Quick, guess which starter has been the hardest to hit this season.
Salazar had another dominant outing on Tuesday against the Reds, holding them to just five hits – four singles – and one walk over 7 1/3 frames of one-run ball. The young right-hander recorded eight strikeouts.
Over 50 innings this season, Salazar has surrendered a mere 26 hits and has held opponents to a miniscule .152 average. The opponents’ full batting line so far has been just .152/.256/.216. Salazar has also struck out 60 batters, a total that puts him in the top-10 in baseball.
It hasn’t been spotless for Salazar. He’s walked 23 batters, issuing at least three free passes in five of his eight outings. In his outing prior to Tuesday, Salazar struck out 10 and walked six against the Astros, throwing 106 pitches over five frames. Those kind of starts pop up for Salazar on occasion, as his command can wane at times. So far he’s been able to limit the damage, boasting a 1.80 ERA with just one start where he gave up more than two runs (and that was three runs).
Whether Salazar is able to limit or completely eliminate those occasional hiccups figures to be the determining factor in whether he’ll take that step to join the truly elite hurlers. He certainly has the stuff to join that group.
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Eight Games for Odor
Suspensions were officially handed down Tuesday as a result of Sunday’s melee between the Blue Jays and Rangers. Not surprisingly, the man who landed the right hook also landed the biggest penalty.
Rougned Odor was suspended eight games by Major League Baseball for his role in the brawl after he slugged Jose Bautista in the jaw. Bautista received a one-game suspension for his actions, and Elvis Andrus got a one-game ban, as well. Jesse Chavez received a three-game suspension for intentionally throwing at Prince Fielder.
Both Odor and Bautista have appealed their suspensions and will be allowed to continue to play until the appeal is heard. However, Odor’s fantasy owners should obviously be prepared to be without the second baseman for a while pretty soon.
Luckily, there are some pretty decent stop-gap options at second base that are available in a good portion of fantasy leagues. Jonathan Schoop, Derek Dietrich, Steve Pearce and Brad Miller are just a few of the guys that currently have an ownership percentage under 40 percent in Yahoo leagues.
As for the Rangers, they’ll turn to Hanser Alberto to fill in for Odor at the keystone. Alberto, 23, had a serviceable .281/.312/.380 batting line in the minors and showed some speed, but he was hitting only .208/.220/.240 with no homers and one steal over his first 131 plate appearances at the big league level going into Tuesday. He can be ignored in all but the deepest of leagues.
Setback for Rodriguez
Eduardo Rodriguez was supposed to be back from his right knee injury by now. Instead, it looks like we might not see him for a while.
Red Sox manager John Farrell revealed in an interview on WEEI in Boston on Tuesday that the left-hander is “feeling some occasional soreness” in his knee, which he suffered a patella subluxation in early on in spring training. Rodriguez will continue to throw, but he will not make his scheduled start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday and it’s unclear when he might be cleared to return to game action.
“He went through a full exam today with Dr. [Pete] Asnis,” Farrell said. “We’re continuing to work on his mechanics, the strengthening of the quad and knee area, so we don’t feel like for him to try to get that extra velocity puts him at risk. The thing that we fear is if he doesn’t feel right in his lower half, that added exertion is going to come from solely the arm, and that may show up in something we’re not seeing right now. We don’t want to put him at risk for a potential arm injury, so we’re backing him off the start on Thursday. He’ll continue to throw the baseball; long toss, he’ll still have bullpen situations, but this is something we feel we need to address to accomplish that last 10 percent of that energy and effort in his delivery.”
Rodriguez hasn’t been displaying his normal velocity in his rehab outings to this point, and he’s recorded just 10 strikeouts over 21 rehab innings. It sounds like the reasoning could be that he’s holding back a bit due to the knee. While it doesn’t appear this is a major setback, it does figure to delay Rodriguez’s return to the big leagues for a while. Those in shallower leagues who could use the roster spot can probably feel free to go ahead and cut Rodriguez loose.
There is a positive development with another one of the Red Sox’ starters. Joe Kelly spun 6 1/3 scoreless innings while recording 10 strikeouts in a rehab start with Pawtucket on Monday, and it appears that was enough to convince the big club that he’s ready. Farrell all but announced Tuesday that Kelly would rejoin Boston’s rotation on Saturday against the Indians.
Kelly has been on the disabled list for the last month with an impingement in his right shoulder. However, he was able to get his fastball up in the upper-90s during Monday’s outing, so it appears he’s put the shoulder ailment in the rear view mirror. Kelly posted a 9.35 ERA and 11/10 K/BB ratio over 8 2/3 frames in his first three outings for the Red Sox before going on the DL. He toys with the Red Sox and fantasy owners with the big heat and occasional dominant outing, but Kelly is best off on the waiver wire in your standard league.
National League Quick Hits: The Pirates signed Francisco Cervelli to a three-year, $31 million contract extension … The Braves fired manager Fredi Gonzalez … Noah Syndergaard punched out 10 over seven scoreless innings in Tuesday’s victory over the Nationals … David Wright sat out Tuesday’s game with renewed discomfort in his back … Madison Bumgarner recorded 11 strikeouts while allowing just one run in a complete game win over the Padres … Clayton Kershaw whiffed 11 over eight frames of one-run ball in a win over the Angels … Joc Pederson smacked two homers on Tuesday … Brandon Crawford homered and drove in five in Tuesday’s win over the Padres … Chase Anderson was one strike away from a shutout but wound up allowing two runs over 8 2/3 frames on Tuesday versus the Cubs … Mallex Smith slugged a pair of two-run homers in Tuesday's loss to the Pirates … Vincent Velasquez recorded 10 strikeouts over five scoreless innings in Tuesday's 3-1 win over the Marlins … Steven Matz (elbow) is expected to rejoin the Mets' rotation Friday … Adrian Gonzalez sat out Tuesday’s game with a stiff back … Gregory Polanco doubled three times and had an RBI and two runs scored in Tuesday's win over the Braves … Tommy Joseph went 3-for-4 and ripped his first major league home run in Tuesday's victory over the Marlins … Jon Jay is day-to-day with a sore shoulder after jamming the shoulder last Friday … Lucas Duda is day-to-day with back soreness … The Cubs signed Joe Nathan (elbow) to a one-year contract with a club option for 2017 …
American League Quick Hits: Khris Davis launched three home runs, including a walk-off grand slam, in Tuesday’s win over the Rangers … Ian Desmond had a go-ahead, two-run homer in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s eventual loss to the A’s … Tyler White homered twice in Tuesday’s victory over the White Sox … Nelson Cruz went 3-for-3 with a homer and five RBI in Tuesday's win over the Orioles … Carlos Gomez was placed on the disabled list Tuesday with a bruised left rib cage … Michael Brantley was given an anti-inflammatory injection for his right shoulder on Tuesday … Mike Moustakas (thumb) is on track to return to the Royals' roster on Saturday … Paulo Orlando went 3-for-4 with a triple, a home run and four RBI in a win over the Red Sox … Travis Shaw went 3-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored against the Royals on Tuesday … Wade Miley tossed six shutout innings in Tuesday’s win over the Orioles … Yovani Gallardo (shoulder) is tentatively scheduled to resume throwing off a mound Sunday … Joaquin Benoit was activated from the disabled list Tuesday … The Astros called up third base prospect Colin Moran on Tuesday … Mark Canha will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a left hip impingement … Mike Clevinger will be called up from Triple-A Columbus to make his major league debut against the Reds on Wednesday … Jose Berrios was optioned to Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday …