The Indians’ rotation depth has been tested already, and they could now be facing another injury. Right-hander Aaron Civale exited tonight with two outs in the fifth inning with an injury to his right middle finger. The Score’s Travis Sawchik notes, via Twitter, that the medical staff was testing the mobility of Civale’s finger as opposed to looking at a potential blister. There’s no official diagnosis, but for a Cleveland club that already has Shane Bieber (shoulder strain) and Zach Plesac (fractured hand) on the injured list, any injury scare for the club’s most proven starter is particularly noteworthy.
Cleveland has cycled through myriad young options in hopes of churning out another quality starter, as they’ve seemingly been able to do at will in recent years. However, each of Triston McKenzie, Sam Hentges, Logan Allen, Eli Morgan and Jean Carlos Mejia has an ERA north of 6.00 after multiple starts. Swingman Cal Quantrill gave the Indians a much-needed five innings of shutout ball his last time out but hasn’t had much success overall in four starts. The Indians are still nine games over .500 despite those injuries and an offense that ranks among the worst in MLB (88 wRC+), but it’ll be increasingly difficult to maintain that standing if questions about the rotation continue to mount.
More news from the division…
- Twins center fielder Byron Buxton just returned from the injured list, but he exited tonight’s game against the Reds after five innings. Buxton was hit by a pitch on the left hand in his prior at-bat and played a couple innings of defense before ultimately exiting the game. Minnesota has won four straight games and can ill afford to lose Buxton if the team wants to cling to any faint hope of clawing its way back into the race. It stands to reason that the club would likely have Buxton undergo x-rays, even if his removal were deemed precautionary. They’ll presumably have an update after the game on Buxton, who is 4-for-10 with a homer and a double since returning from the IL two days ago.
- The Twins have shut down top pitching prospect Jhoan Duran due to an elbow strain, president of baseball operations Derek Falvey told reporters (Twitter link via Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com). He’s undergoing imaging to determine the severity of the issue. Minnesota has been attempting to weather injury troubles for two of its top three starters (Kenta Maeda, Michael Pineda) while getting awful results from fourth and fifth starters J.A. Happ and Matt Shoemaker. The Twins’ miserable rotation performance is perhaps the primary reason for their surprisingly poor record, and an injury to Duran would rob the club of a high-profile prospect who entered the season as a candidate to make his MLB debut this summer. Duran ranked as the game’s No. 83 prospect at The Athletic and No. 86 at FanGraphs, but he’s been limited to just 16 innings this season. Duran allowed one run with a 14-to-3 K/BB ratio in his first seven innings but has since been tagged for eight runs on 11 hits and an alarming 10 walks in nine innings.
- The White Sox are without Nick Madrigal for the remainder of the season, and while it appears they’re exploring the market for infield help, they’re also taking some looks at creative in-house options. Third base prospect Jake Burger is getting some work at second base in Triple-A, writes Vinnie Duber of NBC Sports Chicago. Burger, 25, is in the midst of his first season since 2017 after a pair of Achilles injuries wiped out his 2018 and 2019 campaigns. The 2017 first-rounder has left little doubt that he’s a talented hitter, batting .277/.320/.555 with eight homers, 12 doubles and a triple in 147 plate appearances in his first in-game action after a three-year layoff. The 6’2″, 230-pound Burger would be one of the larger players you’d see at second base, but manager Tony La Russa notes to Duber that with Yoan Moncada hitting so well at the hot corner, at-bats there won’t be easy to come by if Burger’s bat does force its way to the big leagues: “I think it’s really smart, and it’s smarter if you do it down there where it’s not such a microscope. … I like that they’re exposing him to second base down there.”
They probably should just bring up Burger and/or Sheets and let them DH for a bit. The league has adjusted to the Yerminator and he has not adjusted back in over a month.
The fall of Mercedes was predictable. A 28 year old career minor leaguer with zero defensive ability….the second coming of Dan Palka
I doubt it is a coincidence that Mercedes started slumping after his own manager not only threw him under a bus metaphorically, but he tried to also get him hurt by putting Yermin in the next day when knowing the Twins would throw at him at some point. Kinda hard to really do well for a manager that tried to get you hurt, and then essentially applauded the Twins efforts in trying. I’m sure LaRussa was sad that the Twins did not actually hit Yermin, but just threw behind him. Maybe LaRussa should be more concerned with how his team is handling things instead of the unwritten rule bull$%^!
It’s amazing that they are still even in the hunt. The Civale injury might be it though. Cal Quantrill is the tribe’s ace at the moment. Unbelievable.
You have two rebuilding teams and a scuffling Twins squad feeding you wins.
Except they’re getting their wins elsewhere too, they’ve got a winning record against top teams like Chicago. Might want to check out the actual results and also realize Cleveland is also rebuilding/reloading.
You missed the obvious that Cleveland plays in a weak division. Inflated win total they would not have facing 4 competing teams in the East and 3 in the West. Might want to watch closely so you know what is reality.
Sounds great except the reality is their division is no weaker than the rest.
woudlnt working Moncada back into 2B be a more logical thing to do?
That would explain the interest in Escobar from Zona.
This is the White Sox we’re talkin bout here, and you bring up logic?
No. Remember how bad Moncada was at 2B? Why take him from a position he’s pretty good at defensively and put him in a position he butchered? I’d rather roll the dice with Mendick at 2B, even with his deficiencies at the plate.
I’d bring up Burger at some point next season and try to fit him in where they can, and if Abreu retires after ’22 (big if), you just slot Burger in at DH and Vaughn at 1B.
i mean, how good can Burger realistically be at 2B? Moncada at least as experience there.
I wasn’t talking about having Burger at 2B. Unless his defense got considerably better this season (and I’m guessing that’s a big fat no), I would not put him there.
Again, I would just stick with Mendick at 2B and live with his lack of offensive instead of putting either Moncada or Burger there.
But I do agree with you, if it absolutely had to be between those two, I would go with Moncada and hope his defensive improvement at 3B by some luck carried over to 2B.
Moncada sucked out loud at 2nd.
things would be all good if Yolmer was around!
Not sure the 230 pounds is accurate. Reports say he dropped 40 pounds in the last year and is now 10 pounds under his draft weight.
Jonathan Schoop is currently listed at 6’1” and 247 lbs, and he’s been suggested as a trade option for 2B.
I’d rather they bring up Sheets, at least short-term, and send Yermin down. Get some OF help and have Leury be the utility IF while Mendick holds down 2B until Burger gets more reps at 2B. Sox need a bit more offense while they wait for Eloy’s return.
As bad as his slump has been, I’d keep Yermin in the lineup for these next couple of weeks to see if he can break out of his slump. The Sox have laughing stocks all the way until the ASB. If he’s incapable of breaking out of his slump against Pitt, M’s, O’s, Tiggers, and Minny, then absolutely send him down.
But I fully agree, they need to bring Sheets up. He easily looks like their best hitting prospect. But I don’t want him up if he’s going to ride the bench again. I don’t understand why he hasn’t been given a chance this season.
Plesac,Bieber,and now Civale. Not even counting all the rest of the bad luck since opening day.
Can there possibly be a more cursed team in baseball ?
Oh yes, there certainly is.
I do not think it matters who the Sox get on the roster, I think really they could have Eloy and Robert and they are about the same in terms of playing against tough pitching. The Sox are something like 12-22 against over .500 teams (yknow like teams they will likely face.. heck they can barely beat the Indians and they are currently 2.5 GB). If they refuse to show up when it really matters (i.e facing good pitching) it does not really matter what players they have as they will get rolled out of the playoffs. This team just appears to have no want to win and fall to pieces when facing tough competition. I want the Sox to make the playoffs, but not if they will be happy getting swept out of them.