Steven Souza celebrated his 27th birthday in spectacular fashion today, hitting two home runs during the Rays’ 8-1 win over the Yankees. It was the second two-homer game of Souza’s career and his second in just a few weeks, as he also hit two long balls on April 6 against the Blue Jays. Here’s some news from around baseball as we kick off a new week…
- An MRI on Yovani Gallardo’s shoulder revealed no changes from his previous MRI in February, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports (Twitter links). Gallardo received a cortisone shot in his shoulder and is expected to be sidelined for roughly four weeks. The Orioles righty was placed on the DL yesterday due to tendinitis in his bicep and right shoulder, the first time in Gallardo’s 10-year career that he has ever hit the DL due to an arm-related injury.
- An AL scout tells John Perrotto of TodaysKnuckleball.com that Carlos Gomez’s slow start (and overall lackluster stint with the Astros) could indicate a decline rather than just a slump. “He’s had a lot of leg injuries and I think it’s started to catch up with him,” the scout said. “He doesn’t steal many bases anymore and he doesn’t move as well as he used to in the outfield. I’m not ready to totally write him off but he definitely slipped last year and he’s been worse this year.” Gomez entered today’s play with only a .197/.222/.262 slash line through his first 63 plate appearances, and he’s still looking for his first homer of the season. A down year could cost Gomez a fortune — MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes’ initial 2017 free agent power rankings tabbed Gomez as having the most earning potential of any position player hitting the open market.
- David Murphy is hoping for another stint in the majors both this season and beyond, though the veteran outfielder tells Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that his longer-than-expected stint in free agency this winter has made him confront the idea of retiring. “I realistically thought that it could be over. I guess I’m to the point where I know that any day could be my last. I need to enjoy every day,” Murphy said. After settling for a minor league deal with the Red Sox during the offseason and then getting released, Murphy signed another minors deal with the Twins that contains a May 1 opt-out clause.
- Orioles fans may want to avert their eyes for this one, as Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune recaps how the Cubs targeted and acquired Jake Arrieta from Baltimore as part of a four-player trade in July 2013. Arrieta was disagreeing with Orioles coaches and struggling to harness his stuff, yet a trio of Cubs scouts convinced Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer that Arrieta was well worth the risk. The rest has been history, as that trade (Arrieta and Pedro Strop for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger) is looking like one of the most one-sided trades in recent memory.