NL East Notes: Kendrick, Nats’ Closer, Ross, Bruce, Reyes

Posted: April 18, 2017 in Uncategorized
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The Phillies announced on Tuesday that left fielder Howie Kendrick has been placed on the 10-day disabled list due to an abdominal strain, thus making him the second veteran Philadelphia addition to go down with an injury today. (Clay Buchholz will miss anywhere from four to six months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon.) “It’s like upper abdomen, lower rib cage,” Kendrick told reporters, including’s Todd Zolecki. “Hopefully it’s something that’s not a nuisance, but we’ll see. It hasn’t gotten any worse over the past couple days, so hopefully it’s something that’ll be done pretty quickly.” Fellow veteran Daniel Nava could be the primary substitute for Kendrick, though certainly the injury could lead to a bit of extra playing time for Aaron Altherr or Brock Stassi as well. As noted earlier tonight, the Phils selected the contract of right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. to fill Kendrick’s spot on the roster.

Elsewhere in the NL East…

  • The Nationals are considering a change in the ninth inning, manager Dusty Baker told reporters after he had to remove Blake Treinen in the ninth inning of tonight’s game (Twitter link via’s Jamal Collier). “This ain’t working,” said Baker of the current alignment. Indeed, the Nats entered the day with a collective 6.25 ERA out of their bullpen — fourth-worst in all of baseball. Treinen lasted a third of an inning tonight and yielded a run on two hits and two walks before giving way to Shawn Kelley, who managed to salvage a 3-1 win for the defending NL East champs. Kelley and young right-hander Koda Glover seem like the two most plausible replacement options for Baker, though it’s unlikely that there’ll be definitive word on the situation until tomorrow. (Those chasing saves in fantasy baseball can follow @closernews on Twitter for updates on ninth-inning situations around the game.)
  • Right-hander Joe Ross will join the Nationals’ rotation tomorrow night after opening the year in Triple-A Syracuse, per Mark Zuckerman of (Twitter links). The Nats optioned Ross to Syracuse in an effort to help limit his innings early in the year, though Baker acknowledged that the decision backfired on them. (Jeremy Guthrie was shelled in his lone appearance for the Nationals when he started in place of Ross.) It’s worth debating exactly how much the decision even worked toward the Nationals’ stated goal, as Ross has already thrown 9 2/3 innings in a pair of Triple-A outings. Regardless, he’ll be a welcome addition to the D.C. rotation if he can approximate the 3.52 ERA, 8.0 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and 45.5 percent ground-ball he posted through his first 181 2/3 Major League innings in 2015-16.
  • ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick interviewed Mets right fielder Jay Bruce about the slugger’s struggles following the 2016 trade that brought him to New York and the hot start he’s experienced in 2017. Bruce brushes off any previous suggestions that he “couldn’t handle” the move to the big city and the more imposing media market. Rather, he explains to Crasnick the difficulty he had being uprooted from his daily routine in Cincinnati. Bruce calls himself a “routine-oriented guy” and details that he stayed with six different teammates in addition to living out of hotels during his first few months with the Mets — all with his wife and infant son remaining behind in Ohio. “I understand how people come up with their thoughts,” Bruce tells Crasnick. “…I think it’s a pride thing with people from New York, and I get it. It’s an amazing city. It’s chewed a lot of people up and spit them out. That doesn’t even exist to me, though. This is the team I’m playing baseball for, with an incredible opportunity. I was just bad at baseball for a month.” As of this writing, Bruce is hitting a robust .275/.362/.529 with four homers in his final year before free agency.
  • There’s more concern in the Mets organization surrounding Jose Reyes’ woeful start to the 2017 season than the team is publicly expressing, writes Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. Reyes picked up a double in tonight’s loss to the Phils but is still hitting just .100/.182/.140 on the season. Reyes, Ackert notes, was brought back with the hope that he could solidify the leadoff spot and allow Curtis Granderson’s 30-homer bat to hit lower in the order, but Reyes has been dropped to the bottom third of the order due to his poor performance. Michael Conforto hit leadoff for the second time this season on Tuesday, and Granderson has been in the leadoff slot three times in the past five games as well.

from MLB Trade Rumors


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