Mookie Betts left today’s game in the fifth inning due to a bruised right thumb, suffered when his own helmet was knocked off by a Lucas Duda tag attempt and landed on the thumb. X-rays were negative and Betts told reporters (including MLB.com’s Connor Mount) that he hopes to play as soon as tomorrow. Betts also added that he has been dealing with nagging thumb problems “for a couple months” but it hasn’t been serious enough to keep him off the field. While this doesn’t look like a major injury, Betts is such a major part of the Red Sox lineup that his condition bears mention as the team heads towards a likely postseason appearance. Here’s some more from around the AL East…
- The Blue Jays have put particular effort into scouting Shohei Otani but realistically, Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi writes that Toronto looks unlikely to sign the two-way star. On the plus side for the Jays, Otani has worked out with former Blue Jay fan favorite Munenori Kawasaki and the team seems willing to let Otani both pitch and hit. Beyond those positives, however, the Jays’ relative lack of history in the Japanese player market would seem to put them behind others in the running for Otani’s services.
- Less than a year after the Yankees and Mets signed Aroldis Chapman and Yoenis Cespedes to multi-year free agent deals, Joel Sherman of the New York Post doubts either team would make those signings again given how both stars underachieved in 2017. Injuries played a part in both players’ performance, of course, and there is still lots of time for Chapman and Cespedes to deliver on their contracts. In Chapman’s case, his relative struggles also haven’t kept the Yankees from leading the AL wild card race. With Chapman owed $60MM through the 2021 season, however, it’s still an ominous sign for the Yankees that this down year came in the first season of that deal.
- The Drew Pomeranz trade is looking like a win for Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox, WEEI.com’s John Tomase writes. After the controversial deal with the Padres last year that saw top prospect Anderson Espinosa go to San Diego, Pomeranz was plagued by injury problems that continued into the offseason. This year, however, Pomeranz has delivered a 3.28 ERA, 9.4 K/9 and 2.59 K/BB rate over 159 1/3 innings, emerging as a much-needed stabilizer to a rotation that has been without David Price for much of the season.