Athletics manager Bob Melvin thinks the trapezius problem that forced Sonny Gray to the disabled list Sunday is at the root of the right-hander’s early season woes. “It’s like pitching with a rock in the bottom of your neck,” Melvin said (Twitter link via Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com). If Gray had been pitching through the injury before landing on the DL, it would explain his swift descent from an ace to one of the majors’ worst starters in 2016. For his part, Gray expects the DL stint to serve him and the team well. “It’s better to go ahead and try to miss a couple starts and knock this thing out. In the long run, it’ll benefit everyone,” he commented (Twitter link via Jane Lee of MLB.com).
Here’s more on a handful of other pitchers:
- Newly signed Angels righty Tim Lincecum will head to Triple-A Salt Lake City at the end of the month and make at least two rehab starts there before joining the big league club, tweets Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times.
- Pirates general manager Neal Huntington wants elite pitching prospects Tyler Glasnow and Jameson Taillon to spend the entire season with Triple-A Indianapolis, but he realizes that it’s unlikely to happen. “Perfect world they have a full year at Triple-A. It’s probably not going to be a perfect world,” he said Sunday (Twitter link via Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review). Glasnow and Taillon have torched the minors this year and look poised to join the Pirates when the Super Two threshold passes in June. Aside from Gerrit Cole and, to a much lesser extent, Juan Nicasio, Pittsburgh has gotten little production from its rotation members this year. Thus, Glasnow and Taillon will provide a pair of welcome reinforcements.
- The Pirates have gotten many offers for minor league right-hander Chad Kuhl over the years, Huntington said Sunday (Twitter link via Stephen Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). Huntington added that he thinks Kuhl has the potential to be an asset in either the rotation or bullpen at the major league level. Both Glasnow and Taillon overshadow Kuhl, but the latter has gotten eye-opening results at Triple-A this year, posting a microscopic .99 ERA in 45 2/3 innings. Kuhl, 23, also demonstrated similar abilities at lower minor league levels.
- Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal has struggled with command this month, walking nine batters in six innings, which manager Mike Matheny attributes to a lack of work. “If we see him take long breaks and then be really sharp when he comes in, that’s another story. But right now, he’s just not quite where he wants to be. And sometimes the only way of fixing that is to throw,” Matheny said (via Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com). Matheny plans to use Rosenthal more, even if it means the Cardinals deploy the 25-year-old so often that they have to rest him for certain save situations. “I think it’s probably the priority at this point to get [Rosenthal] the amount of work that he needs until he is right, and then build on that confidence,” Matheny stated.
- Triple-A Pawtucket has placed Red Sox southpaw Brian Johnson on the temporary inactive list as he seeks treatment for anxiety, according to Ian Browne of MLB.com. Johnson, whom MLBpipeline.com ranks as Boston’s sixth-best prospect, will partake in “non-game baseball activities” in Fort Myers, Fla., while undergoing anxiety treatment. “Obviously we’re well aware of what he’s dealing with and we support him,” said manager John Farrell. “He’s a talented young guy and we’ll provide every available resource to him to get back to being a productive pitcher and a guy that we’d hope to factor in as we go forward.”