Around the Major Leagues: 2013 Week 4

Updates on the big news across Major League Baseball during the fourth week of the season.

AL East


- Baltimore had hopes they would get the help of the top pitching prospect in baseball by the end of the season.  Doubts surfaced when it was found that Dylan Bundy would seek a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews about ongoing discomfort in the right-hander's forearm, according to the Baltimore Sun.  An MRI taken earlier this month showed a clean elbow, but that hasn't alleviated his discomfort.  Most people think of Tommy John surgery when Dr. Andrews is mentioned, though Bundy and the Orioles hope that isn't the case.  Bundy, who hasn't thrown off the mound since March, would miss the next 12 months if Tommy John surgery is needed.


- The starting pitching of the Red Sox has been one of the more surprising stories to the beginning of the season.  It has been so good, in fact, that the rotation went the first 16 games without allowing more than three runs in any start, according to research by the Boston Herald.  That streak ended on Tuesday when Alfredo Aceves served up eight runs (seven earned) through 3.1 innings against the Athletics in a 13-0 loss.


- Red Sox had a pair of players take the American League Player of the Week honors.  Mike Napoli and Andrew Bailey shared the award, as Napoli hit .345 with a home run, five doubles, and a triple.  Bailey saved three games, recorded a win, and struck out eight in five innings.  According to, it was the third time a pair of Boston players shared the honor.


- Talk about ace C.C. Sabathia's drop in velocity will continue from the New York media after every poor start by the lefty.  With a 3.35 earned-run average through six starts and a strikeout-to-innings pitched ratio of 36-to-43, it has hardly had an effect on his overall numbers.  That did not stop the New York Post's Ken Davidoff from bringing up his drop in velocity once again after the Yankees starter's poor outing against the Tampa Bay Rays this past week.  Read about it here.


- The injury bug keeps striking the Yankees, making the fans wonder when it will ever end.  Now up is catcher Francisco Cervelli, who will miss the next six weeks with a fractured right hand.  Cervelli suffered the break on a foul tip that hit him on the hand.  Austin Romine got the call from Triple-A to take Cervelli's place.


- Starter Josh Johnson is no stranger to the disabled list, though the Blue Jays figure the starter won't miss more than one turn after experiencing tightness in his triceps.  The Toronto Sun reported that an MRI came back clean on the right-hander.


AL Central


- Jose Valverde joined the Tigers bullpen this week, as Detroit called the former closer up from Triple-A Toledo.  ‘Former' will no longer proceed ‘closer' when referring to Valverde.  The Tigers inserted Valverde into that spot and also look for him to reach back into his pre-2012 success for Detroit.  The right-hander closed out his first two save opportunities without surrendering a run.


- Detroit fans who attended Friday night's match-up against the Atlanta Braves witnessed history.  Starter Anibal Sanchez became the first Tigers pitcher ever to strike out 17 batters in game.  Sanchez topped Mickey Lolich's former team record of 16 when he struck out the side in the eighth.


- Saturday's 10-4 loss against the Rays wasn't the only defeat the White Sox suffered that day.  Starter Gavin Floyd landed on the disabled list after leaving in the third inning with an elbow injury.  Initially diagnosed as a muscle strain, Chicago hopes that's all it is.


- Grady Sizemore.  Remember that name?  The Indians outfielder is currently rehabbing in Scottsdale, Arizona in hopes to make a comeback sometime after the All-Star Break.  Once one of the most exciting players in the game, Sizemore has played in only 104 games since 2010.


AL West


- Mariners fans have come to known that defense is all they should expect out of Brendan Ryan, known as one of the best fielding shortstops in baseball.  The Seattle Times reported on Wednesday that manager Eric Wedge let Ryan know that he was out and Robert Andino was in as the starting shortstop.  Ryan hit .194 in 407 at-bats for Seattle last year and is off to an even worse start this season at .148.


- Adrian Beltre of the Rangers belted his 350th career home run this past week, but don't expect that to get to the third baseman's head.  The Star-Telegram quoted the third baseman saying his main focus is on a ring.  Read all about it here.


NL East


- Outfielder Jason Heyward had an emergency appendectomy in Denver on Monday.  Heyward is fine, but the Braves left fielder was placed on the 15-day disabled list and should be ready to return soon after.


- As one outfielder went down for Atlanta, another became the first player in the majors this year to reach double digits in home runs.  Justin Upton popped his 10th home run in the first game of a doubleheader against the Colorado Rockies and then drilled his 11th in the nightcap.


- For a feel good story, check out Kevin Kernan's (New York Post) piece about 31-year old reliever Scott Rice's 14-year journey in the minors to join the Mets.  The left-hander has a 2.03 earned-run average through 14 appearances for New York.


- Runs have been hard to come by for the Marlins.  Home runs have been even scarcer.  Giancarlo Stanton did his best to mask that from Miami fans' minds even for a minute as his monster blast off Cubs' lefty Travis Wood traveled an estimated 472 feet.  According to the Palm Beach Post, Stanton's bomb was the longest ball ever hit out at two-year old Marlins Park, surpassing his previous record of 462 feet set last year.


- Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper was promoted on April 27th of last year.  On Saturday, Harper smacked his ninth home run on the one-year anniversary of his promotion.  Credit the Washington Post with that tidbit.  Harper is on pace to set the National League on fire.


NL Central


- Cubs starter Matt Garza's first minor league rehab outing was postponed due to what was classified as a dead arm.  The Cubs are not overly concerned about what is assumed to be a minor setback, according to the Chicago Tribune.  Garza will take a couple of days off and throw another bullpen session before Chicago determines his first rehab start.


- If squeamish, do not go looking for photos of Kyle Lohse's recent start for the Milwaukee Brewers against San Diego.  As Lohse picked up his first win of the season, the right-hander dislocated his left pinkie finger after colliding with second baseman Jedd Gyorko's elbow.  Lohse made his next start on Sunday without skipping a beat, as he surrendered only two runs over seven solid innings but took a loss to the Dodgers.


- Carlos Gomez of the Brewers took National League Player of the Week honors, as the center fielder led the league in batting average and slugging percentage. reported that this was the third honor in Gomez's career, as the outfielder went 9-for-18 with an on-base percentage of .526.


- As Matt Carpenter and Carlos Beltran were celebrating their back-to-back home runs to lead off the game against the Pirates Jonathan Sanchez, the left-handed starter hit first baseman Allen Craig with a pitch that sailed up and inside.  Sanchez was quickly ejected and served with a six-game suspension soon after.  Sanchez is appealing the suspension, as there is plenty of speculation that the pitch was unintentional.


- Cardinals fans are well aware of the troubles surrounding the bullpen.  Mentioning the bullpen to a fan may give you a nasty glare.  Prior to Sunday's game (in which the bullpen surrendered six runs over 3.1 innings), St. Louis' bullpen has posted a major-league worst earned-run average of 5.52 with five losses.  The Cardinals' bullpen is the only one in major league baseball without a win.  In contrast, the starting staff of the Cardinals boasts a major-league best earned-run average of 2.08.  Though less than a month has passed in the season, one has to wonder how long general manager John Mozeliak will wait to make a move.


NL West


- There's a common saying in baseball - one can never have enough starting pitching.  The Dodgers are learning that the hard way as they lost another starting pitcher to injury.  Chad Billingsley will miss the rest of the 2013 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.  What once was a position of depth is now mired in injuries.  Los Angeles called upon starter Stephen Fife from Triple-A, who they hoped to start a couple games before Chris Capuano is set to come off the disabled list.  Instead, Fife was placed on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder bursitis, as the Dodgers called upon Matt Magill from Triple-A.  Instead, Matt Magill….just kidding.  Dodgers fans can only laugh at this point.


- Rockies fans collectively held their breath after watching shortstop Troy Tulowitzki leave Sunday's game in the third inning after an awkward slide into home plate.  According to the Denver Post, the Rockies are currently classifying the injury as a shoulder strain, which puts Tulowitzki on a day-to-day status.



Pierce Jefferson can be reached via email at Follow him on twitter (@MLBPJ).


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