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MLB News & Moments You Should Know – May 14

Hearing on Bauer's suspension appeal set to begin May 23.

Stay updated on everything baseball with our morning MLB News & Moments articles. We’ve got you covered to keep you in the know.

Friday the 13th. It puts everyone on high alert for strange things to happen. And in baseball, you can usually count on something unusual.

But on this Friday the 13th, Jason Voorhees didn’t kill anyone (that we know of) and there wasn’t a full moon (it was waxing gibbous, full moon is coming Monday). By most accounts, it was a rather ordinary Friday in MLB: Terrific pitching, monster home runs, surprise performances.

Still, that means plenty happened around MLB on this Friday the 13th.

 

Today’s Headlines

 

Bauer Hearing Set

In what is expected to be a lengthy process, Los Angeles Dodgers pitch Trevor Bauer’s hearing to appeal his 324-game suspension is scheduled to begin May 23, according to Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic. A three-person panel, comprised of one MLB representative, one MLB Players Association rep and an independent arbitrator, will hear the case over the next few months. The schedule depends on when the arbitrator is available and will follow the same process as other appeals made by players.

Bauer was suspended April 29 by MLB for 324 games for violating the league’s domestic violence and sexual abuse policy. Bauer is accused by a San Diego woman of becoming violent in two incidents that began as consensual sexual encounters in the pitcher’s Pasadena, California, home. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to file charges in the case. The panel will decide whether to uphold Commissioner Rob Manfred’s decision, to keep the suspension but reduce the number of games or to throw out the suspension.

Back Issue Sends Kershaw to IL

Clayton Kershaw is dominant when healthy. The problem is keeping the star Dodgers left-hander on the field. The 34-year-old was placed on the 15-day injured list with sacroiliac joint inflammation. The SI joints are in the lower back. Kershaw was off to a 4-0 start with a 1.80 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 30 innings. According to Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, the Dodgers are hoping for a minimal stay on the IL. However, it puts the Dodgers’ rotation in a bind. Walker Buehler, scheduled to start Saturday, was moved up to pitch Friday.

Hader Breaks Saves Mark

Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader already has some pretty unique accomplishments. On Sunday, he became the second-fastest pitcher to reach 500 career strikeouts, doing so in 293⅔ innings, just behind Aroldis Chapman’s 292. But now he has done something no other pitcher in MLB history has done.When Hader quickly notched the save in the Brewers’ 2-1 road victory over the Miami Marlins, it was his 13th in as many appearances to begin the season. That broke the mark of 12 appearances with saves set by Lee Smith (1994 Baltimore Orioles) and tied by Jose Mesa (2005 Pittsburgh Pirates). Hader is unscored upon in 12⅓ innings, with five walks and 18 strikeouts. He has allowed just two hits.

Rocker Signs With Indy Team

Before the 2021 season — heck, even during the season — Kumar Rocker was expected to be perhaps the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft. It didn’t happen. He entered the draft as the No. 5 prospect and slid down to the 10th overall selection, where the New York Mets drafted the former Vanderbilt star. But allegedly due to a medical issue, the Mets did not sign Rocker after reportedly agreeing to a $6 million bonus. That left Rocker in limbo and sent him back into this year’s draft.

On Friday, the Tri-City Valley Cats of the independent Frontier League announced they signed Rocker. The 6-foot-5 right-hander, who has been a bit of a mystery over the last year, will pitch for the Valley Cats until the MLB Draft, which is July 17-19, to showcase his talent. Rocker is rated the No. 31 draft prospect by MLBPipeline.com and No. 35 by Baseball America. The Mets will draft 11th as compensation for not signing Rocker.

Kelenic Sent to Triple-A

Just more than a month into the season is enough time for teams to get a read on who is slumping and who is struggling. A slump can be cured. Struggling needs a confidence boost, which is why a number of young players have recently been sent down to the minors (St. Louis’ Paul DeJong, Kansas City’s Kris Bubic, Pittsburgh’s Cole Tucker and San Diego’s C.J. Abrams, to name a few).

Add Seattle Mariners outfielder Jarred Kelenic to that list. After being called up for his MLB debut last season, sent down after struggling, then recalled, hopes were high for Kelenic this season. But the former first-round draft pick was slashing .140/.219/.291 before being optioned to Triple-A Tacoma, including a whopping 36 strikeouts. Coincidentally, it comes one year after Kelenic’s debut and on the same day he was to face the team that draft him, the Mets, for the first time.

Quite the Debut

With a dearth of pitching in their system, the Los Angeles Angels did something very unusual: They spent all 20 of their draft picks last year on pitchers, all but one out of college. The hope was to find a few arms in that haul to eventually make the majors. The Angels didn’t think it would take less than 10 months to see a payoff. Right-hander Chase Silseth, an 11th-round selection out of Arizona, made his major-league debut after just eight professional appearances, including five at Double-A Rocket City this year.

All the right-hander did — in addition to being the first 2021 draft pick to make the majors — was allow just one hit in six shutout innings as the Angels beat the Oakland A’s 2-0. It came just five days before his 22nd birthday. However, Silseth is likely to head back to the minors as the Angels won’t need a sixth starter for a few weeks.

Phillies Blow Lead, Then Hang On

The last game to finish Friday turned out to be the best one in terms of drama. The Philadelphia Phillies took a 9-7 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning against the Dodgers, but Jeurys Familia coughed up a two-run blast to Justin Turner with one out to tie the game. In the 10th, Nick Castellanos doubled home a pair of runs off Brusdar Graterol and scored on an errant throw after stealing third to put the Phillies up 12-9. But the Phillies’ bullpen always likes to keep things interesting. With the automatic runner at second, Francisco Morales walked the first two batters to load the bases as Mookie Betts came to the plate. Morales induced a double-play grounder that scored one run, but then walked Freddie Freeman. Trea Turner then hit a game-ending grounder to short.

Other Notable Items

San Diego Padres manager Bob Melvin expects to return to the dugout next week Friday following Wednesday’s prostate surgery. Melvin is cancer-free. … The Padres made the signing of infielder Robinson Canó official. Pitcher Dinelson Lamet was sent to to Triple-A. … Jose Altuve’s leadoff homer fueled a five-run first inning as the Houston Astros beat the Washington Nationals 6-1, their 11th straight victory and one shy of the club record. It was also Dusty Baker’s 2,009th career managerial victory, putting him alone in 10th place in MLB history, one ahead of Leo Durocher.

 

Best Moments From Yesterday

No. 1 Moment

Carlos Correa is no Wally Pipp and Royce Lewis probably won’t be the next Lou Gehrig. But because of Correa’s bruised middle finger, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2017 draft was called up by the Minnesota Twins and crushed his first MLB homer against the Cleveland Indians. The Twins might need to keep Lewis around when Correa returns.

Too Bad, You’re Late

Ceremonial first pitches happen pretty much every game. It is a good way to acknowledge sponsors, fans and celebrities. It is also a memorable moment for many of those folks. So what happens when the timing is off and the home team has already taken the field when you are supposed to do the deed? This guy found out the hard way at Citi Field when New York Mets right-hander Max Scherzer was already taking his warmups.

Colorful Tactic

You would think by now that glove manufacturers would have all the rules about what color a glove can and can’t be. Yeah, there are some interesting combinations out there, but others are relatively basic. The color of St. Louis Cardinals flamethrower Jordan Hicks came into question before he threw a pitch against the San Francisco Giants. The two-tone glove is the same one he has used in every other appearance this season, but the Cardinals apparently were put on notice this week that an umpire might take issue with it. The umpires made him change the glove he warmed up with. We will let the video speak for what happened after that:

 

Injuries

 

Mets catcher James McCann is expected to miss six weeks after an X-ray revealed he had a broken left hamate bone.

Toronto Blue Jays center fielder George Springer sprained his left ankle crashing into the wall attempting to make a catch on drive by Tampa Bay’s Brandon Lowe, who wound up with a triple. Springer initially stayed in the game before being removed. He will be further evaluated Saturday.

 

Articles You Should Read

 

Manny Machado stays sharp by playing chess — Scott Miller, New York Times

A portable locker room fire pit ignites Angels’ bullpen — Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times

Astros manager Dusty Baker honored upon return to Washington — Jessica Camerato and Brian McTaggart, MLB.com

 

Fantasy Baseball Coverage

 

Starting Pitcher Roundup

Hitter Performances

Reliever Ranks

Starting Pitcher Streamers

 

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Steve Drumwright

Steve Drumwright is a lifelong baseball fan who retired as a player before he had the chance to be cut from the freshman team in high school. He recovered to become a sportswriter and have a successful journalism career at newspapers in Wisconsin and California. Follow him on Twitter @DrummerWrites.

  • J.C. Mosier says:

    Great wrap-up!

    Kershaw has 32 K in 30 innings, not 82 in 80. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/k/kershcl01.shtml

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