The Angels’ closer role has been something of a carousel all season, and just when it looked to be settling on Keynan Middleton, the 24-year-old righty was diagnosed with a UCL tear that required Tommy John surgery. As Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register notes, Blake Parker looks to be first up in line after recording a save last night and now rattling off nine consecutive scoreless innings. “It feels good to finally be back a little bit and command the zone better than I was early on,” said Parker of his recent run of success. Manager Mike Scioscia hasn’t yet re-tabbed Parker as the team’s closer, though given last night’s clean outing and his recent run of success, it seems likely that he’ll receive additional opportunities at the very least.
Fletcher also provides some health updates on Matt Shoemaker and Blake Wood, most notably reporting that Shoemaker played catch for the first time in two weeks yesterday and is headed for a followup visit with a nerve specialist today. Shoemaker was moved to the 60-day DL over the weekend when the Halos selected Ian Krol from Triple-A Salt Lake.
More from the division…
- The Rangers are “open to anything” in terms of listening to trade offers, an exec from another club tells Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. That comes on the heels of last week’s report from Ken Rosenthal’s report that the team is telling clubs throughout the league that they’re willing to move veteran players. However, that official suggests that the Rangers will also be patient with their approach, telling Grant they’re “willing to wait to get what they deem is fair.” Grant examines several potential trade candidates in depth, specifically listing Adrian Beltre, Cole Hamels, Keone Kela, Mike Minor, Doug Fister and Jake Diekman as players that scouts figure to watch closely in the two months leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
- Corey Brock of The Athletic takes a look at Ryan Cook’s long road back to the Majors with the Mariners after missing two full seasons due to injury (subscription link). Once a dominant reliever in Oakland, Cook discusses a tumultuous career to date that has seen some notable highs (striking out Bryce Harper and David Wright in the 2012 All-Star Game) and some difficult lows. “The most humbling part was wondering if I could ever do it again,” said Cook, who has undergone both Tommy John surgery and ulnar nerve transposition surgery in recent years. “…Those days you come back from rehab and can’t even move your arm or feel your fingers and literally just looking at yourself in the mirror and wondering if it might be over.” Cook, it seems, certainly can do it again. He posted a 2.03 ERA with a 17-to-3 K/BB ratio in 13 1/3 innings of Triple-A ball this year and has already tossed two shutout innings since being selected to the MLB roster in Seattle. Manager Scott Servais, who has seen setup men Juan Nicasio and Nick Vincent struggle recently, said Cook will receive “plenty of opportunities” to re-establish himself as a high-quality ’pen option.