The Astros made right-handed ace Gerrit Cole a late scratch from his start against the White Sox on Tuesday because of right hamstring discomfort, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic was among those to report. The severity of the injury isn’t known, but it’s worth keeping an eye on considering Cole’s importance to the Astros and his status as the game’s best pending free agent. As of now, the 28-year-old workhorse is on pace for his third consecutive 200-inning season. He has given Houston 156 2/3 frames of 2.87 ERA/3.11 FIP ball with 12.98 K/9 and 2.24 BB/9 in 2019.
- Indians righty Carlos Carrasco has been battling leukemia, which has kept him out of action since May 30, but he’s champing at the bit to return, Mandy Bell of MLB.com explains. Carrasco, who fielded grounders off the mound at Progressive Field on Tuesday, is hoping to throw to hitters Friday. Manager Terry Francona wasn’t prepared to state whether that’ll happen, saying: “That’s still to be determined. I mean, the idea that he wants to, I think is terrific. But there’s got to be some sign-off from the medical people. But the fact he feels he’s ready to do that is tremendous.” Meanwhile, fellow key righty Corey Kluber was effective over four innings during a rehab start at the Double-A level Tuesday, Bell tweets. Afterward, Kluber called it “the last big step” in his rehab (via SportsTime Ohio). The two-time Cy Young winner has been out since fracturing his right forearm May 1, but the Indians have nonetheless gone 72-47. With a half-game lead in the AL Central, they have the inside track on a fourth straight division title.
- Athletics southpaw Sean Manaea enjoyed an encouraging rehab start with Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday, Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle details. Manaea, out since last September after undergoing shoulder surgery, fired 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball and totaled 10 strikeouts. He and fellow rehabbing lefty Jesus Luzardo seem that much closer to giving playoff-contending Oakland a couple much-needed pitching reinforcements. Luzardo, also out all season (because of shoulder and lat troubles), will start for Las Vegas on Thursday, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com tweets.
- Rays infielders Brandon Lowe and Joey Wendle are moving toward rehab assignments, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Lowe went to the IL on July 4 with a right shin contusion, while Wendle has been down since the end of last month with a wrist issue. The 25-year-old Lowe had been a serious candidate for the AL’s top rookie honors prior to his injury, as he slashed .276/.339/.523 with 16 home runs and 2.5 fWAR in 307 plate appearances.
- Tigers lefty Blaine Hardy has undergone a season-ending platelet-rich plasma injection, Chris McCosky of the Detroit News reports. Hardy amassed 44 1/3 innings out of the Tigers’ bullpen this season and recorded a 4.47 ERA/5.72 FIP with 5.89 K/9, 2.64 BB/9 and a 48.5 percent groundball rate.