Trouble for Taillon
The Pirates’ starting rotation took a major hit on Saturday when it was announced that ace right-hander Jameson Taillon was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right elbow flexor strain.
Any time that you’re talking about an elbow issue -- especially for a pitcher who has already undergone Tommy John surgery in the past -- it’s extremely worrisome.
The good news, is that his MRI results revealed that his surgically-repaired UCL is still intact. To be sure though, Taillon will meet with Dr. David Altchek -- the doctor who performed his Tommy John surgery -- to receive a second opinion.
In the meantime, Taillon has been shut down completely for at least the next four weeks. That means assuming all goes well and he avoids any setbacks, he still wouldn't be able to return until around the end of June.
This is a tough blow for fantasy owners who invested an early-round selection in the Pirates' right-hander. Taillon was the 52nd player overall --and 16th starting pitcher -- off the board in NFBC drafts in March.
Even though he hasn’t been at his best this season, Taillon has still been a useful arm from a fantasy perspective. Through his first seven starts, the right-hander was 3-2 with a 4.10 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 30/8 K/BB ratio across 37 ⅓ innings.
His absence will be a difficult one for fantasy owners, and the Pirates to overcome.
Triage for Treinen
Athletics’ manager Bob Melvin made a surprising announcement after Saturday’s loss to the Pirates, saying that closer Blake Treinen was not available for that contest due to right elbow discomfort. Melvin also noted that Treinen was unlikely to be available on Sunday.
Treinen is set to be examined by team doctors on Monday. It's obviously a troubling development for one of the most dominant closers in the league. Treinen hasn’t been his usual dominant self thus far in 2019, posting a 3.00 ERA, 1.53 WHIP and 18/11 K/BB ratio through his first 15 innings of work.
Any time an elbow or shoulder injury is mentioned for a pitcher, it’s a very real cause for concern. We’ll wait and see what happens with Monday’s exam, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Treinen shut down for at least a couple of weeks.
If Treinen is forced to spend time on the injured list, Lou Trivino would be the next man up in the ninth inning. He's worthy of a speculative add until Treinen's status becomes clearer. Trevino, 27, has been exceptional this season, compiling a 1.38 ERA, 0.62 WHIP and 16/2 K/BB ratio across his 13 innings of work.
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Reds’ top prospect Nick Senzel crossed one major milestone off of his list on Friday when he collected his first major league hit in his debut against the Giants.
On Saturday, he had dreams of crossing another item off the list. In the fifth inning, he made a serious bid for the first home run of his big league career, only to see Kevin Pillar scale the wall in center field to bring back the would-be home run.
The 23-year-old wasn’t phased though. In his next at-bat, he clobbered a Dereck Rodriguez offering over the wall in right-center field to account for the first home run of his budding big league career.
Senzel is now hitting .250/.450/.625 to in his first two games. If he’s somehow still available on any waiver wires in shallow formats, now would be the time to strike.
With baseballs flying out of the yard at a record pace this season, we’re witnessing more and more multi-homer games every night.
On Saturday, there were four such instances around the league of players leaving the yard multiple times:
Alex Bregman crushed a solo homer off of Trevor Cahill in the first inning on Saturday, then a three-run blast in the eighth as the Astros routed the Angels 14-2. The 25-year-old now has eight long balls on the season -- four of which have come in his last four ballgames.
Like Bregman, Josh Bell swatted his seventh and eighth home runs of the season as the Pirates topped the Athletics in Pittsburgh. Bell appears to be bouncing back in a big way after a miserable 2018 season, as he’s now slashing .291/.370/.627 with eight homers and 25 RBI in his first 30 games.
Padres’ major free agent acquisition Manny Machado also clobbered his seventh and eighth home runs of the season on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to lead the Padres past the Dodgers. Machado has now homered in two straight games, and like Bregman has blasted four in his last four games.
Red Sox’ rookie sensation Michael Chavis continued his torrid hitting in Saturday’s rout over the White Sox, going 4-for-6 with a pair of homers and a double. He’s now hitting a ridiculous .354/.466/.771 with six homers, 13 RBI and a pair of stolen bases in his first 14 games. While he’s unlikely to continue being a five-category fantasy monster for the remainder of the season, it sure looks like he’s here to stay and is going to be a valuable mixed league asset.
Six Knocks for Braun
On Saturday night, the Brewers and Mets played the longest game of the 2019 MLB season to-date, and the longest game in the history of Miller Park - an 18 inning marathon that ended in walk-off fashion.
After Pete Alonso blasted a game-tying solo homer in the ninth inning, neither side would score for the next eight innings. The Mets finally broke through in the top half of the 18th, scoring a run on an RBI single by Jeff McNeil to take the lead.
The Brewers answered right back through, as three of the first four hitters in the home half of the inning drew walks off of Chris Flexen, setting the stage for Ryan Braun. The veteran outfielder had already been the only Brewers’ hitter in the contest to tally more than one hit, in fact he had been 5-for-7 with a double already.
He wasn’t finished though, as he lined a walk-off two-run single to send the Brewers’ faithful home happy. The six hits were a new career-high for Braun and he became just the fifth player in big league history age-35 or older to tally six hits in a single game -- joining Chase Utley, Cal Ripken Jr., Omar Vizquel and Ty Cobb.
While Braun had a career night at the plate, the rest of the Brewers’ offense went a combined 5-for-54 (.093).
With three straight multi-hit games, Braun has raised his season slash from an anemic .194/.248/.378 to a respectable .263/.306/.491 in the matter of three days.
American League Quick Hits: James Paxton was officially placed on the 10-day injured list with left knee inflammation. It remains unclear just how much time the Yankees’ southpaw may miss. … Athletics’ prospect Sean Murphy will require surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee and will be sidelined for 4-to-8 weeks. … Austin Meadows (thumb) is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment next week… The Tigers designated Drew Verhagen for assignment after he gave up six runs in one inning against the Royals on Saturday. … The Mariners acquired Austin Adams from the Nationals in exchange for minor league left-hander Nick Wells and cash considerations. … Lourdes Gurriel will take reps in the outfield at Triple-A Buffalo so that he’s prepared to function in a super utility role upon his eventual return to the Blue Jays. … Jake Odorizzi struck out eight over six shutout innings in a victory over the Yankees. … Athletics’ manager Bob Melvin indicated that Matt Olson “could” return from the injured list next week. … Shohei Ohtani (elbow) logged six more plate appearances in simulated game action on Saturday and is expected to be activated prior to Tuesday’s game against the Tigers. … Carlos Santana clubbed a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning, powering the Indians past the Mariners. … Alex Gordon homered and drove in five runs as the Royals throttled the Tigers. … Adalberto Mondesi collected his MLB-leading sixth triple in that victory. ... Jeimer Candelario launched his first home run of the season in a losing effort there. … Dylan Bundy scattered three hits over 7 ⅓ shutout innings in a victory over the Rays. … Eduardo Rodriguez fanned six over six innings of one-run ball as he cruised to an easy victory over the White Sox. … Vladimir Guerrero Jr. collected his first big league RBI as the Blue Jays fell to the Rangers. … Shawn Kelley worked a scoreless ninth inning against the Blue Jays to earn his second save of the season.
National League Quick Hits: The Nationals placed superstar outfielder Juan Soto on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to May 1, due to back spasms. He’ll rest and rehab for the next four or five days before he resumes swinging a bat. … The Reds unexpectedly released veteran outfielder Matt Kemp. … Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that the Reds plan to promote Josh VanMeter from Triple-A Louisville on Sunday. The 24-year-old is slashing slashing .346/.432/.757 with 13 homers, 31 RBI and five stolen bases through his first 29 games at Triple-A. … The Rockies optioned struggling left-hander Tyler Anderson to Triple-A Albuquerque. … Cody Bellinger sat out Saturday’s game with a minor shoulder issue, but is expected to return to the Dodgers’ starting lineup on Sunday. … Matt Adams (shoulder) and Michael Taylor (wrist) will undergo MRI exams on Sunday after leaving Saturday’s game against the Phillies with injuries sustained while diving for balls in the field. … Adam Jones was pulled from Saturday’s game for precautionary reasons after feeling lightheaded. … Daniel Descalso was lifted from Saturday’s game with a sore left ankle. … Fernando Tatis Jr. (hamstring) was able to play catch and take some light swings on Saturday, the first time he has done any baseball activity since landing on the injured list with a left hamstring strain. … Keone Kela was lifted from Saturday’s game with right shoulder discomfort. … Javier Baez blasted a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning -- his 11th long ball of the season -- as the Cubs rallied to beat the Cardinals. … Taylor Davis blasted his first career home run, a grand slam, in that victory. … Mike Soroka struck out six and didn’t allow an earned run over seven dominant frames in a victory over the Marlins. … Ozzie Albies clobbered his third career grand slam as the Braves crushed the Marlins… Bryan Reynolds went 2-for-3 in Saturday’s victory over the Athletics, extending his career-opening hitting streak to 11 games -- tying a Pirates’ franchise record. … Luke Weaver struck out eight batters over seven innings of one-run baseball in an impressive victory over the Rockies at Coors Field. … Kurt Suzuki belted a pinch-hit, game-tying, three-run homer in the eighth inning on Saturday, then Victor Robles followed with a go-ahead homer to lead the Nationals to victory over the Phillies. … Gio Gonzalez struck out seven over 5 ⅓ innings of one-run ball in a no-decision against the Mets. … Zack Wheeler fanned 10 over seven innings of two-run ball in a no-decision there as well.. Rookie sensation Pete Alonso clubbed his 10th home run of the season -- a game-tying solo shot in the ninth inning -- forcing extra innings against the Brewers… Max Muncy clubbed a three-run homer in a win over the Padres… Kenley Jansen locked down the ninth inning there to record his 12th save.