Visits to Dr. James Andrews often elicit ominous thoughts. When they involve superstars like Chris Sale, the nervousness is only amplified.
As it turns out, the results of the exam were mixed. Sale does not need Tommy John surgery, which would have knocked him out of commission until 2021. However, Andrews did confirm that the left-hander is dealing with inflammation in his elbow and he administered a platelet-rich plasma injection.
Sale will be shut down for the next six weeks, which will knock him out for the remainder of the regular season. Even if the Red Sox should make a deep playoff run (which seems unlikely at this point, anyway, since they’re six games out of a Wild Card spot), the club does not expect Sale to pitch again in 2019.
It’s the end of what has been a bit of a roller coaster ride of a season for Sale. The lefty dealt with velocity issues in April and finished the month with a 6.30 ERA. However, the velocity then picked up and Sale went on a 10-start run that saw him post a 2.34 ERA with a ridiculous 106/13 K/BB ratio over 65 1/3 innings. Sale offered a mixed bag in his final nine outings, holding a 5.88 ERA but also registering double-digit strikeouts five times.
The final tally was a 6-11 record and 4.40 ERA but also a 3.40 FIP and 218/37 K/BB ratio over 147 1/3 innings covering 25 starts. Sale entered play Monday ranked just out the top-20 among fantasy starters. He’ll surely enter next season ranked as a top-five starter if he doesn’t have any hiccups over the winter, but his rehab will be watched closely.
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Hudson Hurls Zeros
Dakota Hudson claimed he was unaware that he had a no-hitter going on Monday against the Brewers. Cardinals manager Mike Shildt knew what was going on, but he wasn’t going to push the rookie too hard even with history on the line.
Hudson was yanked after tossing 6 2/3 no-hit frames versus the Brew Crew in what wound up being a 3-0 victory for the Cards. Milwaukee’s lone hit on the night was a Yasmani Grandal double with two out in the eighth. Hudson walked four batters on the night while tying a career high with his seven strikeouts.
Hudson walked Eric Thames with two outs in the seventh on his 111th pitch of the night and Shildt decided that was enough. Considering that Hudson’s career high in pitches is 112 and Monday was just the third time he had reached the century mark in pitches this season, it wasn’t a surprise to see his skipper pull him. It was also a hot, muggy night in St. Louis and Hudson looked like he might be spent.
The 24-year-old has now put up consecutive scoreless starts for the first time all season to lower his ERA to 3.63. Hudson had battled through a rough stretch prior to that, posting a 5.55 ERA over his previous eight outings.
For fantasy purposes, there’s not much to get excited about with Hudson. He walks far too many and strikes out far too few. While his ERA may now sit at 3.63, his FIP is at 5.10.
Still, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Hudson continue to sport a big gap between his ERA and FIP simply because he gets so many ground balls. His 57.2 percent groundball rate entering Monday was easily the highest in baseball among qualifiers. Hudson will take on the Rockies at home on Saturday.
Francisco Mejia’s season hasn’t been smooth sailing, but he’s starting to show why he was considered one of the best prospects in the game.
Mejia stayed red-hot Monday, slugging a solo home run off of Trevor Bauer in the fourth inning to put the Padres ahead of the Reds for what turned out to be for good.
The 23-year-old has been unconscious so far in August, batting .444 (20-for-45) with three home runs, five RBI and 10 runs scored over 14 games. Mejia has his batting line on the season up to .277/.323/.451, which isn’t eye-popping at first blush, but we must remember the hole he has had to dig himself out of.
When Mejia went on the injured list with a knee injury back in mid-May, he was batting .167/.207/.259 with no dingers through his first 19 games. The Padres elected to option him back to the minors once he was over the knee issue.
Since his recall in mid-June, Mejia is batting .323 with seven long balls across 43 contests. He’s started 33 games to Austin Hedges’ 22 games over that span for a nice, clean 60/40 split. It’s obviously not an ideal amount of playing time, but there aren’t many other catchers that have the offensive ceiling of Mejia down the stretch even as he sits two of every five games. He’s currently still unowned in over half of Yahoo leagues.
National League Quick Hits: Juan Soto went 4-for-4 at the plate and scored four runs in the Nationals’ blowout win over the Pirates. … Trevor Bauer took a loss even though he fanned 11 batters while limiting the Padres to two earned runs over seven frames Monday. … Zac Gallen walked six hitters, but struck out eight while allowing just one run in six frames in a no-decision against the Rockies on Monday. … Asdrubal Cabrera went deep and plated five runs Monday in Pittsburgh. … Nick Senzel was scratched from the Reds' lineup Monday due to a sore left elbow as a result of a hit by pitch Sunday. … Lorenzo Cain (oblique) remained out of the Brewers' lineup Monday but did pinch-hit. … Jesse Winker (back) was not available to play Monday. … David Dahl (ankle) is hopeful of being activated in the first week of September. … The Braves claimed Billy Hamilton off waivers from the Royals. … Carson Kelly went 2-for-3 and hit a go-ahead homer in the Diamondbacks' victory over the Rockies on Monday.
American League Quick Hits: Corey Kluber (arm) is expected to be shut down for two weeks after suffering an injury to his left abdominal muscle during his last rehab start. … Carlos Correa departed Monday's game against the Tigers because of back discomfort. … Yoan Moncada (hamstring) is expected to be activated from the injured list on Thursday. … Tyler Glasnow (forearm) threw a bullpen session on Monday and the plan is to bring him back as a reliever. … Adalberto Mondesi (shoulder) is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with Triple-A Omaha … Albert Pujols went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, two walks and a stolen base on Monday in an extra-innings loss to the Rangers … Joey Gallo (wrist) is unlikely to return before mid-September. … Travis Demeritte went 3-for-5 with a homer and two runs scored on Monday in a loss to the Astros. … Danny Santana was yanked from Monday's game versus the Angels with left hamstring tightness. … Tom Murphy went 3-for-3 with two homers, four RBI and a walk to lead the Mariners to a win over the Rays on Monday. … Niko Goodrum was out of the lineup for the second straight day Monday due to a sore groin. … Avisail Garcia (oblique) has been cleared to begin swinging a bat.