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As the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants got together for their second series of the 2022 season following their epic battle for supremacy in the National League West last year, pitching news took center stage Friday.
Before the Giants beat the Dodgers 7-2 at Oracle Park, the Dodgers announced left-hander Clayton Kershaw would return a day earlier than planned and will start Saturday’s nationally televised game. The decision was more to give fellow lefty Julio Urías an extra day of rest. Kershaw will be making his first start since May 7 after his sacroiliac joint injury, which was originally thought to only sideline him briefly.
Then, just as the Dodgers’ rotation was seemingly regaining its health after Andrew Heaney returned Thursday, right-hander Walker Buehler exited Friday’s game after four innings with right elbow discomfort. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Buehler will have an MRI exam that will determine the severity, but it certainly sounds like he will swap places with Kershaw on the IL. The Giants’ Friday starter was Jacob Junis, who strained his left hamstring and could be headed to the injured list. Also, the Giant’s third baseman Evan Longoria left the game with left hamstring tightness. Sam Long draws the starting assignment for the Giants against the Dodgers in Saturday’s game.
Phillies Remain Perfect Since Girardi Firing
Maybe it really was Joe Girardi’s fault. OK, just kidding. After all, Girardi didn’t throw a pitch or take an at-bat for the Philadelphia Phillies this season. But you have to wonder what was going on before the Phillies fired Girardi a week ago Friday. Since then, the Phils haven’t lost, winning all seven games under interim manager Rob Thompson and eight in a row overall following a 7-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Friday’s victory saw the top two hitters in the order, Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins, combine for three homers, with Hoskins popping a pair. That helped Thompson tie former Boston Red Sox skipper Joe M. Morgan in winning his first seven games as a major-league manager. Morgan won his first 12 with the 1988 Red Sox.
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) June 11, 2022
Buxton Has Back-To-Back Two-Homer Games
Byron Buxton’s speed is elite. His power potential is tantalizing. Entering this season, the question was whether he could put the two together and remain healthy in the process. As we approach mid-June, Buxton is showing why he was the second overall pick of the 2012 MLB Draft. He crushed the second pitch of Friday’s game from Tampa Bay Rays starter Drew Rasmussen into the second deck in left field, then added his 17th blast of the season in the fifth inning for his second straight two-homer game. It also gave him five homers in three games. Can Buxton hit two homers in a game for three games in a row? Buxton would be the fifth player in MLB history to accomplish the feat if he does.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) June 11, 2022
Guardians Shock A’s With Rally In 9th
Oakland A’s right-hander Paul Blackburn had thoroughly shut down the Cleveland Guardians, throwing eight shutout innings, allowing just four hits, and returning 17 of the final 18 batters he faced. There would be no complete game, though, as he was at 101 pitches with a 2-0 lead. Not facing Blackburn was just the tonic the Guardians needed as José Ramírez greeted reliever Dany Jiménez with a homer leading off the ninth. A walk to Josh Naylor, a double by Oscar Gonzalez, and back-to-back sacrifice flies by Owen Miller and Luke Maile gave the Guardians a 3-2 walk-off victory.
— Cleveland Guardians (@CleGuardians) June 11, 2022
Mize, Kittredge To Have Tommy John Surgery
Detroit Tigers right-handed starter Casey Mize, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2018 draft, will need Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. The move likely means the 25-year-old will not return until the 2024 season. Mize has only made two starts this season, going five innings each April 9 and April 14. He allowed six runs on 13 hits, with two walks and four strikeouts combined. Mize had been on the 10-day injured list this season with right elbow discomfort and had his rehab assignment slowed down in mid-May after a rough outing.
Ray’s right-hander Andrew Kittredge is also having Tommy John surgery. Because Kittredge is a reliever and doesn’t have to build up innings as Mize would need to do, it is possible he could return late in the 2023 season. The 32-year-old had a career year in 2021, posting a 1.88 ERA with 15 walks and 77 strikeouts with eight saves in 71⅔ innings. This season, he had a 3.15 ERA with two walks and 14 strikeouts with five saves in 20 innings.
Twins Lose Lewis for Season
Royce Lewis, the Twins’ top prospect who was injured making a catch against the wall in his first game since being recalled from Triple-A, will have season-ending surgery to repair a partially torn ACL in his right knee. It is the second time in about 17 months that Lewis will have the same knee ligament surgically repaired. The 22-year-old is expected to miss 12 months, the same amount of time he was out after having surgery in February 2021. Lewis made his major-league debut this season and was slashing .300/.317/.550 with two homers and five RBIs in 12 games before being injured on May 29.
Cano Sticks With Padres On Minors Deal
Apparently, the San Diego Padres aren’t done with Robinson Canó just yet. The second baseman signed a minor-league deal with the Padres and was sent to Triple-A El Paso. Cano slashed just .091/.118/.091 with no homers and one RBI in 12 games with the Padres and was designated for assignment last week. Cano was basically a risk-free gamble for the Padres, who waited for the eight-time All-Star who has been suspended twice for PEDs to clear waivers after being DFA’d by the New York Mets. With New York, Cano also appeared in 12 games with a slash line of .195/.233/.268 with one homer and three RBIs. The Mets remain on the hook for Cano’s $24 million salary this season and another $24 million next season except for the prorated minimum salary the Padres will pay him this year.
Frazier DFA’d By Cubs
Clint Frazier, a former top prospect drafted fifth overall in 2013 by the Cleveland Indians, was designated for assignment by the Chicago Cubs as part of a series of moves. Frazier, a key part of a four-player trade the Indians made in 2016 with the New York Yankees to acquire left-handed reliever Andrew Miller, was slashing .216/.356/.297 with no homers and one RBI in 45 plate appearances with the Cubs this season. Frazier has not played more than 69 games in any of his six major-league seasons (247 total games), with a career slash line of .238/.329/.427 with 29 homers and 98 RBIs.
Infighting Among Orioles Heirs
While Peter Angelos is still alive, two of his sons are fighting for who gets control of the Baltimore Orioles once their father passes, according to the Baltimore Banner. The 92-year-old Peter Angelos’ health has been a concern since he collapsed in 2017 due to the failure of an aortic valve, according to a lawsuit in which Louis Angelos, 52, is suing his brother John Angelos, 54, as well as his mother. Peter Angelos reportedly made the three co-trustees, but the lawsuit filed by Louis says that John has made a power grab.
Best Moments From Yesterday
With so much downtime during games, starting pitchers generally have to find ways to entertain themselves when they aren’t pitching. But Friday saw Joe Musgrove of the San Diego Padres and Chad Kuhl of the Colorado Rockies have some fun DURING the game. The former Pittsburgh Pirates teammates played a game of tic-tac-toe on the back of the Petco Park mound during San Diego’s 9-0 victory. Musgrove went first and, well, we will let the video below show you what happened the rest of the way. (BTW, the respective team Twitter accounts got involved with a little trash talk involved.)
— MLB (@MLB) June 11, 2022
In another light-hearted moment in the Padres-Rockies game, Colorado’s José Iglesias hit a check-swing tapper toward first base that Musgrove fielded near the bag, and, well, again the video does all the explaining.
José Iglesias just turned around 😂
— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) June 11, 2022
Everyone Loves Jazz
Jazz Chisholm Jr.’s breakout season continued with a pair of home runs in the Miami Marlins‘ 7-4 road win over the Houston Astros. While that was cool and everything, the image the Marlins caught of Chisholm making it their Twitter profile pic was just as terrific. Jesús Aguilar, who also hit two homers Friday, might want to have a word with the social media folks.
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) June 11, 2022
See the intro and Today’s Headlines section for all the notable injuries.
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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)