After a seemingly nonstop stream of bad news, the Mets' fortunes appear to be trending in the right direction.
Starter Jacob deGrom is scheduled to rejoin the Mets' rotation on Sunday, and fellow starter Steven Matz is set to throw a full bullpen session on Saturday. DeGrom, who hasn't made a start since September 1 due to right forearm discomfort, will be limited to roughly 75 pitches in his return to the mound.
“Our expectations right now are to kind of build him back up a little bit,” Collins said. “I think he will dictate a lot by how he feels, but we certainly hope — he’s basically gonna get three starts — we’re hoping that we can get him back up to where if we get in the postseason, he’s a viable option for us. We certainly think he’s gonna be fine, but we don’t have a crystal ball here to know what’s gonna happen after he throws Sunday.
“Obviously the effort level’s going to be pretty intense with him [compared to his bullpen sessions], and we’ll see how he bounces back from it. But we’re just glad to have him back.”
Matz has been out even longer because of a left shoulder impingement. He hasn't appeared in an MLB game since August 14, but he threw a bullpen session Wednesday and, if he gets through Saturday's full session without issue, he could start to find his way into games with an eye on pitching in October.
In the meantime, the Mets have leaned on guys like Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman while receiving outings like Friday's seven-inning, three-hit gem from Bartolo Colon. With their win and the Cardinals' loss to the Giants, the Mets are two full games up in the race for the final Wild Card spot in the National League.
It's the time of year that can win or lose a fantasy championship, so be sure to keep refreshing Rotoworld's constantly-updating player news page for all the latest. And while you're at it, follow @Rotoworld_BB and @nate_grimm if you are on Twitter.
Broxton Suffers Fractured Wrist
A sensational play came at a steep price for Keon Broxton.
Broxton, who has made waves with his offense and defense in the Brewers' outfield in recent weeks, made a running catch on a Tommy LaStella line drive to left-center field during Friday's game, but his momentum carried him into the ivy-covered-but-not-very-soft outfield wall. The result was a fractured right wrist, an injury that will end Broxton's season.
“It’s tough,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He’s a player we loved watching play here and develop, and show what he can do. It doesn’t take anything away from what he’s done these last seven weeks or so.
“He’s been really impressive and exciting for us to see. I talked to him. He’s disappointed, but he’s got a lot to be proud of, in my opinion.”
The 26-year-old struggled to gain traction with the Brewers in two early stints with the club, but since being recalled on July 25 Broxton has shown why the team targeted him in a trade that sent first baseman Jason Rogers to the Pirates this past winter. Including Friday's game, Broxton had hit .294 with eight homers and 16 stolen bases in 46 games since being recalled.
When he returns in 2017, it will most likely be to a crowded Brewers outfield. Ryan Braun remains under contract for the foreseeable future, Domingo Santana is proving his upside now that he's healthy and the next wave of prospects, including Lewis Brinson, Brett Phillips, Trent Clark and, soon, 2016 first-round pick Corey Ray, will be up soon.
Given how well he played over the past two months, Broxton should have a job to lose next spring.
National League Quick Hits: USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that Padres general manager A.J. Preller will not be fired or receive further discipline from the club. Preller was suspended 30 days without pay by Major League Baseball for submitting false medical records to the Red Sox. Nightengale notes that the Marlins and White Sox "also questioned the veracity of their records" in deals they made this summer with the Padres. Colin Rea was traded to the Marlins but then sent back to the Padres after it was determined that he had an elbow injury prior to the deal. It's the second time Preller has been suspended, with the first time occurring back in 2010 for violating international signing rules when he was an assistant GM with the Rangers ... Giancarlo Stanton (groin) is back in the Marlins' lineup Friday. Stanton had been limited to pinch-hitting duty to this point after being activated over a week ago. The slugger batted second and played right field in the game, going 0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored before being removed ... Starling Marte (back) is hoping to return to the Pirates' lineup for one of the games during Saturday's doubleheader versus the Reds. Marte is sitting out a 10th straight game Friday, but manager Clint Hurdle expressed optimism that he'd have his All-Star outfielder back Saturday. He's been bothered by back spasms since last month and the ailment flared up on him recently ... Jorge Soler was lifted from Friday's game versus the Brewers with tightness in his right side. Soler has been playing well since returning from a hamstring injury but now has a new ailment to deal with. The Cubs should have more on his status Saturday, but if it's an oblique injury obviously it has the potential to keep him out a while ... Wei-Yin Chen (elbow) will rejoin the Marlins' rotation on Monday versus the Nationals. It had been looking like a longshot for a while that Chen would make it back for a meaningful role this season, but he's gotten through a couple simulated games recently with no issues. The lefty has been out since late July with a left elbow sprain ... Lucas Duda (back) will be activated from the disabled list on Saturday. He'll be limited to pinch-hitting initially, as it's unclear when or if he might be able to play a full-time role at some point. It's obviously good news for the Mets regardless, as Duda has been on the shelf since late May with a stress fracture in his back ... Trea Turner had another monster night at the plate in Friday's 7-2 win over the Braves, going 4-for-5 with a two-run homer, two stolen bases, and four runs scored. Ho-hum. This was Turner’s third four-hit game in 58 games in the majors this season. We all heard about the speed. And he’s delivered by swiping 26 bases in 30 chances. But the power has been a nice surprise. He’s now up to nine homers. Oh, and he's hitting .349. He’s going to go off the board very early in fantasy drafts next spring.
American League Quick Hits: Jose Altuve has returned to the Astros starting lineup on Friday. The hard-hitting second baseman was removed from Wednesday's game due to discomfort in his right oblique. This injury would have sidelined a normal player for much longer, but with the Astros in the thick of the playoff race there's no way that they can keep a competitor like Altuve out of the lineup ... MLB.com's Brian McTaggart hears that Alex Bregman (hamstring) didn't fly with the Astros to Seattle. Bregman strained his right hamstring on Wednesday and it appears he'll be held out of action at least through the weekend ... Mark Trumbo is not in Friday's lineup due to back spasms. The good news is that the Orioles are hoping he'll be ready to play Saturday, so it doesn't appear to be a big deal at the moment ... Justin Upton blasted a pair of home runs and drove home four as the Tigers dropped the opener of their three-game series against the Indians on Friday. Upton got the Tigers on the board with a solo shot off of Corey Kluber in the second inning. He then launched a three-run homer in the sixth that pulled the Tigers to within two runs at 6-4, but that would be the extent of their offensive output. He finished the night 2-for-3 plus a walk and is now slashing .238/.299/.431 with 24 homers and 74 RBI on the season ... Chris Sale allowed four runs (three earned) against the Royals on Friday on the way to his sixth complete game of the season. Sale was perfect over the first four innings, but the Royals plated two runs off him in the fifth and sixth innings. The southpaw shut them down from there and the White Sox battled back to put him in front for his 16th win. Sale fanned 10 and walked just one batter in the victory. His six complete games are the most by a White Sox pitcher since Bartolo Colon had nine in 2003. With a 3.03 ERA and 215/44 K/BB ratio in 210 2/3 innings, Sale is building some momentum in a wide open field of AL Cy Young Award contenders ... Cameron Maybin (thumb) was back in the Tigers' lineup Friday. Maybin sat out Thursday with some more soreness in his nagging left thumb injury. He might need regular days off down the stretch ... Hanley Ramirez went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, an RBI single, and a walk in Friday’s 7-2 victory over the Yankees. Han-Ram remains red-hot. He has gone deep in back-to-back games and now has 10 homers over his last 19 games. The 32-year-old is batting .286/.359/.499 with 26 homers and 102 RBI over 134 games on the year ... Mike Napoli homered and drove home four runs on Friday, powering the Indians to an 11-4 victory over the Tigers. Napoli got the Tribe on the board early with a two-run double in the first inning. He increased that advantage with a towering two-run blast off of Michael Fulmer in the fifth. The veteran slugger also singled and doubled, finishing the night 3-for-4. He has been a force in the middle of the Indians lineup this season, slashing .251/.344/.496 with 34 homers and 98 RBI ... Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan reports that the tendon sheath tear in Logan Morrison's left wrist is "minimal." Passan adds that Morrison will undergo surgery but is expected to resume swinging a bat in 12 weeks. It's good news, as a more severe tear could have resulted in a six-month absence, according to Passan. However, there will still be questions following LoMo into free agency, as he'll be coming off of wrist surgery and a season where he batted an underwhelming .238/.319/.414.