Athletics ace Sonny Gray will not pitch again this year, MLB.com’s Jane Lee tweets. Gray left his start on Friday with tightness in his hip. Gray has been a huge standout in what’s otherwise been a frustrating season in Oakland — he’s pitched 208 innings with a 2.73 ERA, 7.3 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a 52.7% ground ball rate, posting ace-caliber numbers for a 65-91 team. Starting in Gray’s place on Wednesday will be veteran Barry Zito, who will be making his third start of the season in his comeback with the A’s. Here are more notes from throughout the game.
- Cubs owner Tom Ricketts says the team will eventually work on an extension for president of baseball operations Theo Epstein, but that will wait until after the season, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. “Theo and I have a great relationship. Obviously, the results are great,” says Ricketts. “Everyone in the baseball organization, we’re on a mission. And we want to keep that mission going forward.” Epstein is currently signed through next season to a five-year, $18.5MM contract. Given the Cubs’ strong season and the escalation in executive salaries since his deal was struck in late 2011 (Andrew Friedman’s contract with the Dodgers is worth $35MM), Epstein’s next deal will likely be significantly more lucrative.
- Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon had what he describes as a “great” conversation with new GM Jerry Dipoto on Monday, MLB.com’s Greg Johns writes. It isn’t yet clear whether Dipoto will retain McClendon next season, however. “I’m under contract to manage next year, and hopefully I’ll manage the club,” says McClendon. “So beyond that, if you’re looking for security in this game, you’re in the wrong business. That’s me and every other manager.”
- Impending free agent shortstop Ian Desmond has fans in the Padres organization, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets. The Padres, of course, have a need at shortstop, and Desmond’s struggles with the Nationals this year (during which he’s batted .236/.289/.389) should make him available more cheaply, and on a shorter deal, than he previously figured to get.
- Rockies 2015 first-round picks Brendan Rodgers (No. 3 overall) and especially Mike Nikorak (No. 27) had uneven pro debuts, but the team isn’t worried, MLB.com’s Jim Callis writes. Rodgers hit well (.273/.340/.420) at rookie-level Grand Junction, especially given his age, but suffered through hamstring troubles. Nikorak walked 32 batters in 17 2/3 innings, also for Grand Junction. The Rockies believe that Rodgers’ injury issues were due to a long break between the end of his high school season and the start of his pro career, and they’re going to help him work on his conditioning. Rockies director of player development Zach Wilson says he isn’t concerned about Nikorak’s debut. “Quite frankly, this season is going to be the best thing that ever happened to Mike Nikorak,” says Wilson. “He’s got the mentality to learn from this and make adjustments.”