Justin Turner and the Dodgers received a scare when the star third baseman was hit on his left hand and wrist area by a pitch in the third inning of today’s 17-4 win over the Cardinals. Fortunately for all parties, Turner remained in the game until the eighth inning, when he was removed just because the Dodgers had their big lead. Turner missed the first six weeks of the season after another hit-by-pitch fractured that same wrist during Spring Training, and he told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register (Twitter links) and other media that today’s ball found the same spot on his body. “Could have been worse if I wasn’t wearing the pad,” Turner said, referring to the protective gear he has worn since the initial injury. X-rays were negative on Turner’s hand and wrist, so it looks like another injury has been avoided. After a bit of a slow start that might well have been caused by his DL stint, Turner has been on fire over the last several weeks and is now hitting .318/.415/.531 over 366 PA on the season.
Some more from around baseball…
- The Pirates have shut reliever Keone Kela down for the season, as per a statement released to media (including Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). Kela, acquired from the Rangers at the July trade deadline, has a 2.93 ERA over 15 1/3 innings for the Bucs but he hasn’t taken the mound since September 3. He has thrown 52 total innings for Pittsburgh and Texas this season, which GM Neal Huntington cited as the reason for the shutdown. “This was primarily based on his high leverage workload this year compared to the previous two seasons,” Huntington said in the statement. The decision was made to give Kela “an optimal amount of rest and recovery to be ready in spring training 2019.“
- Michael Lorenzen will start the Reds’ game against the Brewers on Tuesday, interim manager Jim Riggleman told Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer and other media. Lorenzen has pitched exclusively as a reliever from 2016-18, posting solid numbers as a setup man and multi-inning reliever out of the Reds’ bullpen. He has often expressed an interest in returning to starting pitching, however, and was stretched out as a starter last Spring Training before some poor numbers and a shoulder injury necessitated a return to the bullpen. “But we are looking at ’19 and who is going to be our starters,” Riggleman said. “We have an idea who some of them will be, but we will look at Mike here a little bit. It’ll be a very small sample, but we’ll get a little feel for it.”
- In other Reds news, president of baseball operations Dick Williams confirmed to reporters (including John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer) that Riggleman will receive an interview for the full-time managerial position. Besides that, Williams was short on details about the managerial search, other than to say that no interviews have yet taken place, and the Reds wouldn’t be publicly commenting on which people were or weren’t candidates. Fay speculates that the team will stick with Riggleman if they want an experienced “traditional pick” of a manager, though it remains to be seen what sort of more outside-the-box names (if any) could be considered.
- “There could be a big market for” Christian Vazquez should the Red Sox make him available in trade talks, rival executives tell the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. This scenario would’ve been seemed unthinkable last March, when the Sox signed Vazquez to a three-year, $13.55MM extension that seemingly made him Boston’s long-term answer behind the plate. 2018 has been essentially a lost season for Vazquez, however, as he has hit only .213/.256/.298 over 239 PA and missed just under eight weeks with a fractured pinky finger on his throwing hand. Offense has never been a big plus for the defensively-stellar Vazquez, though with Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart behind the plate, Cafardo wonders if the Sox could move Vazquez to address other needs.