MLB In Full Bloom - Johnny the Great! - 5/16/2014

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Johnny Cueto has been a good pitcher in the past. He won 19 games and finish fourth in the 2012 Cy Young voting. This season, however he's taken his game to a new level as we saw on Thursday afternoon with a dominant three hit shutout of the Padres improving his season numbers to 4-2 with a 1.25 ERA through nine starts. With a little more run support he could easily be 9-0 this year. Cueto has pitched at least seven innings each start and hasn't allowed more than two runs in a game. He has allowed 10 runs all season -- seven of those on home runs. His two losses were 2-1 and 1-0. Cueto had another no-decision when he pitched eight scoreless innings. He's the hottest pitcher in baseball right now.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Carlos Beltran could be sidelined 6-8 weeks if he needs surgery to remove bone spurs from his right elbow according to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. Cashman also added that Beltran is likely to be examined by Dr. James Andrews while on the disabled list. It's sounding like he'll likely be out until after the All-Star break if he winds up going under the knife.
  • Josh Hamilton (thumb) took batting practice on Thursday and everything went well. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Hamilton could begin a rehab assignment in about a week.
  • Ben Zobrist (thumb) has been placed on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday. Zobrist injured his thumb on a head-first slide into second base Wednesday, and will now represent yet another of the recent rash of players to have suffered a thumb injury on similar plays.
  • Hanley Ramirez and the Los Angeles Dodgers are currently in discussions on a long-term contract. Ramirez, eligible for free agency after this season, is seeking a contract in excess of $100 million, and probably well north of that figure. Since Jacoby Ellsbury received $153 million and Shin-Soo Choo received $130 million, it is safe to assume Ramirez has his mind made up that he wants to be in that zip code.
  • Starlin Castro had three hits including his sixth home run of the year in Thursday's loss to St. Louis. Castro continues to enjoy batting cleanup and he has multi-hit games in three of his last four starts.┬áCastro's strong start to the season is a welcomed sight for the Cubs and his fantasy owners.
  • Major League Baseball on Thursday announced the formation of a search committee to find a successor to commissioner Bud Selig, who is sticking with his plan to retire in January 2015 after 22 years in the position. Selig announced his intentions to retire in September 2013 and now the search will begin to find the next commissioner. There are several names mentioned in the report, but the name that caught my attention was former President George W. Bush.
  • Chris Getz has decided to retire from baseball after the Blue Jays took him off their 40-man roster earlier this week. Getz decided to hang up his cleats rather than report to Triple-A Buffalo. Getz is looking to start a family and pursue other endeavors in and around the game. Getz finishes his seven year career with a .250 batting average with 3 home runs and 111 RBIs.