On Saturday, Reds southpaw Alex Wood threw a bullpen session for the first time since April, writes Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. Wood has been dealing with lower back spasms since he was acquired in the same trade that sent Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp to Cincinnati, and setbacks suffered in March and April led to the lefty being shut down for about a month. While there is no timetable for his return to an MLB field and his Reds debut, it’s promising that Wood is once again throwing and feeling well enough to move forward with his recovery. As Sheldon notes, Wood will still need to build up a foundation before he can return to the field, a process that likely includes several more bullpen sessions followed by facing live hitters, and finally a minor-league rehab assignment. Barring any further setbacks, completing those steps will allow Wood to join a Reds team that has actually fielded one of the National League’s best pitching staffs. To be sure, Wood, who has some experiencing working out of a bullpen role with the Dodgers, would represent a luxury for the last-place Reds even if there is not a spot for him in the starting rotation.
- Cubs left-hander Xavier Cedeno, out since May 21 with left wrist inflammation, will begin a rehab assignment today with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Cedeno, who also began the season on the injured list, has managed just two innings for the Cubs, largely functioning as a lefty specialist. While he’s yet to allow a run, the 32-year-old has walked three batters and has struck out just one. Cedeno was signed by the Cubs last winter to a one-year deal worth up to $900k.
- Astros shortstop Aledmys Diaz, who is currently rehabbing from a left hamstring strain, has suffered a setback, according to Jake Kaplan of The Athletic. It’s unknown how long the setback will keep Diaz, who hasn’t played since May 26, on the shelf, but with Carlos Correa out of the lineup, the Astros would like to get Diaz healthy sooner than later. By and large, it’s been Myles Straw and Jack Mayfield seeing the most action at short with both Diaz and Correa sidelined, and while they have filled in capably, neither can match Diaz’s above-average .831 OPS.
- The Angels’ David Fletcher was out of the lineup for the second consecutive game today due to left shoulder soreness, tweets Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com. However, he adds that manager Brad Ausmus said that a stint on the injured list looks unlikely at this time. It’s good to hear for an Angels team that has had to endure injuries to other infielders Zack Cozart and Andrelton Simmons, especially considering that Fletcher has arguably been the team’s second-best player this season.
I was at the game last night and was wondering why Fletch wasn’t playing. Glad to see it’s hopefully just minor. I think the team is way better with him playing.
I thought LaStella was the second best so far, I guess fletcher is a on base threat and maybe that’s what really matters.
Maybe they are saying LaStella has been the best?
The Reds are better than their last-place status would suggest. Lots of good pitching, especially if they can add in a healthy Wood, and they already outscore their opponents. Votto has picked it up. If a couple of others starting hitting again they could work their way into WC contention pretty quickly. They are certainly better than the Pirates and arguably better than the Cards and Brewers..
RyÅn W Krol
LaStella is their second best player right now.