The latest from around MLB...
- The Dodgers had to place Matt Kemp on the disabled list yesterday with a strained hamstring, ending the outfielder's consecutive games played streak at 399, the longest in the game today (just a hair shy of Cal Ripken, Jr.'s record 2632 games). Perhaps worse, the injury could put a damper on what was looking to be another absurd season for Kemp, who came up just short of an MVP award last year thanks to Ryan Braun (insert your choice of comment here). While I don't pull for guys when they're playing the Cubs, I always enjoy watching dynamic talents, and seeing ridiculous seasons. Hopefully he gets healthy, and resumes his elite play.
- Surgeon General's Warning: Closing for the New York Yankees may be hazardous to your health. After losing Mariano Rivera for the year to a torn ACL, the Yankees have now lost fill-in closer and brilliant reliever David Robertson to the DL with a strained left oblique. While not "serious" in a traditional sense, oblique strains can linger and impact performance for months.
- Tigers closer Jose Valverde also had to leave a game yesterday with a stiff back. Maybe it's not just a Yankees closer thing.
- The Angels have fired hitting coach Mickey Hatcher and replaced him with AAA counterpart, Jim Eppard. I'm sure they'll be just fine now.
- Blue Jays youngster Brett Lawrie is probably going to miss some time. Last night, after arguing balls and strikes and being ejected, Lawrie spiked his helmet down, which helmet bounced and hit the umpire in the leg.
- Manny Ramirez will start his return to MLB with a 10-game minor league stint for the Oakland A's, beginning on Saturday. The soon-to-be 40-year-old tested positive for a banned substance for the second time in April 2011 after signing with the Tampa Bay Rays, and decided to take his ball and go home, rather than serve the attendant suspension. He negotiated an arrangement with MLB that allowed him to return this year after serving a mere 50-game suspension. Maybe you'll think me petty, but I'll be rooting against Ramirez, and not just because of what he did in 2008.
- The New York Mets and Citi Field will host the All-Star Game in 2013. The Royals are hosting this year, and the Minnesota Twins are expected to host in 2014. If the Cubs complete Wrigley Field renovations by 2015 or 2016, I'd say it's a pretty safe bet that they're in line for an All-Start Game in one of those two seasons.
- Indians starter Derek Lowe just threw a shutout against the Twins without recording a single strikeout. That hasn't happened in 10 years. Lowe induced an mind-boggling 20 ground balls, including four double-play balls. Given that he's become even more reliant on his defense to succeed, you sabermetricians out there probably won't be surprised to learn that, while Lowe has a 2.05 ERA on the season, his FIP and xFIP are just 3.99 and 4.40, respectively.