After suffering a small fracture in his left ring finger after being hit by a Julio Urias pitch on September 10, Jake Cronenworth’s status was in question, though the Padres were holding off putting Cronenworth on the injured list. It now looks like the utilityman will return this week for the Padres’ critical series with the Cardinals, San Diego manager Jayce Tingler told The Athletic’s Dennis Lin and other reporters. The versatile Cronenworth has mostly played second base and shortstop this season, and Tingler said that Cronenworth could see action at both positions as well as some first base time.
Between an All-Star appearance this season and a second-place finish in the 2020 NL Rookie Of The Year vote, Cronenworth has emerged as a big force in San Diego’s lineup. Beyond just his multi-positional ability, the 27-year-old has also batted .274/.350/.369 with 24 homers in his first 773 plate appearances at the MLB level, and this season took another step forward by hitting left-handed pitching almost as well as he has performed against right-handers. Though Cronenworth (like pretty many of the Padres) had been in a hitting slump over the last few weeks, he had collected two hits in each of the three games prior to his injury.
More injury updates from around baseball….
- Nelson Cruz left tonight’s game due to a right forearm contusion after being hit by a Tyler Alexander pitch. X-rays were negative on Cruz, and Rays manager Kevin Cash told The Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin (Twitter link) and other reporters that the slugger should be “fully available” for tomorrow’s game against the Tigers. That said, Cruz might not play just for precautionary reasons and because Cash said Cruz might have been due for an off-day even before the minor injury. After being acquired in a July trade with the Twins, Cruz got off to a slow start in Tampa, but has started to heat up again over the last couple of weeks.
- After Shane Baz was scratched from a Triple-A start today, there was speculation that the Rays might give the star pitching prospect his big league debut during this series against Detroit. However, reporter Patrick Kinas tweets that Baz was actually scratched due to back spasms, though the issue might only sideline Baz for a few days. Baz has only continued to impress since making his Triple-A debut earlier this season, as the right-hander has a 1.76 ERA and a very impressive strikeout (36%) and walk (6.2%) rates over 46 innings with the Durham Bulls. MLB Pipeline ranks Baz as the 20th-best prospect in the game, and he stands out as a very intriguing x-factor of a weapon for the Rays heading into the playoffs.
- The Astros placed Jake Odorizzi on the 10-day injured list earlier this week due to a foot injury, and Odorizzi more directly described the issue to reporters (including The Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome) as “a mid-foot sprain.” The injury was caused by a “flukey” bad step that forced Odorizzi out of Monday’s game in the second inning. Fortunately, Odorizzi didn’t think the problem was serious, and the right-hander believes he’ll be able to return from the IL when first eligible on September 24.