Some pitching notes from around baseball:
- Rays’ right-hander Charlie Morton came out of a twenty-pitch bullpen session feeling well, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. He’s seemingly on track to return next weekend, Topkin adds. The 36-year-old was placed on the 10-day injured list earlier this week with shoulder inflammation, which could partially explain Morton’s two mile per hour drop in fastball velocity from 2019 to 2020.
- Like Morton, Tigers’ right-hander Buck Farmer looks on track to return from an IL stint in short order. Manager Ron Gardenhire confirmed to reporters (including Evan Woodbery of MLive Media Group) that the important set-up man could return from a groin injury by the middle of next week. Farmer’s swing-and-miss rate is down a bit from his strong 2019 effort, but he’s nevertheless held opponents to two runs over his first 6.2 relief innings this year.
- Corbin Burnes will get the start for the Brewers on Tuesday, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Jounral Sentinel. He’ll take the place of Eric Lauer, who was optioned this week amidst a rough start to the season. Working primarily in a multi-inning relief capacity, the hard-throwing Burnes has racked up 24 strikeouts in 16 innings this season, although he’s also issued an alarming 11 walks.
- Mets’ manager Luis Rojas was noncommital when asked if Steven Matz would remain in the team’s rotation, notes Anthony DiComo of MLB.com (Twitter link). The southpaw allowed six runs in 4.1 innings in last night’s loss to the Phillies, continuing a disastrous start to his 2020 season. He’s coughed up 23 earned runs in as many innings, thanks almost entirely to an untenable nine home runs. On the other hand, Matz’s velocity has held in its customary 94-95 MPH range, and he’s run a solid 23:6 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Of course, New York is rather thin on potential starting pitching replacements if they elect to remove Matz from the rotation.
- As expected, the A’s have placed reliever Burch Smith on the 10-day injured list, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). Smith was diagnosed with a forearm strain yesterday. Fellow right-hander James Kaprielian has been recalled to replace him on the active roster. Smith has tossed twelve very strong relief innings for Oakland this season. Kaprielian, meanwhile, will get another chance to make his MLB debut. The former first-rounder got his first MLB call August 4, but he was optioned down two days later without having gotten into a game.