On a night when Max Scherzer turned in one of the most dominant starts in history, striking out 20 Tigers batters (video link) to tie a Major League record, here are a few notes on pitcher contracts and injuries…
- Cubs ace Jake Arrieta won’t offer the team a discount in extension talks, he told reporters, including ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers. According to previous reports, the Cubs have been hesitant to commit to anything greater than a four-year term, and that length clearly isn’t of interest to the 30-year-old reigning Cy Young winner. “Aces get seven years,” Arrieta candidly said in the interview. Asked what he felt his market to be, Arrieta declined to answer directly, instead telling reporters: “I’ll let you judge that. Just look at the numbers.” Arrieta again emphasized that his preference is to remain with the Cubs but that being compensated at the same level as the game’s other elite arms is also a factor. “Financially I’m fine, regardless,” he said. “You want to be paid in respect to how your peers are paid. I don’t think that changes with any guy you ask. It happens around baseball every year.” As Rogers points out, Scherzer and David Price are likelier comparables than the recently extended Stephen Strasburg, who secured a seven-year, $175MM deal.
- Mets left-hander Steven Matz will miss his next start due to soreness in his pitching elbow, manager Terry Collins told the media (via ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin). Right-hander Logan Verrett will take Matz’s turn in the rotation on Saturday, and Matz will be examined by doctors in New York next Monday. As the lefty himself explained (via the New York Post’s Mike Puma), he tried to pitch through similar soreness last season and ultimately had to spent two months on the shelf. The issue seems relatively innocuous at the moment, though given Matz’s considerable injury history it’s not surprising to see Puma write that there is “some level of concern” about Matz.
- MLB.com’s Bill Ladson spoke to Strasburg about his extension with the Nationals, (Twitter link to audio download), his motivation to sign now with free agency looming, the influence Tony Gwynn (his favorite player growing up and coach in college at San Diego State) has had on his desire to remain with one club and the team’s decision to shut him down in the midst of the 2012 playoff push in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. “He definitely had that sense of loyalty,” Strasburg said of Gwynn. “I think there were certainly times in his career where he could’ve gone other places, but the city, San Diego, kind of grew on him, and he became an icon in that city. I’m not about to say that I’m going to be on his level here in D.C., but I think you do have some sort of sense of loyalty to the team that did draft you, at least speaking for myself. So, when the opportunity presented itself that, here’s a fair deal presented to you, it didn’t really take long to make my mind up.”
- Reds right-hander Homer Bailey is “taking a step back” in his rehab from Tommy John surgery, writes C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Bailey explains to Rosecrans that he had a second opinion on his elbow on Monday, 366 days after his surgery, and is slowing his pace as a precaution. Bailey recently experienced some pain and took 10 days off from throwing and is being extra cautious. “One of the things that was brought to my attention was there’s a lot of research about guys who come back at the 12-month mark have a higher probability of it happening again, as opposed to maybe 14 months then the numbers are (better),” he adds. Bailey made throws of 110-120 feet on Tuesday without pain, but he tells Rosecrans he’s still about a month away from a rehab assignment.
- Chris Young, who underwent an MRI today due to forearm soreness, has been diagnosed with a muscle strain on the top of said forearm, tweets the Kansas City Star’s Rustin Dodd. Young is a candidate to land on the 15-day disabled list, even though (via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan, on Twitter) manager Ned Yost said that Young may not need 15 whole days to recover from the issue. The club may simply not have a choice, especially due to the fact that right-hander Kris Medlen is also scheduled to have his shoulder examined due to some soreness (via Dodd). Medlen’s Sunday start is in jeopardy, though the severity of the issue remains unclear.