MLB In Full Bloom - Masahiro Tanaka's Strong Start - 5/15/2014

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Masahiro Tanaka was brilliant on Wednesday night and it showed us all why the New York Yankees and several other teams were eager to sign the right-hander. His brilliance was  on full display in the third game of the Subway Series as he earned his first major league shutout in only his eighth career start. Tanaka threw 114 pitches in the complete game gem, scattering four hits while striking out eight and walking none. Tanaka has been nothing short of dominant to this point, compiling a 6-0 record, 2.17 ERA in 58 innings. Not only does he look well worth the massive investment that the Yankees made in him, but he currently looks like the early front-runner for the American League Cy Young Award.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Jose Abreu hit a three-run home run in the eighth inning to help give the White Sox a 4-2 win over the Athletics on Wednesday. Abreu has 15 homers in his first 42 Major League games and he has posed some ridiculous numbers that include .620 slugging percentage. He leads the American League in home runs, RBI (41) and slugging percentage, and is fourth in runs scored (28) and OPS (.941).
  • Martin Perez was diagnosed with a partial tear of the UCL in his left elbow. Torn elbow ligaments and Tommy John surgery go hand in hand, and it's already been suggested as an option for Martin. A non-surgical option also exists and Perez will consult with the Rangers on the next move. Either way, we're not likely to see the left-hander back any time soon. Nick Tepesch was recalled from Triple-A to take Perez's spot in the Ranger's rotation.
  • Matt Harrison (back) was placed on the 15-day disabled list with lower back inflammation. We all know the injury is much more serious than that as Harrison is looking at the possibility of needing spinal fusion surgery, which could end his career. Nick Martinez will come out of the bullpen to take Harrison's spot in the rotation.
  • Dillon Gee (lat) was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a strained right lat. Gee was scheduled to pitch today against the Yankees, but the back issue popped up during his bullpen session, which lead the Mets to call an audible. There had been no indication he had sustained an injury during his six-inning outing against the Phillies in his last start.
  • The Atlanta Braves released on Wednesday conceptual drawings of their planned 41,000-plus seat Cobb County Stadium. The Braves announced in November their intention to move to Cobb County into a new $622 million stadium for the 2017 season. The team also plans to open the first phase of its surrounding mixed-use project, a blend of bars, shops, restaurants, office space, hotels and residences, in 2017 with full completion slated for 2019. The ballpark looks very traditional and does not have a roof of any kind.
  • Major League Baseball will not discipline umpire Paul Nauert for briefly putting his hand on Torii Hunter's face during a benches-clearing altercation in Monday's game between the Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles. Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president of on-field operations, reviewed the incident and talked with Nauert. Sources report that Torre and Nauert agreed on how the situation could have been misunderstood by the public. If a Major League player touches an umpire, it is an immediate suspension, but that is not the way it is for umpires. For the record, Hunter said that he was not bothered by Nauert and in fact, the umpire was helping him calm down and not get in a fight.
  • Pablo Sandoval (toe) left Wednesday's game with a sore left big toe. Despite aggravating the toe in his first at-bat, he stayed in the game for awhile and finished 2-for-3 a run and a RBI. He is considered day-to-day. Joaquin Arias would likely play third base if Sandoval misses more time.

MLB In Full Bloom - Bronson Arroyo Outduels Strasburg - 5/14/2014

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Bronson Arroyo turned in a complete game gem on Tuesday, keeping the Nationals to one run in a 3-1 victory on Tuesday night in Phoenix. Arroyo gave up seven hits, walked one, and struck out seven. Nobody is more pleased by Arroyo's recent resurgence than GM Kevin Towers. Arroyo has now strung together four straight stellar outings after opening with a 9.50 ERA in four outings, leaving him 4-2 with a 4.24 ERA.  Over his last three starts, Arroyo (4-2) has allowed one earned run in 23 1/3 innings. He also became the second pitcher to get two hits off Strasburg. Unless you're an NL-only player, Arroyo isn't a fantasy option when he faces the Dodgers on Sunday.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Jose Fernandez (elbow) will have Tommy John Surgery and on Tuesday the Marlins confirmed that he has a "significant" tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Recovery time will be 12-18 months. The Marlins have recalled Anthony DeSclafani from Double-A Jacksonville. He will make his major league debut today.
  • Carlos Beltran (elbow) will rest for two or three days to see if the cortisone shot he had Tuesday will enable him to play with the bone spur that was detected in his elbow by a recent MRI.  If the next few days of rest don't enable him to proceed with less pain, Beltran is facing the possibility of in-season surgery. A timetable for his return in that case is unclear, but it would likely be an injury that sidelines him for several weeks.
  • Brian McCann had his second three-hit game of the season Tuesday, going 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBI in a losing effort against the Mets. McCann now has a modest four-game hitting streak going and is up to 15 RBI, 15 runs, and five home runs through 126 at-bats this season.
  • Josh Beckett allowed an unearned run on four hits over 6 1/3 innings in Tuesday’s win over the Marlins, lowering his ERA to 2.38. This is Beckett's first victory since 2012 and he has been dynamite since returning from the disabled list, going 1-1 with a 2.38 ERA in seven starts. Beckett will face with the Phillies this weekend in his next start.
  • David Price went the distance on Tuesday night against the Mariners as he struck out 12, in the Rays' 2-1 victory. He retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced, with the one batter that did reach on a grounder that was just too soft to turn into an out. It was Price's second 12-strikeout game of the year.
  • Both Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg and Mets first baseman Lucas Duda say they caught food poisoning from hamburgers they got at Citi Field's Shake Shack during the series between the two clubs this past weekend. Both are feeling better, but Sandberg reported that he lost six pounds because if this incident.
  • Mike Trout received a standing ovation from roughly 8,000 hometown residents from his hometown in nearby Millville, New Jersey who took over the ballpark in Philadelphia on Tuesday night. Trout went 1-for-5 in this one. Busload after busload full of Millville residents made the 45-mile drive to participate in what officially became known as "Millville Night" in Philadelphia, and each fan that came for the ride was there to see Trout inflict some damage on the Phillies. To the Phillies credit, they embraced the takeover, not only by naming the night in Millville's honor, but also by showing a video tribute to the town before the game and inviting current mayor Michael Santiago to throw out the first pitch.

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