Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson may have thrown his last pitch as a member of the Nationals. The pending free agent re-injured his right wrist during an at-bat Saturday, and he told reporters afterward that he won’t return this season (via Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com). Saturday’s start was the first in a month for Hellickson, who had been on the shelf with a sprained wrist. Injuries notwithstanding, this will go down as a successful season for Hellickson after he had to settle for a minor league deal over the winter. The 31-year-old posted a 3.45 ERA/4.22 FIP with 6.41 K/9, 1.97 BB/9 and a 45.9 percent groundball rate in 91 1/3 innings.
- Like Hellickson, righty Clay Buchholz has been as an excellent value pickup in 2018. Arizona signed the longtime Boston hurler to a minors deal in early May, and he went on to throw 98 1/3 frames of 2.01 ERA/3.46 FIP ball as a Diamondback, also adding 7.41 K/9, 2.01 BB/9 and a 42.6 percent grounder rate. Buchholz’s season is now done, as he incurred a flexor mass strain in his right elbow, but his D-backs tenure shouldn’t necessarily be over, Zach Buchanan of The Athletic writes (subscription required). Arizona has enough questions in its rotation that it should consider a reunion with the pending free agent, details Buchanan, who argues Buchholz’s elbow issue doesn’t look severe enough that it should scare off the team. Rather, as a result of the injury, the Diamondbacks may be able to re-sign the 34-year-old at a reduced price. Whether the D-backs are interested in bringing Buchholz back is unclear, but Buchanan notes that the player has “enjoyed” his run with the club.
- Angels southpaw Tyler Skaggs, out since Aug. 11 with a left adductor strain, plans to return to the majors this season, per Maria Guardado of MLB.com. If Skaggs’ bullpen session on Sunday goes well, he could take the ball for the Angels during the upcoming week, Guardado relays. The 27-year-old’s adductor has forced him to the disabled list three times this season and limited him to 116 2/3 innings. That’s a career-high total for Skaggs, though, and with a 3.78 ERA/3.38 FIP, 9.49 K/9 against 2.7 BB/9, and a 45.6 percent grounder rate over that span, he has offered encouraging results.
- Myriad injuries in their rotation could have stopped the Athletics from contending this season. Instead, thanks in part to scrapheap pickups Edwin Jackson, Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill, the A’s own one of the majors’ best records (90-59) and are now playoff shoo-ins. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com delves into how Oakland has succeeded, noting that its Matt Chapman-led defense leads the league in DRS (59) and has taken pressure off its pitchers. The staff – which has gone through 14 starters – has also gotten help from veteran catchers Jonathan Lucroy and Josh Phegley, pitching coach Scott Emerson and a stellar bullpen, as Crasnick explains in a piece that’s worth checking out.