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Storylines: Harper will miss significant time

Storylines: Harper will miss significant time
Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper. (Alex Brandon/AP Photo)
April 29, 2014
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In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.

Here are the stories from Monday, April 28th.

Top Stories:

  • The Nationals have been plagued by injuries in 2014, and ESPN’s Keith Law reported that their luck isn’t getting any better. Multiple sources told Law that Bryce Harper will undergo surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb and be sidelined until "at least early July." Harper injured the thumb while sliding into third base against the Padres on Friday night.

Tribe News:

 

  • The Indians scored just five runs, hit .162 as a team and went 2-for-20 with runners in scoring position during their three losses to the Giants over the weekend. On the season, Cleveland has a .237 team average, with a .218 average with runners in scoring position.
     
  • During the three-game series in San Francisco, Cleveland's 1-3 hitters (Bourn, Swisher and Kipnis) hit a combined .324 with four extra-base hits, four runs and four RBIs. The rest of the lineup hit a combined .074, with the 4-6 hitters (Santana, Brantley and Asdrubal Cabrera) going 0-for-29 as a group.
     
  • Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reported that the last time the left-handed-hitting Lonnie Chisenhall made an out against a left-handed pitcher came on Aug. 8 of last season. From Aug. 9 through Sunday, the Indians had 821 at-bats against lefties as a team. During that span, Chisenhall had only two at-bats against a southpaw, and hit a pair of singles in that extremely small sample.
     
  • Terry Francona was asked if moving Carlos Santana down in the order could alleviate some pressure for the cleanup man and Francona said that is not always the case. "It can," he said, "but it depends on who the person is. Sometimes guys think maybe you lost confidence in them. There's lot of things that come into play."

 

News and Notes:

  • Jason Hammel will be made available for a trade this summer if he stays healthy, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  With Hammel pitching well and signed to only a one-year deal, it has been expected that the Cubs will look to move him as they did Scott Feldman last summer.
     
  • Phil Nevin, the Diamondbacks‘ Triple-A manager, would likely be the choice to replace Kirk Gibson in the Major League dugout if GM Kevin Towers decides a change is necessary, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported. This is only Nevin’s first season in the Arizona organization, though he has ties to Towers from his playing days in San Diego (when Towers was the Padres’ GM).  Prior to joining the D’Backs, Nevin managed the Tigers’ Triple-A team from 2011-13 and their Double-A team in 2010.
     
  • The Marlins could've added more veteran depth to their young rotation over the offseason, yet manager Mike Redmond, pitching coach Chuck Hernandez and the front office all decided that the young arms were the way to go, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro wrote.
     
  • The Tigers have a clear need for bullpen help but finding relief arms is easier said than done, MLive.com’s Chris Iott wrote.  Iott’s reasons include the difficulty of making trades this early in the season, the scarcity of quality left-handers and the amount of competition that Detroit could have in signing free agent Joel Hanrahan.
     
  • Delaying a prospect's Super Two service clock is "not a driving factor" behind the Pirates‘ decision to call up a young star, GM Neal Huntington told Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in regards to Gregory Polanco‘s continued presence at Triple-A.  Huntington said that Polanco is "continuing to refine some of the intricacies of his game" and didn’t give details for fear that opposing teams would use the info against the outfielder (an explanation that Biertempfel doesn’t buy).  
     
  • A roster shakeup is coming for the Orioles, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun wrote, noting that both Manny Machado and Troy Patton will be joining the club soon as they return from knee surgery and a 25-game suspension for Adderall usage.
     
  • Rangers right-hander Scott Baker is pitching well in Triple-A (2.81 ERA in 32 innings) and has received interest from several other teams as his May 1 opt-out date approaches, MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo reported. Baker would only opt out of his current deal if it led to a Major League opportunity with another club, he added. Baker’s former club, the Twins, isn’t interested in a reunion, according to reports from this past weekend.
     
  • The Giants will lose one of their top prospects to Tommy John surgery, but it’s not a pitcher; Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that top hitting prospect Mac Williamson will undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday and miss the 2014 season. Baseball America ranked Williamson as San Francisco’s No. 5 prospect heading into the year, and MLB.com ranked him ninth. The 23-year-old hit .292/.375/.504 with 25 homers at Class-A Advanced last season.
     
  • The Yankees signed Chris Leroux to a Major League contract and added the right-hander to their 25-man roster, the club announced over the weekend.  Leroux joined the Yankees on a minor league deal signed in January.
     
  • The Diamondbacks announced that acquired right-hander Lucas Harrell from the Astros in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Harrell will be assigned to Triple-A Reno.

User Comments

Walter
April 29, 2014 - 10:09 AM EDT
He did go 2 for 4 last night. He was the offense last night. The problem is when couple people get hot the rest of the linup goes cold. 3 hits on Sunday and only 5 hits last nite. When your not hitting any small error by a fielder or bad pitch by the pitcher hurts this team big time.
Hermie13
April 29, 2014 - 9:57 AM EDT
I'd like to see something different, but that is the general idea I mentioned at the end with just flipping Santana and Swisher. Not a fan of Swisher cleanup but for a few games it could be ok. Could also just bump Swisher and Kip back a spot though that would put back-to-back lefties in the middle which Francona seems opposed to.
GSon
April 29, 2014 - 9:25 AM EDT
@Hermie...

So you'd like to see:

CF Bourn
DH Santana
2B Kipnis
1B Swisher(?)
LF Brantley
C Gomes
RF Murphy
SS Cabrera
3B Chisenhall

..as the semi-regular lineup.. with Aviles, Raburn, Elliot Johnson & Big G on the bench?
Hermie13
April 29, 2014 - 9:17 AM EDT
I still think an option is moving Santana up, not down, in the lineup for a few games. Joe Maddon has done this with struggling players, in particular Carlos Pena. Santana is still walking a ton. Maybe getting him in front of a guy like Kipnis will allow him to see some better pitches and help him out...

Could do something as simple as flip-flop Swisher and Santana for a couple games.

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