phillies as pitching coach and Mickey Morandini was first-base coach.

MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

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USA Today Images

MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

Houston Astros dynamo Jose Altuve has won the American League MVP award, towering over New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge by a wide margin.

The 5-foot-6 Altuve drew 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Altuve batted a major league-best .346. He hit 24 home runs with 81 RBIs, scored 112 times, stole 32 bases and showed a sharp glove at second base.

The 6-foot-7 Judge won the AL Rookie of the Year award Monday. He set a rookie record with 52 home runs.

Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians finished third. The award was announced Thursday.

Altuve helped lead the Astros to their first World Series championship. Voting for these honors was completed before the postseason began.

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton won the NL MVP award, barely edging Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds.

In the closest MVP vote since 1979, Stanton became only the sixth player to win from a losing team. Stanton led the big leagues with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs (see full story).

MLB: Manfred says pace changes will happen with or without union
Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

There are ongoing talks for a new posting system with Japan to replace the deal that expired Nov. 1, one that would allow star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani to leave the Pacific League's Nippon Ham Fighters to sign with a big league team (see full story).

Mariners: Team makes trade, raises available money for Japan's Otani​
The Seattle Mariners have gained more flexibility if they want to try to sign star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani.

They acquired an additional $500,000 for their international signing bonus pool from the Chicago White Sox in a trade for Brazilian right-hander Thyago Vieira.

Otani, a 23-year-old right-hander, would be limited to a minor league contract with a signing bonus under Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement. The trade announced Thursday increases the Mariners' available money for a signing bonus to $1,557,500. Seattle has spent $3,942,500 on bonuses in the signing year that started July 2 from a pool that rose to $5.5 million with the trade.

The 24-year-old Vieira made his major league debut with a scoreless inning against Baltimore on Aug. 14, his only big league appearance. He was 2-3 with two saves and a 3.72 ERA in 29 games this year for Double-A Arkansas and 0-1 with two saves and a 4.58 ERA in 12 games for Triple-A Tacoma.

Chicago is restricted to a maximum $300,000 signing bonus because it exceeded its pool in a previous year under the old labor contract.