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Another day, another ace's start being pushed back.
Word came out Wednesday that Stephen Strasburg wouldn't make his scheduled start on Thursday, aiming for a Saturday return instead. This time it's Jered Weaver who's hitting the shelf for a few days, as Weaver has been scratched from his Friday start due to right forearm tightness.
Weaver's situation is similar to Strasburg's -- the right-hander experienced some issues attempting to get loose while throwing on Thursday, and rather than push it with their ace the Angels instead decided to play it safe. With nothing left to play for, Angels GM Jerry Dipoto said there's little reason to push their star.
"We're in the final 10-day stretch of the season," Dipoto told MLB.com. "At this point, you don't want to send Jered out there if he's feeling any degree of discomfort. The smart thing for us to do is just push him back. That's what we'll do."
Instead of facing the Mariners on Friday, Weaver will now be on track for a start next Wednesday against the A's. To the chagrin of his fantasy owners, the start will be his last of the season.
In his place, 26-year-old Matt Shoemaker will make his major league debut for the Angels on Friday. Shoemaker spent the season with Triple-A Salt Lake, posting a 4.64 ERA, 11-13 record and 160/29 K/BB ratio in 184 1/3 innings this year. The right-hander also allowed 27 home runs in 29 starts. Nothing else in regards to the Angels rotation changes with the move.
Even against the middling Mariners offense, Shoemaker is just a guy and shouldn't be a factor for fantasy purposes. If anything, those with Mariners should make sure their guys are in the lineup against the wide-eyed rookie.
Click here for the latest MLB Player News on Weaver and everyone else, and follow @Rotoworld_BB on Twitter for all the newest developments. Feel free to shoot any fantasy questions to @Nate_Grimm as we head down the home stretch as well.
Hanley Ramirez has been tearing the cover off the ball lately. You know, when he plays.
Making just his second start in the last week due to an irritated nerve in his back, Ramirez went 4-for-5 and drilled two home runs in the Dodgers' 7-6, National League West-clinching win over the Diamondbacks on Thursday. Ramirez is now 5-for-7 with three walks, four RBI and five runs scored in those two games.
Hanley's big day, while a blessing, may also be a curse of sorts. With a playoff berth in the bag, the Dodgers still have much to play for but not to the extent that they'd be willing to risk further irritating his back. The injury is serious enough that it kept him out four straight games last weekend, so some extra rest would certainly benefit the slugger down the stretch.
The Dodgers can still end with the National League's best record with a strong finish, meaning Ramirez might be called upon a few more times before the season is up. But those in weekly leagues should consider starting a shortstop with a more defined situation, and owners in daily leagues will need to be diligent about checking the Dodgers' lineup before each of the team's remaining nine games.
There are plenty of reasons the Pirates took Gerrit Cole at No. 1 overall in 2011, and Cole listed 12 of them on Thursday.
The 23-year-old struck out a career-high 12 batters over six innings in the Pirates' 10-1 win over the Padres on Thursday afternoon. Cole had previously set a career high with nine strikeouts against the Rangers on September 9.
While it's not surprising that Cole has the stuff to post such gaudy numbers, it is surprising given his past. Cole struck out 47 batters in 68 innings at Triple-A Indianapolis this season before being promoted, and he fanned just 29 in his first 48 2/3 innings with the Pirates.
Since then, though, Cole has struck out 65 hitters in 62 2/3 innings, culminating with Thursday's effort. And while he's best known for being able to bring heat approaching triple digits, on Thursday he did it with a variety -- of his 12 strikeouts, six were via the fastball, five were on sliders and one was by way of a cutter. Catcher Tony Sanchez, who's caught Cole at both levels this season, said the difference is noticeable.
"I know the Gerrit Cole that is pitching right now is completely different than the Gerrit Cole I played with back in Indy," Sanchez said after the game.
The Pirates will be hard-pressed to leave the kid out of their postseason rotation, but before they have to make that decision Cole will make one final start next week against the Cubs. The team's decision may be difficult, but he's been a no-brainer for fantasy owners for weeks.
National League Quick Hits: Outshined slightly by Cole, Madison Bumgarner struck out 10 in a win over the Mets on Thursday. One more strikeout and he'll top the 200-strikeout mark for the first time ... Adrian Gonzalez missed Thursday's game with some minor quad discomfort. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said the club doesn't think it's "major" and that he should be back in the lineup on Friday ... Denard Span's hitting streak ended at 29 games after Thursday's 0-for-4 performance ... Edward Mujica blew his fifth save of the season on Thursday. He's been especially shaky of late, owning a 5.40 ERA and 1.70 WHIP over his last 11 appearances ... Welington Castillo (knee) will be examined Friday after leaving Thursday's game due to soreness. Stay tuned ... Stephen Strasburg (forearm) threw off flat ground on Thursday. He's all systems go for Saturday in a favorable matchup against the Marlins ... Matt Adams (elbow) went 1-for-1 with a single after entering Thursday's game in the eighth inning. The issue may not be serious enough to force him to miss any games down the stretch.
American League Quick Hits: John Lackey pitched a two-hit complete game to lead the Red Sox back to the postseason ... Coco Crisp continues to set career highs in homers. He blasted his 21st of the season, a game-winning two-run shot, on Thursday ... Jacoby Ellsbury (foot) isn't expected back before the season's final weekend ... Edwin Encarnacion underwent successful surgery on his left wrist. He should be ready to roll by spring ... Jason Castro underwent a minor surgical procedure to remove a cyst from his right knee. His season is over, but he should be ready for the start of spring training ... X-rays of Jose Iglesias' left hand showed no fracture. The shortstop left Thursday's game after being hit by a pitch, but he's considered day-to-day for now ... Shane Victorino (thumb) sat out Thursday's game and is day-to-day ... Yoenis Cespedes missed Thursday's game after receiving a cortisone shot in his right shoulder. He's been relegated to DH while dealing with the injury, and there's a good chance he's back in that spot for Friday's game ... Clay Buchholz will start Saturday. The start was previously scheduled for Felix Doubront.
- Sports & Recreation
- Jered Weaver
- Gerrit Cole
- Hanley Ramirez
- Stephen Strasburg