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Masahiro Tanaka lands on the disabled list
Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka has been one of the best starting pitchers in baseball this season, but yesterday we learned that he was placed on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation. He was scheduled to fly back to New York yesterday to have an MRI on his ailing right elbow, and one can't help but wonder if he will be the latest in the long list of pitchers going down to Tommy John surgery.
Let's hope he doesn't have to go under the knife, but if he does, he will finish his rookie season with a 12-4 record, 2.51 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 2.57 xFIP, 1.01 WHIP and a 135-19 strikeout to walk rate in 129.1 innings. He currently ranks 7th among qualified starters with a 3.2 fWAR.
We should learn more about the results of his MRI in the next day or two. If he is out for more than 15 days, I expect to see the Yankees trading for a starting pitcher by the end of the month.
For more on Tanaka and the Yankees, make sure you head on over to Pinstripe Alley, SB Nation's Yankees fan site.
Tigers ace Max Scherzer hit a rough patch in a six start stretch from late May to the middle of June, (where he gave up 30 earned runs in 39.1 innings) but has bounced back with four consecutive quality starts, including Wednesday's afternoon start vs the Dodgers. Scherzer limited the Dodgers to one run on 4 hits, 2 walks and 7 strikeouts in the Tigers 4-1 win. Scherzer moved his record to 11-3 with a 3.35 ERA, 2.94 FIP, 3.16 xFIP, a 1.17 WHIP and an absurd 145-23 strikeout to walk rate in 126.1 innings.
Yesterday was July 9th and Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still hitting .350 on the season after going 2-4 with two solo home runs in the Rockies 6-3 win over the Padres. Tulowitzki is now hitting .350-.441-.615 with 20 home runs, 70 runs scored and 49 RBI, and is on pace for 35 home runs and 123 runs scored. Yesterday, Rockies owner Dick Monfort stated that he has no intentions of trading Tulo, despite Tulo's quotes late last week indicating he would like to play for a team that wins every year. Tulowitzki leads all National League hitters with his 4.8 fWAR, second only to Mike Trout's 5.5 fWAR for the MLB lead.
Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton started the season on fire, then injured his thumb sliding into first base and missed about two months. Since returning from the disabled list, Hamilton has not fared well at the plate, hitting .268-.330-.361 in 97 June at bats, and .194-.333-.387 in July. In addition, he has struck out 49 times in 149 plate appearances with just 3 home runs and 16 RBI. FanGraphs' Jeff Sullivan wrote a piece on Hamilton yesterday, and in that piece he showed that Hamilton is seeing the least amount of fastballs and cutters in baseball. In fact, he is seeing the lowest number of hard stuff than any batter since 2002. Here is how Sullivan finished the piece:
Over the history that we have, Hamilton is seeing fewer fastballs than anyone ever. In turn, he's whiffing more than ever, and striking out more than ever. Each month, the fastball rate has gone down. Perhaps, at some point, Hamilton will adjust. But if he doesn't, this could be a hell of a thing to monitor.
Not good for his fantasy owners.....yes, I own him.
Mets starter Dillon Gee returned from the disabled list on Wednesday and limited the Braves to just one run on 6 hits, a walk and 4 strikeouts in the Mets 4-1 win. Gee is now 4-1 with a 2.56 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and a 37-16 strikeout to walk rate in 59.2 innings. He has put up quality starts in each of his last six starts dating back to April 16th and is available in 78% of league right now.
Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper returned from the disabled list back on June 30th, and since then he has gone 4-28 with with 11 strikeouts, 4 walks, no home runs and one RBI. He is probably just working through some rust, but I heard someone on MLB Network radio say that he may not be 100% healthy right now, indicating he may have been rushed to return from the DL. Time will tell, but he has plenty of time to get back on track for his fantasy owners.
The Astros waited till mid-April to call up outfielder George Springer when many thought he should have made the team out of spring training. He has struggled with the strikeouts, as expected, but when he does make contact, he makes them count. Last night, he went 2-4 with a home run and 2 RBI in the Astros win over the Rangers (they are leading 8-4 in the 8th inning as I write this). Springer isn't hitting for a high average, but he now has 19 home runs, 44 runs scored, 50 RBI, 5 stolen bases and a 109-37 strikeout to walk rate in 318 plate appearances. He is one pace for 33 home runs, 87 RBI and 9 stolen bases at this point. As a Springer owner, I have to say I am shocked that he has 19 home runs and 50 RBI already.
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