Injuries continue to be a problem for Athletics left-hander Rich Hill, who departed his start against Toronto on Sunday during the first at-bat of the game. Hill had to exit after the blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand popped, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. That blister pushed Hill’s start from Friday to Sunday. With the Aug. 1 deadline creeping up, scouts from several contenders were on hand to watch the 36-year-old trade candidate, as Slusser reported earlier Sunday. Durability is the big question with Hill, who hasn’t exceeded 100 innings in a season since 2007 and has already missed significant time this year with a groin injury. Hill has dominated while on the mound in 2016, though, with a 2.25 ERA, 10.66 K/9, 3.32 BB/9, 50 percent ground-ball rate and 14.5 percent infield fly ball mark in 76 innings.
More deadline-related news:
- Scouts from the Nationals, Dodgers and Rangers were in attendance for the Rays’ Jake Odorizzi’s start Sunday against the Orioles, reports Bill Chastain of MLB.com (via Twitter). Odorizzi fired six innings of two-run ball and struck out seven against one walk in a 5-2 victory. The right-hander lowered his season ERA to 4.39 and improved his respective strikeout and walk rates per nine innings to 8.54 and 2.85. Interest in Odorizzi from the Rangers is no surprise, as they and the Rays are reportedly discussing him (and two of Tampa Bay’s other starters) leading up to the deadline.
- Matt Moore, another of the Rays’ coveted starters, drew scouts from the Dodgers, Red Sox, Rangers, Pirates and Nationals for his Saturday start, per Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times. As is the case with Odorizzi, the Rangers are also engaging with the Rays about Moore, so Texas’ interest isn’t a revelation. Moore spun 7 1/3 two-run innings in a 2-1 loss and dropped his ERA to 4.33. The 27-year-old has also put up 7.58 K/9 against 2.63 BB/9 this season.
- Despite hitting the disabled list Saturday with an oblique injury, 25-year-old Braves closer Arodys Vizcaino isn’t out of play for the deadline, tweets FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. Although Vizcaino has struggled of late, his numbers this year – 3.00 ERA, 11.75 K/9, 5.5 BB/9 and 54.8 percent ground-ball rate in 36 innings – are mostly outstanding and he’s under control via arbitration eligibility through 2019. Those factors, not to mention his $897,500 salary this year, could combine to make Vizcaino rather appealing to reliever-needy teams.
- The Yankees are scouting the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse, leading Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post to wonder (on Twitter) if a trade is in the works. The Nats are looking for bullpen help, per several reports in recent months, and Yankees lights-out relievers Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller have been connected to Washington as a result.
- The Orioles are interested in adding a left-handed reliever, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Kubatko lists the Braves’ Eric O’Flaherty, whom the O’s were previously interested in, and free agent Joe Beimel as possibilities outside the organization.