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This week in Major League Baseball, an embiggened sigh of relief was released as Jacob deGrom’s MRI returned clean on Thursday. After throwing just 51 pitches through three innings, deGrom was pulled early from his start on Wednesday versus the Cubs, with right shoulder soreness. deGrom himself believes that the soreness was caused by a swing. The doctor he saw on Thursday found no issues with his shoulder; so deGrom went to another doctor for a second opinion. That doctor did not find any issues with deGrom’s shoulder, either.
Working backwards a bit, it was questionable on whether deGrom would make that Wednesday start, as the ace right-hander left his start on June 11 against the Padres, due to flexor tendinitis. However, after throwing his normal bullpen session between starts, it did not seem to bother him, and he was cleared to pitch. As for his shoulder woes, that has thankfully proven to be a minor issue, so hopefully there are no future spikes in the collective blood pressures of Mets fans (and folks who love to watch good pitchers).
deGrom’s next start is planned for Monday versus Atlanta, and as of writing this, the Mets have not formally announced he will start, but deGrom himself said he expects to take the mound. Arguably the best pitcher in all of Major League Baseball right now, deGrom has a quite ridiculous 0.54 ERA, 0.51 WHIP, and a highly impressive 111/8 K/BB ratio in 67 innings over 11 starts.
It was announced on Saturday that Shohei Ohtani will compete in the Home Run Derby, which is coming up soon, on July 12. Ohtani is the first player to commit to the derby so far; the 26-year-old has 23 homers on the year going into Monday, a new career high. As of Sunday afternoon, he shares the league lead with Vladimir Guerrero, Jr: they lead all of Major League Baseball with 23 homers each. Ohtani has homered in six of his last seven games, and is slashing .308/.379/ 1.000 in that time frame. In case you forgot that he also pitches, he also has a 2.70 ERA in 53 1/3 innings.
Ryan Mountcastle hit three home runs on Saturday, his first ever three homer game. He ended up going 4-for-4, driving in 4 total RBI; his homer count on the year is now up to 12. The Orioles had an overall strange day on Saturday, where they hit a season-high six homers, as Cedric Mullins also went deep, twice. They also became involved in a benches-clearing fracas as Alek Manoah hit Maikel Franco in the shoulder. The O’s eventually fell to the Blue Jays as they rallied late, losing 10-7.
The 24-year-old Mountcastle is slashing .429/.429/.857 over his last seven games, including five runs scored, four home runs, and eight RBI. Mountcastle’s Orioles teammate, Mullins, is also having a heck of a week, slashing .296/.406 /.778 in his last seven games including four homers, six RBI, and two swiped bags.
Adam Duvall has been absolutely tearing it up at the plate lately as he went 2-for-4 on Saturday, including two home runs off Jake Arrieta of the Cubs. He also walloped two home runs on Friday; the 32-year-old now has 16 homers on the 2021 season, and he’s driven in 52 runs. In his last seven games, he’s slashing .320/.393/.920, including seven runs scored, five home runs, 12 RBI, three walks drawn, and two stolen bases over 28 plate appearances.
Kyle Schwarber tied an MLB record on Sunday by hitting five home runs over the span of two days. Schwarber clobbered two home runs on Saturday night, and then went deep three times on Sunday, in Washington’s 5-2 win over the Mets. The last player to hit five homers over the span of two days, was Jose Abreu of the White Sox, in 2020. Schwarber has hit six home runs total in his last seven games, slashing an ethereal .385/.414/1.077.
Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs has been doing especially well, tossing six shutout innings in his start on Thursday, striking out seven, and giving up only two hits to the Mets. That was Hendricks’ seventh straight victory, and seventh straight quality start. He’s now gone at least six innings in nine of his last 11 starts, dating back to April 23. With this win, Hendricks is now 9-4 with a 4.13 ERA.
Padres manager Jayce Tingler told reporters after Saturday’s game against the Reds that Fernando Tatis Jr.’s exit against the Reds was precautionary. Tatís appeared to hurt his shoulder while diving for a baseball. That shoulder has bothered the superstar shortstop before, and was on the injured list earlier this year. Though he was not in the lineup on Sunday, the Padres said that Tatís was feeling better, and team trainers are “encouraged.” However, he remains day to day.
Rays ace Tyler Glasnow will be sidelined for the foreseeable future, after an MRI on Tuesday revealed a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, in addition to a flexor strain. The hard-throwing righthander will attempt to rehab and avoid surgery, in order to rejoin the Rays rotation later on in the season. Glasnow said in a candid interview on Wednesday that he had been using sunscreen and rosin to improve his grip on the baseball, and that Major League Baseball’s crackdown on foreign substances caused him to overcompensate for the lack of grip, choking the baseball, and thus causing more strain on his elbow.
Orioles southpaw John Means exited his start on June 5 in the first inning, with left shoulder fatigue. A subsequent MRI exam revealed a strain to his left shoulder, but no structural damage. Manager Brandon Hyde said he expects Means back “around the All-Star break,” and is still just playing catch at the team’s spring training complex in Sarasota, Florida.
On Saturday, the Mets placed southpaw Joey Lucchesi on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, a day after he fired 5 2/3 scoreless innings against the Nationals, his longest outing of the season. No other information has been released on Lucchesi yet, other than that he will undergo an MRI on Monday.
Also in Mets land, Brandon Nimmo, who has been out with a detached ligament in his left hand since May 5, began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Syracuse on June 20. Nimmo is expected to return before the end of the month.
Corey Seager, who has been out with a fractured right hand since May 16, is expected to start his rehab assignment next week, according to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. The former World Series MVP will likely need about a week of rehab games before coming back, but Seager should be returning to the Dodgers’ lineup early in July, at the very latest.
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Marcus Semien (2-for-3, 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, BB on Saturday), Patrick Sandoval (5 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 9 K on Saturday), Carlos Rodon (7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 8 K on Friday), Cesar Hernandez (3-for-5, HR, 1 R, 5 RBI on Friday), Charlie Morton (7 2/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K on Thursday), C.J. Cron (2-for-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI on Thursday), Johan Oviedo (7 IP, 0 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 4 K on Wednesday), Trevor Story (2-for-3, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SB on Wednesday), Taijuan Walker (7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 12 K on Tuesday), Paul Goldschmidt (2-for-4, R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB on Tuesday), Nathan Eovaldi (6 2/3 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 4 K on Monday), Brandon Crawford ( 2-for-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI on Monday)
A first-inning argument over a check swing may have caused Joey Votto to be ejected from Saturday’s Reds-Padres game in San Diego, but not everyone at Petco Park was pleased with Votto’s exit. Abigail, a six-year-old Reds fan in attendance for her first MLB game, and especially a fan of Votto’s, was noticeably disappointed, to the point where her mom tweeted a teary-eyed photo of the child to the Reds. The Reds responded, arranging for the young fan to receive a signed baseball with a heartfelt note. Votto wrote “I am sorry I didn’t play the entire game” on a signed baseball gifted to the young fan. Abigail’s spirits were certainly lifted after receiving the ball; however, the Reds eventually fell to the Padres, 7-5.
That was also Votto’s 13th career ejection, and first of 2021; certainly now a memorable one. Votto made further amends with Abigail on Sunday, where he took the time to say hello and meet his superfan during that game.
Join us next week for more stories and updates from around Major League Baseball, as that’s the last week of June (yes, already). We’ll recap the June that Was, as we head towards the midpoint of the season, and the All-Star break.