Kenta Maeda’s early struggles have cost him his rotation spot, as Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters (including J.P. Hoornstra of the Orange County Register) that Maeda will be moved to the bullpen when Alex Wood returns from the disabled list. “This is not temporary for Kenta,” Roberts said. “We need him to get back on track, get some momentum. I don’t know what day he’s going to pitch but he’s open to it, and it’s a credit to him as a teammate.” Maeda has a 5.16 ERA over 52 1/3 IP, thanks in large part to problems keeping the ball in the park; Maeda has already surrendered nine homers this season.
Here’s more from around baseball…
- With Adrian Beltre possibly looking at a DL stint, the Rangers will recall Jurickson Profar from Triple-A, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports. Beltre didn’t make his 2017 debut until May 29 due to a lingering calf injury, and collected at least one hit in all seven games he played before suffering an ankle injury on Tuesday. Profar began the season on Texas’ roster but hit just .135/.289/.135 in 46 PA before being demoted to Triple-A.
- Nelson Cruz underwent an MRI on his right calf today and wasn’t in the lineup for the Mariners’ game against the Twins. Seattle manager Scott Servais told MLB.com’s Greg Johns and other reporters that he expects Cruz to be out “maybe a day or two,” so the injury doesn’t seem serious, though Cruz has been bothered by his calf for over a week. The veteran slugger is in the midst of another big season, hitting .299/.383/.563 with 14 homers over 230 PA for the M’s.
- Should Masahiro Tanaka to be removed from the Yankees’ rotation? ESPN.com’s Andrew Marchand believes so, as Tanaka’s struggles (a 6.55 ERA and a whopping 23.3% home run rate) are hurting New York in the AL East race. Since the team says Tanaka is healthy, Marchand figures Tanaka needs some type of breather just to correct whatever flaw has so negatively impacted his performance. Tanaka also has a 5.60 FIP but other ERA indicators (4.19 xFIP, 4.13 SIERA) have a more sympathetic view of his work this year, and since there isn’t any change in his velocity or hard-hit ball rates, it could simply be that Tanaka has just been terribly unlucky allowing homers. Still, that’s a pretty tough problem to have for a pitcher who calls Yankee Stadium home, especially in a season when home runs are up across the league.