On a night in which White Sox ace Lucas Giolito fired the first no-hitter of 2020, let’s check in on several other notable pitchers…
- The Brewers are “listening” to offers for star reliever Josh Hader, but it’s not likely the club will trade the 26-year-old left-hander before the Aug. 31 deadline, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic writes (subscription link). Milwaukee was also willing to entertain proposals for Hader last winter, but it elected to retain him heading into this year – his first of four potential arbitration seasons. For a bargain price this season (a prorated $4.1MM), Hader has given the Brewers 9 1/3 scoreless, hitless innings with 13 strikeouts and five walks. He’s obviously not someone the Brewers are going to give up for anything less than a massive offer.
- After throwing a 70-pitch bullpen session Sunday, Diamondbacks southpaw Madison Bumgarner could be closing in on a return from the injured list, per Steve Gilbert of MLB.com. Bumgarner has been on the IL since Aug. 9 with a mid-back strain, but he came out of his bullpen session unscathed, which manager Torey Lovullo called “very encouraging news.” The former Giant’s first season as a Diamondback has been anything but encouraging, though. After inking a five-year, $85MM contract in the offseason, Bumgarner has logged a 9.35 ERA/8.79 FIP with 6.75 K/9, 3.63 BB/9 and a 23.7 percent groundball rate in 17 1/3 innings. The 31-year-old averaged a career-worst 87.8 mph on his fastball during that four-start stretch, but Lovullo revealed Bumgarner’s “velo ticked up a little bit” during sim games.
- Right-hander Nate Pearson, whom the Blue Jays placed on the IL on Aug. 19, has been diagnosed with a flexor strain, according to Scott Mitchell of TSN. He’s hoping to play catch this weekend, Mitchell reports, though it remains unclear if the rookie will return in 2020. Pearson struggled to a 6.61 ERA/7.60 FIP with 7.71 K/9 and 6.61 BB/9 over four starts and 16 1/3 frames before going on the shelf.
- Dodgers righty Joe Kelly has been on the IL since Aug. 10 with shoulder inflammation, and a return isn’t imminent for the reliever. Manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday (via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com) that Kelly remains “a ways away” from rejoining the Dodgers. When Kelly does come back, he’ll have to serve a five-game suspension stemming from a July 28 dustup with the Astros. Meanwhile, Dodgers lefty Alex Wood won’t come off the IL before the end of the month, Gurnick tweets. Wood, who’s also dealing with shoulder inflammation, has only made one appearance this year (on July 25).
- The Rays’ injury-laden pitching staff may have lost yet another hurler Tuesday, when southpaw Jalen Beeks left their game with an elbow/forearm issue. Manager Kevin Cash didn’t come off as optimistic afterward, saying (via Juan Toribio of MLB.com), “It sounded similar to Kitt, but we don’t know anything yet.” Cash was referring to righty Andrew Kittredge, who went on the 45-day IL on Aug. 12 with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament. A similar fate would be a season-ender for Beeks, who has been terrific in 2020. The 27-year-old has notched a 3.26 ERA and a much more impressive 1.74 FIP with 12.1 K/9 against 1.86 BB/9 across 19 1/3 innings.
- Veteran knuckleballer Steven Wright hasn’t taken a major league mound since July 13, 2019, but the former Red Sox righty informed Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that he’s not ready to call it a career. “I just don’t want to sit back in a few years and wish I had tried it,” said the soon-to-be 36-year-old Wright, who threw 35 pitches from a mound last week and told Abraham, “I’m throwing two bullpens a week and I’m feeling healthy for the first time since 2016.” Wright was an All-Star that year, but he then faced knee problems, Tommy John surgery, a performance-enhancing drugs suspension and an arrest on domestic violence charges (which led to a 15-game ban) during the ensuing seasons.