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Juan Lagares Injury: Updates on Mets OF’s Thumb and Return

New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares is dealing with a torn ligament in his thumb and was placed on the disabled list Thursday, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. It is unclear when he’ll return to the field. 

Continue for updates.

Lagares, Mets Elect to Avoid Surgery for Now

Thursday, June 16

The Mets have elected to let Lagares sit on the DL for the next 10 days and rest before determining if he’ll need surgery, per Rubin, who added he’ll be out two months if his thumb ends up needing to go under the knife. 

Lagares Battled Injury for over a Week Before Going on DL

Lagares originally suffered the injury on June 4 against the Miami Marlins. He made a diving catch but landed on his hand. He was scratched from the lineup Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates when his thumb flared up before the game, according to Rubin.

New York called up utility player Ty Kelly from Triple-A Las Vegas in place of the 27-year-old, per Rubin.

Regardless of his thumb injury, Lagares has had trouble seeing the ball at the plate since May 28. He was batting .310 at the time, but his average has since dropped to .289. He has only six RBI on the season.

This is another tough blow for a Mets team that has been on a slide recently. New York comes into Thursday having dropped six of its last 10 despite beating the Pirates Wednesday.

Lagares needs this rest for his thumb as well as to regain the form he had early in the season.

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Neil Walker Injury: Updates on Mets 2B’s Back and Return

New York Mets second baseman Neil Walker is off to a strong start this year, but a back injury will momentarily derail that momentum.

Walker Exits Saturday’s Game

Saturday, June 11

After two plate appearances against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday, Walker left the game with tightness in his lower back, according to Marc Carig of Newsday.

Manager Terry Collins was worried about Walker after the game, according to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin, who added he won’t play Sunday. 

Walker went 0-for-2 before leaving in the fourth inning.

Kelly Johnson replaced him in the lineup, per the Mets.

After losing Daniel Murphy in free agency, the Mets have banked on Walker producing at second base. So far, he’s done more than expected with 13 home runs on the year while batting .271. Those 13 homers are good for second on the team, and he’s third in RBI.

New York came into Saturday two-and-a-half games behind the Washington Nationals for first place in the National League East. The Mets have played well in part thanks to Walker’s production.

If Walker heads to the disabled list, that could open up some big league playing time for 22-year-old Dilson Herrera. The Colombia native is batting .299 and has hit 10 home runs for Triple-A Las Vegas.

Walker needs to be healthy if the Mets want to compete this year. He’s given them extra power they didn’t have last year, and his production will be key for the Mets going forward.

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Torii Hunter Jr. Selected by Los Angeles Angels in 2016 MLB Draft

On Saturday, the Los Angeles Angels drafted the son of one of the best center fielders in the past two decades.

The Halos selected Torii Hunter Jr. in the 23rd round of the MLB draft. His father, a five-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glove winner, announced the selection:

The younger Hunter just completed his junior season as a wide receiver for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team. He played in 13 games while reeling in 363 yards and two touchdowns for the Irish.

On the baseball diamond, however, Hunter didn’t see as much playing time, nor did he put up impressive numbers. He appeared in 19 games but batted .182 while recording only two hits, according to Notre Dame’s athletics website.

Hunter was the second Notre Dame player taken in the MLB draft. The Toronto Blue Jays selected Cavan Biggio, the son of former All-Star Craig Biggio, in the fifth round.

Notre Dame’s Twitter account congratulated Hunter on Saturday:

While this is a big moment for Hunter, his stats show he’s not ready to take on baseball. He’ll be a go-to receiver for the Irish football team next year and may have a brighter immediate future on the gridiron than in the outfield.

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MLB Draft 2016: Results, Grades and Top Steals for Rounds 1-3

After an exciting first day, the MLB draft resumed on Friday with less firepower than Thursday.

The third round kicked off Friday’s fast-paced Day 2 of the draft, and there were some notable picks in Round 3 that boosted, lowered or kept teams’ draft grades the same.

Here’s a refresher of Thursday’s beginning to the draft, as well as some added names from Day 2.


Top Steals

Jason Groome, LHP, Boston Red Sox (No. 12 pick)

Six pitchers went ahead of Jason Groome before the Boston Red Sox took the Barnegat High School left-hander with the 12th pick.

Groome could have easily gone in the top 10. He’s a 17-year-old with a 96 mph fastball and a ridiculous curve to boot. He even threw a 19-strikeout no-hitter in his senior year. For a pitcher his age, to have the kind of stuff he has is impeccable. Keith Law of had Groome high on his board:

Behind A.J. Puk, who was taken with the sixth overall pick by the Oakland Athletics, Groome might be the second-best pitcher in this draft with his great overall command of his pitches. Based on what Groome brings to the table, the Red Sox showed they believe in him, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe:

The only downside for Groome, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, is he wants top-five money. He thinks he’s deserving of it, but the Red Sox may think differently. Based on Abraham’s assumption, Boston may have enough faith to give him that type of money.


Alex Speas, RHP, Texas Rangers (No. 63 pick)

The Texas Rangers made it clear pitching was a priority early in the draft. More importantly, they wanted hard-throwing guys who could be valuable bullpen pieces down the road.

Enter Alex Speas, a hard-throwing right-hander with potential No. 4 starter-quality stuff.

Speas has a fastball that can go as high as 96 mph and a vicious sinker. The only downside is his lack of command in his off-speed pitching, but there’s potential for that to improve.

Nonetheless, the Rangers need bullpen help, and it looks like their plan is to use their youth to address their relief pitching in the short term.

Jheremy Brown of Perfect Game is high on the selection of Speas:

It is an upside pick with little downside. Speas could have a role on the Rangers in one way or another. He should be considered for Texas’ closer role in four or five years if he has a strong minor league showing.


Buddy Reed, OF, San Diego Padres (No. 48 pick)

Here’s a bit of news that’s not surprising: The San Diego Padres need help.

They need dynamic playmakers, pitching and baserunning. In short, the Padres need a bit of everything.

San Diego addressed pitching in the first round with Cal Quantrill and Eric Lauer, but they grabbed a dynamic outfielder in Florida center fielder Buddy Reed early in the second round.

Reed is a rare talent. He has good size at 6’4″, terrific length and speed to run the bases effectively. He’s also a good hitter from both sides of the plate and even has the occasional pop.

Reed was one of many Florida Gators drafted on Thursday, resulting in a good day in Gainesville, per the team’s official Twitter account:

Given the Padres’ track record of struggling baseball, Reed will need some time to develop his game. But he’ll get the chance to be an everyday player for the Padres after a few years. 

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2016 MLB Draft Grades: Best and Worst Picks from Thursday Results

The MLB Draft is officially underway, and there was some top talent taken at the top.

The Philadelphia Phillies may have taken the next transcending outfielder in baseball, while the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox both drafted some steals.

Here are some grades and the best and worst from Thursday. 


Best Draft Picks

Mickey Moniak, OF, Philadelphia Phillies

Labeling any high school prospect the next best anything is a stretch. Mike Trout and Bryce Harper have set the bar for top overall picks, especially in the outfield.

Enter Mickey Moniak, per the Phillies:

The La Costa Canyon outfielder is the kind of player the Phillies need. He’s someone who can do it all. He has a great arm, can hit for contact with potential for power while possessing stellar speed to run the bases.

Outfielders going No. 1 are a rarity, especially in this decade, according to ESPN Stats & Info:

Right now, he won’t have the power to wow the Phillies. That will come with time. One evaluator told Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly other than that component, there’s no downside to taking Moniak No. 1 overall.

“The bat is good,” the evaluator told Salisbury. “He’s going to hit and hit for average. He’s a good centerfielder. He can run. The question is how many home runs will he hit? If he ends up getting stronger, he could be a corner bat that’s unbelievable. There’s no negative here. It’s a good pick.”

Moniak just turned 18 years old. There’s plenty of room to grow and become that complete player who can be a transcending figure for the Phillies.


Riley Pint, RHP, Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies could use some pitching. Not since the days of Ubaldo Jimenez have the Rockies had a pitcher with so much potential. 

Riley Pint might be just a flamethrower now, but in a few years, MLB could be seeing its next Stephen Strasburg. Just don’t tell Pint that.

“I feel like I’m my own pitcher,” Pint told MLB Network (per Nick Groke of the Denver Post). “I just want to develop more over the next few years.”

Pint is capable of hitting 102 miles per hour on the gun. While he needs time to develop his command on off-speed pitches, that heat can’t be ignored. Even if Pint develops into a closer role in his early days, that’s fine. He’ll have the David Price treatment.

The highest-drafted player out of the state of Kansas, and LSU commit, is the third high school pitcher the Rockies have ever taken in the top 10, per Groke.

He’s got great size at 6’4″ and is only 18 years old. The Rockies need a future star in their rotation, and Pint could be that guy after a healthy stint in the minors.


Worst Draft Picks

Ian Anderson, RHP, Atlanta Braves

This isn’t necessarily a terrible pick, but it’s a stretch. 

When Ian Anderson is healthy, he has one of the liveliest arms of any prospect in this class. But he suffered an oblique injury this year and saw his stock drop. But the Atlanta Braves don’t see it that way.

The Braves made Anderson the first pitcher taken off the board with the No. 3 pick. His fastball isn’t at the clip of a Riley Pint or A.J. Puk. And while his off-speed pitches are his most dangerous weapons, his health and arm strength are a concern.

Puk’s off-speed pitches can range from 88-90 miles per hour. He can give more velocity and better control than Anderson can. 

At least with Anderson, though, the Braves are saving a considerable amount of money, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:

The Braves are in desperate need of immediate impact on the mound. There’s a lot of pressure now with Anderson being the top pitcher taken. He’ll need to perform well in the next few years to validate him being selected this high.


TJ Zeuch, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays are so talented across the board, that this draft was more of a ho-hum set of affairs.

TJ Zeuch is a tall right-handed pitcher out of Pittsburgh with the ability to be a Chris Young-type of pitcher.

Maybe that’s what the Blue Jays need, especially with how Young and the Kansas City Royals bullpen performed in last year’s American League Championship Series.

But Zeuch seems like a filler pick for Toronto. Zeuch has a strong command of his release, but scouts are concerned with off-speed pitching, per Shi Davidi of Sportsnet (via Baseball America):

Zeuch could be an effective ground-ball pitcher, but it feels like Toronto could’ve addressed other needs like outfielder (especially if Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion leave). Toronto needed pitching, but Zeuch may not be the guy to have in this spot.

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Madison Bumgarner Comments on Wanting to Compete in MLB Home Run Derby

Madison Bumgarner wants to participate in the Home Run Derby.

Yes, the same Madison Bumgarner who pitches for the San Francisco Giants.

After taking part in batting practice Sunday in St. Louis, the three-time All-Star and 2014 World Series MVP told ESPN’s Buster Olney he wants to take part in the annual long-ball competition.

“I want to be in it,” he told Olney. “I’m going to be in it—don’t let me be in it.”

Bumgarner has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the last few years, but he’s also become a rare power hitter from the No. 9 spot in the lineup. He’s hit 11 home runs over the last three years, including a career-high five in 2015.

While Bumgarner is confident he could shock the world and win the Home Run Derby, Giants manager Bruce Bochy has already put his foot down.

“No, to be serious, I couldn’t let him do it,” Bochy said, per “We couldn’t let him do it. And Bum, he’s convinced he could win it. I think he would wear himself down in the first round, he’d try to hit it so hard.”

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson checked in with Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford to see if Bumgarner would actually do it:

According to, Bumgarner hit at least 12 pitches over the fence in batting practice, with two reaching the third deck at Busch Stadium and one reaching the fourth deck. Bumgarner has power, but the thought of a pitcher taking part in the Derby is a stretch.

Having a pitcher compete could be a possibility down the road, but it likely won’t happen this year.


Stats courtesy of

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Jake Arrieta Loses vs. Diamondbacks, 1st Defeat Since July 2015

Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta got a taste of defeat Sunday for the first time in more than 10 months.

Thanks to the Cubs’ 3-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner suffered his first loss since July 25, 2015, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Arrieta struck out 12 in five innings of work while allowing three earned runs at Wrigley Field.

Arrieta’s last loss was at home against the Philadelphia Phillies. Cole Hamels threw a no-hitter that day to claim the 5-0 victory against Chicago before being traded to the Texas Rangers four days later.

Since that loss, Arrieta seemed unstoppable. He closed the season by going 11-0 in 13 starts, and the Cubs won all of those games. That started a streak of the Cubs winning 23 consecutive games in which Arrieta started, which the Los Angeles Dodgers snapped Tuesday.

It was a phenomenal 10-game homestand overall for the Cubs, but their two losses came in the most unusual of ways, as Jon Greenberg of the Athletic Chicago noted:

Arrieta’s bid for a second straight Cy Young Award is off to a terrific start. While the loss Sunday is his first blemish of 2016, he came into the day with a 9-0 record and among the league leaders in ERA. Sunday’s loss increased Arrieta’s ERA to 1.80, per, trailing only Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.

Chicago still holds a comfortable lead in the National League Central and has the best record in the majors by a solid margin. Despite losing a pair of fluke games with their best pitcher on the mound, the Cubs continue to rack up wins. They’ll be fine.


Stats courtesy of

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Fernando Tatis Jr. to Padres: Latest Trade Details and Scouting Report

Shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. was one of two minor league players the San Diego Padres acquired in the Saturday trade involving starting pitcher James Shields, according to Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune.

The 17-year-old son of former major leaguer Fernando Tatis is the No. 30 prospect in MLB‘s international prospect rankings. The White Sox signed him on July 2, per Jesse Sanchez of

Sanchez says Tatis Jr. has “a strong arm” and good instincts in the infield. The right-handed Dominican shortstop is listed at 6’1″ and 175 pounds with the potential to develop into an everyday player for the Padres.

Tatis Jr. is a raw prospect but has shown glimpses of power at the plate. That’s a good sign for someone at his age, and Jim Bowden of thinks he can also turn into a quality third baseman:

The key to the trade for the Padres is Fernando Tatis Jr., [a] 17-year old shortstop that’s a two way player. Might need to move to [third base] in time but some scouts think [he] can stay at short. Has a chance to develop into a high end elite type prospect has the hit tool and size to eventually be middle of the order type impact bat. Good get here for Padres.

Tatis Jr. shouldn’t see the major leagues for another few years at least, but he has unlimited and untapped potential. San Diego should know what kind of player it will have by that time. 

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Erik Johnson to Padres: Latest Trade Details and Scouting Report

The San Diego Padres sent starting pitcher James Shields to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for two minor league players on Saturday. One of those is right-handed pitcher Erik Johnson, according to Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune

Johnson was a second-round pick in 2011 by the White Sox out of Cal. The 26-year-old made his big league debut on Sept. 4, 2013, against the New York Yankees inside Yankee Stadium. He went six innings and gave up three earned runs.

That began an up-and-down tenure as an MLB starting pitcher. Johnson went 7-6 in 18 starts with a 4.50 ERA. He made two starts in 2016, both losses to the Boston Red Sox (May 5) and Cleveland Indians (May 23).

Johnson played well in eight Triple-A starts for the Charlotte Knights this year, going 2-1 with a 2.94 ERA.

Despite the inconsistent numbers, Johnson has shown he has talent. He was named the International League’s Most Valuable Pitcher in 2015 after going 11-8 in 22 starts with a 2.37 ERA. That’s Felix Hernandez territory when he won the 2010 American League Cy Young Award.

Based on that potential, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Padres insert Johnson into the starting rotation. San Diego came into Saturday at 22-34 and has nothing left to lose. It wouldn’t hurt to see if Johnson can be Shields’ immediate replacement.


Stats courtesy of

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Mariners Set Club Record by Erasing 10-Run Deficit to Defeat Padres

The Seattle Mariners erased a 10-run deficit by scoring a combined 14 runs in the sixth and seventh innings to defeat the San Diego Padres 16-13 on Thursday at Petco Park in San Diego.

The comeback was the largest in the franchise’s 40-year history, per MLB Stat of the Day.

Seattle became the first team since the 2001 Cleveland Indians to win a game after trailing by 10 or more runs through five innings, per the Elias Sports Bureau (via StatsCentre). The Indians erased a 14-2 deficit to beat the Mariners, 15-14, on Aug. 5, 2001, in Cleveland.

On Thursday, the Padres erupted for seven runs at the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 12-2 lead. They chased starting pitcher Wade Miley out of the game after he surrendered nine earned runs in 4.2 innings.

Seattle closed the gap at the top of the sixth thanks to a two-run double by Kyle Seager and a three-run homer by Dae-Ho Lee.

With two outs in the seventh, the Mariners reeled off seven straight RBI singles. Two of them came from Seager and Lee. Shawn O’Malley gave Seattle the lead for good after a single up the middle brought home Chris Iannetta, and Franklin Gutierrez capped off the offensive onslaught with a two-run single to center field.

Meg Rowley of Baseball Prospectus documented Seattle’s entire seventh inning:

ESPN Stats & Info noted how sharp the Mariners were with runners in scoring position:

The Mariners reacted accordingly after the seventh-inning explosion:

With the victory, Seattle climbed back into a tie for first place in the American League West with the Texas Rangers. The Mariners, who have been one of the league’s biggest surprises so far this season, seem to have finally turned the corner and become contenders.

Seattle will be dangerous all year if its offense can be a fraction of what it was Thursday.

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