MLB In Full Bloom - Samardzija FINALLY Gets A Win - 5/27/2014

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Jeff Samardzija received a beer shower Monday, a tradition typically reserved for a pitcher who earns his first major league victory. But with the Cubs were so relieved to end their ace's 16-start winless drought, it was time to let the suds fly. After the win, Samardzija recalled his first big-league dousing, which came on July 27, 2008, and considering how long it had been since he earned a victory, that drought seemed almost as long as the time between beer showers. Samardzija (1.68) no longer owns the majors' lowest ERA, but he no doubt impressed several scouts representing the Red Sox and Twins among others who watched him alternate effectively with an 86-mph slider and 96-mph fastball while finally earning a victory.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Hyun-Jin Ryu took a perfect game into the eighth inning Monday and then barely held on for the win after being charged with three runs in 7 1/3 innings. Ryu reached on an error and came around to score in the bottom of the seventh, which may have led to a shaky eighth. Ryu gave up a double and a single before being pulled and Brian Wilson came on and retired just one of the four hitters he faced. He allowed the two inherited runners to score and it forced Dodgers manager Don Mattingly to call on Kenley Jansen in a 4-3 game. Jansen got the Dodgers out of a bases loaded situation by striking out Brandon Phillips.
  • George Springer continued his assault of big league pitching Monday, hitting a pair of doubles and a home run in the Astros' 9-2 victory over the Royals. Springer went 4-for-4 with three RBI and five runs scored. Springer entered this evening hitting .291 with 18 RBI, 14 runs scored and seven home runs in May.
  • Josh Hamilton (thumb) was diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left thumb on Monday. The Angels have him listed as day-to-day and will try to resume batting practice on Wednesday. There was concern that Hamilton re-injured his surgically-repaired thumb, but the bone bruise diagnosis confirmed that this is not a major setback. It obviously makes it unlikely that Hamilton will return later this week as originally planned.
  • Gio Gonzalez (shoulder) stretched out his long toss program to 120 feet on Monday, and Nats manager Matt Williams says he's feeling good. It doesn't look like Gonzalez will be ready to pitch when he's eligible to come off the disabled list on June 1, but a return to the rotation in the first week of June is certainly possible.
  • Cliff Lee (elbow) was evaluated by Phillies' medical personnel on Monday and hasn't been cleared to resume throwing. The plan calls for him to be reevaluated in three days. Lee was diagnosed with a Grade 1/2 flexor strain of his left elbow earlier this month and there's no clear timetable for his return.
  • A.J. Ellis (ankle) was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 25 with a right ankle sprain. Ellis just returned from knee surgery less than two weeks ago, but he apparently suffered the injury in Josh Beckett's no-hitter celebration on Sunday. He stepped on Drew Butera's mask during the celebration. Tim Federowicz will take his spot on the active roster.
  • The Chicago Cubs are in the middle of a massive rebuilding project and opened the season with a payroll around $90 million, which places them in the bottom third of the league in payroll. The MLBPA is concerned about the Cubs lack of spending and how it is effecting player markets. The Cubs topped out with a $144 million payroll in 2009, but have lowered it in each of the last five years. The club has made some modest free agent signings, but have not made a big splash in recent years.

MLB In Full Bloom - Will Prince Fielder Miss Remainder Of 2014? - 5/23/2014

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Prince Fielder's consecutive games played streak was snapped at 547 games on Saturday due to a herniated disk in his neck and it turns out that the injury will have major ramifications for the Rangers and fantasy owners. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels announced Thursday that Fielder is tentatively scheduled to undergo neck surgery on Tuesday. He'll receive a second opinion on the injury, but the expectation is that he will have the C-5 and C-6 disks in his neck fused. The normal timeline for recovery after this type of surgery is about 3-4 months, which essentially ends his season. The Rangers already had 13 players on the disabled list and this is the biggest blow that could end the Rangers opportunity to remain a factor in the AL West.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Sonny Gray pitched eight innings of one-run ball Thursday in a no-decision against the Rays. Gray only avoided the loss when the A's scored off Grant Balfour in the ninth. He's a perfect 10-for-10 in quality starts, but he owns a 5-1 record. 
  • Mark Buehrle limited the Red Sox to two runs in seven innings to earn his eighth victory Thursday. Buehrle avenged his one loss of the season, which came at the end of April. In that game, Buehrle gave up seven runs -- six earned -- and 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings. That previous start against Boston was the only one all year in which he'd allowed more than three runs
  • Manny Machado (groin) was removed from Thursday's game as a precaution according to Orioles manager Buck Showalter. It appeared Machado might have tweaked his right groin on a slide into second base. He'll be re-evaluated Friday, but it doesn't sound like the third baseman is in any danger of landing on the disabled list. Consider him day-to-day for now.
  • Ryan Braun (oblique) left Thursday's game versus the Braves in the fifth inning with tightness in his right side. Braun returned from the disabled list just over a week ago after being sidelined with a right oblique injury, so this obviously isn't good news. A trip back to the disabled list is certainly a possibility for him.
  • Wandy Rodriguez was designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday. The Pirates had to make this move after Rodriguez allowed six runs (one earned) in just 1 2/3 innings in his last start and will depart having posted a 6.75 ERA. Rodriguez tried to pitch through an arthritic elbow and will likely pass through waivers. Brandon Cumpton appears to be the frontrunner to take the rotation spot now that Rodriguez is gone.
  • Chris Davis is expected to be away from the Orioles on Sunday and Monday for the birth of his child. The Orioles will place Davis on the paternity leave list, which allows him to be away from the club for 24 to 72 hours.
  • A Norman Rockwell painting of Boston Red Sox players has sold to a private buyer for $22.6 million. "The Rookie" shows Hall of Famer Ted Williams and other seasoned veterans as an awkward newcomer arrives for spring training.

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