The Twins announced this morning that Sonny Gray has been activated from the injured list to start today’s game against the A’s, with Cole Sands optioned out in a corresponding move. Gray has been out of action since April 16, when he left a start in the second inning due to a right hamstring strain. Acquired from the Reds as the Twins’ biggest rotation pickup of the offseason, Gray has made just a pair of starts with his new club. Despite his three-week absence, Minnesota has gotten excellent production out of their starting staff thus far. Twins starters rank sixth in MLB in ERA (3.12) and eighth in strikeout/walk rate differential (17.1 percentage points). Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober, Chris Archer, Chris Paddack and highly-regarded prospect Josh Winder each have an ERA of 3.26 or lower; Dylan Bundy is currently on the COVID-19 injured list, but the Twins could have an interesting call on how the rotation should be comprised once Bundy returns.
Some other injury updates around the league:
- Mariners catcher Tom Murphy left last night’s game against the Rays after dislocating his shoulder on a tag attempt at home plate. After the game, skipper Scott Servais said Murphy will be out for a while (via Corey Brock of the Athletic). The team will presumably provide a more specific timetable in the coming days, but it’s all but certain he’ll head to the injured list before tonight’s contest. The M’s optioned Opening Day backstop Cal Raleigh to Triple-A last week, and it’s likely he’ll be recalled to pair with Luis Torrens behind the dish. Murphy had been off to an excellent start to the year, reaching base in 18 of his first 42 plate appearances.
- Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty is set to throw a bullpen session before tonight’s game against the Giants, tweets Katie Woo of the Athletic. She notes that it’s Flaherty’s first bullpen work since he was shut down from throwing in Spring Training due to shoulder bursitis. It’s obviously a notable step in the righty’s recovery timeline, but manager Oli Marmol cautioned the club was prepared for a “pretty lengthy (rehab) progression” and still doesn’t have a target date for his return. Flaherty missed a month last season because of a shoulder strain (in addition to a longer absence on account of an oblique issue), so it’s wholly unsurprising the team is proceeding with caution. St. Louis has managed an impressive 3.15 rotation ERA — albeit with more pedestrian peripherals — in the absence of arguably their top starter.
- Braves right-hander Mike Soroka hasn’t thrown an MLB pitch since August 2020, the result of successive Achilles ruptures that have sidetracked a fantastic start to his young career. The most recent of his surgeries occurred last June and came with an estimated year-long recovery timeline, and he opened this season on the injured list. Soroka remains on track in his rehab, he and manager Brian Snitker informed reporters yesterday (via Justin Toscano of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Mark Bowman of MLB.com). The right-hander has thrown off a mound without issue around five times, and he’s soon to begin pitcher-fielding practice. The club is still hoping he can make it back to the majors shortly after the All-Star Break, and Toscano notes they’re not considering transitioning him to relief to expedite his return.
Here here for the Soroka short RP duty. Combine him and Strider would be an interesting duo that could 3-4 IP per and straight to setup man/closer, ideally. Still need to find a SP5 and maybe more if Morton doesn’t right the ship. Ian, please stop walking guys.
Always knew Morton’s time would come to an end. Can’t even be mad about it if this is it. With a guy that old you know it’s coming at any moment. Sadly might be it for him. He helped get ATL a championship though
He’s not this bad. I wonder if the injury rehab on top of the shorter ST set him back, though he looked good in ST. Whatever the case, stuff is still there, just not locating, which most of the rotation is suffering from.
Someone did a long writeup on this the other day – none of Morton’s pitch data indicates he’s done. His velocity is fine, location is fine, movement is fine, etc. Batters are for some reason, not chasing anything out of the zone. Whether he’s tipping pitches or batters have simply adjusted to his approach isn’t clear, but he doesn’t have a dead arm.
You Can Put It In The Books
Stick a fork in ‘em. Morton and the Braves, that is.
His placement sucks. You can see from watching him he’s not pitching to repetition and his curveball just isn’t the dominant out pitch right now because he just can’t place it right, and with Morton’s style of curve it gets hit. Hard.
The same thing happened with the rays in 2020, 10+ H9, but a lower WHIP than 1.7 (around a 1.3) due to him walking less that season. He’s getting hit more due to poor ball placement.
I remember watching a braves game and they said he only gave up like 8 HR on his curveball in 2021, or like the past 32 starts or something, and so far through the first month, he’s given up 3 on his curve.
He needs to adjust his repetition mechanics to allow that curve to do work. I think he’s pitching with the mentality of an aging pitcher, but he’s not pitching he’s just throwing. Metrics, his stuff is fine, but if you can’t pitch, and place the ball where you intend, the metrics mean nothing.
Eye test this, eye test that, but you can see from his demeanor pitching that he’s uncomfortable and somethings wrong with his mechanics. When he falls behind, he just falls apart. Reminds me of Cease in his no hit bid a couple weeks ago, the second Cease got hit he fell apart and couldn’t locate, Morton has the same problem of not being able to take back an inning after giving something up.
@You Can Put It In The Books
It’s still relatively early…but if given the option I’ll gladly put up with 80 wins this year if it means another trophy next year.
So you’re saying that the eye test of someone who doesn’t watch all of the Braves games is a better indicator than advanced pitching metrics?
If you’ve watch the games he’s pitched in he’s had some of the worst luck a pitcher could have. Gobs of soft contact that’s so soft or well placed that it’s not turning into outs. His average exit velocity is 80.5 mph and has a 3.2% barrel rate.
Dusty Baker's tooth pick.
You can put in the books. You apparently haven’t seen the way morton has started the last two years lol. It looks real smart judging a pitcher by 4 starts when he has a track record of success.
Should have kept Sands and optioned that disaster Pagan until he can throw strikes instead of issuing walks.
I was wondering why Twins have him as a closer? He is a 8th inning guy not a closer. He throws junk pitches and tries to fool hitters. Not enough of a fast ball for a closer.
I wouldnt call it a successful procedure until Soroka comes back because they said the same thing last year then he had to get surgery again
He didn’t “have to get the surgery again” like it failed to take. He healed enough to complete rehab and play normally before completely reinjuring it.
You Can Put It In The Books
If it makes you feel better. Either way, more than likely that all the Braves men can’t put Humpty together again.
You Can Put It In The Books
This is only temporary. I’ve seen the future of Clean Energy…
And it’s Cole Sands.
Pass the garlic
I don’t believe Flaherty has ever been our ‘top starter’. Flashes of very good, yes, but he’s been so inconsistent or hurt it’s hard to gauge.
He was their top starter in 2019: most IP, best ERA, best K rate, lowest WHIP.
True, but those numbers are mostly from his 2nd half when he had a .91 ERA compared to the first half where he had almost a 5
It will be interesting to see how the Red Birds proceed upon Flaherty’s return. 6 man rotation, which I prefer or does someone get bumped. Hard to see who that would be. Especially if they are grooming Hicks to be a starter. The axiom is you cannot have to much starting pitching but soon they will have 6 starters who all deserve to be in the rotation. I guess time will tell, but the answer is far from obvious.
You Can Put It In The Books
Injuries usually work these things out naturally. Wouldn’t be surprised at all to see any/all of Flaherty, Hicks and Matz miss the majority of the season still.
The Twins will do a 6 man rotation. They did it last season too. This will help with workloads to young starters and Bundy with history of shoulder issues