Reds utility man Kristopher Negron‘s season is over due to a torn labrum and fractured scapula in his left shoulder, tweets C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Negron suffered the injury whilst making a spectacular diving catch in left field and was in good spirits about the injury, joking with Rosecrans (Twitter link), “At least it was on a pretty sweet play.” (It was indeed quite a nice grab, as can be seen here.) The versatile Negron’s season will come to an end with a disappointing .140/.238/.161 batting line in 107 plate appearances, though he was much more impressive in 2014 when he slashed .271/.331/.479 in 158 PAs.
A few more notes from the game’s Central divisions…
- The Cubs project to see an attendance increase of roughly 275,000 fans over their 2014 number, reports Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. That significant spike in fans — due largely to the team’s much-improved on-field results — could result in a substantial payroll increase. As Wittenmyer notes, conservative estimates peg the attendance increase at an extra $20.6MM in revenue, and while perhaps not all of that money will go directly into payroll, the boost could be enough for the Cubs to make a serious run at elite free agents such as David Price and Zack Greinke.
- Former Cubs farmhand Mike Olt, now with the White Sox after being claimed off waivers, will see plenty of playing time down the stretch, writes Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. “He’ll probably get the majority of that time as we go through the rest of September, depending on matchups and things like that,” manager Robin Ventura tells Hayes. “We’ll be able to mix and match with him in there, but I would say he would get the majority of it.” Hayes notes that the ChiSox lack a definitive answer at third base in 2016 and will as such give Olt a chance to prove that he’s worthy of that distinction. Formerly a Top 50 prospect in his days with the Rangers, Olt has a lifetime .263/.361/.486 batting line in the minors. He’s battled vision problems and other injuries in the past and has always been strikeout prone, however, all of which have contributed to considerable struggles in the Major Leagues.
- The White Sox have seen rapid improvement in former No. 3 overall pick Carlos Rodon, writes ESPN Chicago’s Doug Padilla. Ventura tells Padilla that Rodon had a hard time accepting some of the struggles he had early in the season, but he’s come away better off for it. “He took the not-pitching-well part tough, and I think he also was able to put it behind him and come back,” said Ventura. “I think deep down, it’s something he just has. That’s something he can hold onto and know that he can overcome things. When you have that, there’s something you have that nobody can take away from you.” Rodon has a 3.94 ERA with 9.4 K/9, 4.7 BB/9 and a 47.3 percent ground-ball rate in 125 2/3 innings this season, but he’s been much better of late. In his past six starts he has a 1.76 ERA with a 41-to-15 K/BB ratio and a 52 percent ground-ball rate in 41 innings. Rodon told Padilla that he’s enjoying the grind of a 162-game season, and Padilla notes that the talented rookie should finish with more than 150 innings between the Majors and minors this season.