MLB In Full Bloom - Cliff Lee Lands on DL - 5/21/2014

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The Phillies will place Cliff Lee the disabled list today after an MRI revealed a Grade 1/2 strain of the flexor tendon in his left elbow. Lee originally felt soreness in the elbow during his April 16th start against the Braves, and the discomfort returned during Sunday’s outing against the Reds. The MRI was ordered after he still felt sore while playing catch on Monday. While the Phillies are hopeful that Lee will be ready to go when his 15 days are up, it is far from a sure thing at this point. Lee will be shut down for a week before resuming a throwing program. The Phillies have named a replacement starter for Saturday, when Lee’s next turn comes up. However, keep an eye on David Buchanan who is currently scheduled to pitch on Saturday for Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Buchanan impressed the Phillies during spring training but has struggled so far for Lehigh Valley, posting a 3.98 ERA over nine starts.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Chris Davis went 4-for-5 with three home runs and five RBI in Tuesday's win over the Pirates. A slow start and oblique injury made Davis a frustrating player for fantasy owners during the first six weeks of the season, but the hope is that Tuesday's performance is the start of something big for him.
  • Masahiro Tanaka suffered his first professional loss since August of 2012 to the Cubs on Tuesday night in Chicago. Tanaka surrendered four runs -- three earned -- over six innings. Tanaka struck out seven batters and gave up just one walk, but the Cubs got to him for eight hits on a wet night at Wrigley Field. Tanaka is now 6-1 with a 2.39 ERA and will face the White Sox in his next outing.
  • Adam Wainwright was on cruise control and nearly perfect last night as he threw a one-hit shutout against the Diamondbacks as he led the Cardinals to an easy 5-0 victory. The only mistake on the night was a two-out double by Paul Goldschmidt in the fourth inning. Otherwise, Wainwright was brilliant and didn't walk a batter while striking out nine.  He'll take a 1.85 ERA into Sunday's start at the Reds.
  • Sean Doolitte has been named the Athletics closer according to manager Doug Melvin on Tuesday. Doolittle closed out the Rays with a scoreless ninth inning Tuesday to earn his third save of the season and with a 3.27 ERA over 22 innings this season, Doolittle is the team's best reliever.
  • Adrian Gonzalez went 3-for-4 with a walk, a double, and a two-run home run in Tuesday's win over the Mets. Gonzalez's 11th long ball of the season came against Rafael Montero in the fifth inning. He was a triple short of the cycle, but no one was holding their breath in anticipation of that happening. Gonzalez is now batting .287 with 32 RBI on the season.
  • Dodgers prospect Alex Guerrero was the victim on Tuesday night and could miss five weeks after Triple-A Albuquerque teammate Miguel Olivo bit off part of the infielder's ear during a dugout fight on Tuesday. Guerrero was taken to the hospital immediately after the incident and he required plastic surgery to repair the damaged ear. Olivo first became aggravated when Guerrero failed to tag out a runner following a throw from the catcher, with their disagreement turning physical before teammates intervened. This could not have come at a worse time for the Dodgers because this fight came on the same day that Juan Uribe was placed on the disabled with a hamstring injury, which may have led to Guerrero being recalled from the minors.
  • The cat, named Tara, that became famous for saving a central California boy from a dog attack "threw" the first pitch Tuesday night at a Bakersfield Blaze baseball game. Tara was captured on a security camera pounced on a dog that attacked her 4-year-old human, Jeremy Triantafilo. The video currently has 21 million views on YouTube. Tara also has her own Twitter account (@TaraNinjaCat) and has 27 followers as of this morning.

MLB In Full Bloom - First-Year Player Draft Full of Pitching Prospects - 5/20/2014

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The start of the major league season this week means we're roughly two months away from the 2014 MLB First-Year Player draft, held annually from June 6 to June 8. This year's class is especially deep on the mound, with a trio of college pitchers in left-hander Carlos Rodon (North Carolina State), right-hander Jeff Hoffman (East Carolina) and Tyler Beede (Vanderbilt) expected to come off the board within the first 10 picks. Prep standouts Brady Aiken (LHP) and Tyler Kolek (RHP) are also in the mix. There are a few impact hitters sprinkled into this year's class, as outfielder Bradley Zimmer (San Francisco) and catcher/outfielder Alex Jackson represent the top college and prep bats and will likely be drafted in the top half of the first round.

The Houston Astros have the first selection in the first-year player draft next month and are expected to select one of the top pitching prospects. The Astros are followed by the Marlins, White Sox, Cubs, and the Twins that round out the top 5 picks.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Dallas Keuchel threw 8 2/3 innings of two-run ball and he struck out eight Angels along the way. He allowed just five hits as the Astros beat the Angels 5-2 on Monday. Keuchel was the story in this one as he induced 16 ground ball outs and commanded the lower part of the strike zone all night. He's been a must-own in mixed leagues for a few weeks now, but is still held in just 40% of Yahoo! leagues. Keuchel will look to keep it going in his next start on Saturday in Seattle.
  • Michael Cuddyer (hamstring) will be activated from the disabled list later today. Cuddyer has been out since mid-April with a left hamstring strain, but needed just one rehab game with Triple-A Colorado Springs to prepare to return to the Rockies.. His return figures to have an impact on playing time for Corey Dickerson and Drew Stubbs.
  • David Freese (finger) is expected to be activated from the disabled list in advance of Tuesday's game against the Astros. Freese has been out since the beginning of May with a fractured right middle finger. He went 2-for-10 with two homers over three rehab games with Triple-A Salt Lake. Kole Calhoun is also expected to return from the disabled list on Wednesday, so the Angels could soon be faced with some tough roster decisions over the next few days.
  • Jose Abreu (ankle) will wear a boot for the next several days and needs rest as he is only dealing with inflammation, and no structural damage in his ankle. Abreu will be re-evaluated on the team's upcoming homestand, which will begin on Thursday.
  • The Stephen Drew bidding is about to begin after the First-Year Player Draft on June 5th, as teams will no longer have to give up a draft pick in order to sign him.  There is no word on who could be involved in the bidding for Drew, but teams like the Tigers and Yankees make sense as potential fits.
  • Jason Castro went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored as the Astros beat the Angels 5-2 on Monday. Castro has extra-base hits in four of his past six games and he continues to bring up his batting average - now batting .225 - after hitting safely in 10 of 13 May games.
  • Carlos Marmol was released by the Miami Marlins on Monday. Marmol was designated for assignment by the Marlins eight days ago and apparently drew no interest from other teams on the waiver wire. He surrendered 12 earned runs in 13 1/3 innings for Miami.

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