With so many elbows in various states of disrepair across the MLB landscape, we could all use a nice Tommy John success story, no?
Well, look no further than Toronto right-hander Drew Hutchison. He had his UCL re-strung back in August of 2012, and he's off to an excellent start this season.
Hutchison earned a win at Boston on Wednesday, tossing 5.2 solid-if-not-spectacular innings, allowing six hits, two walks and one run, striking out four. The victory was his third of the season, and his second degree-of-difficulty win in as many starts. The 23-year-old went the distance and blanked the Rangers last Friday, beating Yu Darvish, yielding just three hits. Highlights here. He's no joke.
We're now 60.0 innings into Hutchison's season and the ratios are looking good: 3.45 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 8.9 K/9. His velocity is actually up a tick from 2012 levels, so no worries there. Hutchison has a not-too-intimidating double-dip week on the horizon (vs. TB, vs. KC), and he's available in 79 percent of Yahoo leagues. Make the add as needed, then return for refreshing bulleted fantasy content...
• Jason Grilli tossed a simulated inning against imaginary batters with a pretend ball on Wednesday. (That's how it works, yeah? Thought so.) He's on track to return by the weekend, though it's not clear at all that he'll return to his usual inning. Mark Melancon earned yet another save, striking out two batters in a clean frame against the O's. For the year, Melancon has a 0.90 WHIP over 21.0 innings and he's issued just three free passes. The Pirates may not feel motivated to make a change in the ninth.
• In other closer news, we now have a timeline on the Matt Lindstrom injury. As feared, it's bad. Lindstrom's expected recovery time following surgery is three months. So that's brutal. Ronald Belisario earned the first (shaky) save for the White Sox after Lindstrom went down, and he figures to get the next chance as well. People keep writing that Daniel Webb should be in the mix, but that seems unnecessarily reckless. Webb has walked 17 batters over 24.0 innings this season, including six in his last three appearances. That ain't closing-quality control.
• At last, we've discovered Anthony Rizzo's signature move. That is probably the Cubsiest thing you'll see all day.
• But wait, we have a feel-good Cubs item for you, too: Kris Bryant hit his 12th homer of the young season on Wednesday. The 22-year-old prospect is now slashing .323/.416/.610 at Double-A Tennessee, and he leads the Southern League in runs, hits, homers, total bases, OPS, and probably a few other things. He's been great. Probably needs a new challenge, soon.
• Mariners lefty James Paxton was outstanding in a pair of early-April starts, winning both while striking out 13 batters over 12.0 innings. But after his second outing, he hit the DL with a strained lat. Paxton has thrown a sim game this week, he'll put in some bullpen work on Thursday, and he's a candidate for a rehab start for Triple-A Tacoma over the weekend. So things are looking up. This kid was nasty in his 2014 debut (7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 9 Ks, high-90s velo), so please consider the add. He's only 25 percent-owned.
• David Murphy seems to deliver the fantasy goodies whenever it's my turn to write CT, and Wednesday was no exception. Murphy went 2-for-6 against the Tigers with a double, homer and four RBIs. His two-run bomb in the ninth off Joe Nathan sent the game to extras, making this madness possible. It's not every day you see a walk-off balk. (Balk-off?)
Somehow, in a game in which 21 runs were scored on 30 hits, Carlos Santana went 0-for-5 and stranded three runners. Probably because he hates me, personally.
• Astros rookie George Springer has been surging in recent weeks, batting .286/.375/.514 in the month of May with four homers, 11 runs-scored and 11 RBIs. But he suffered a strained hip flexor on Wednesday, while getting himself picked-off first base in the ninth. Let's hope for the best. Springer downplayed the severity of the injury in postgame comments, but he was limping badly on the field. So we wait, worrying.
• Today's final bullet is reserved for 36-year-old slugger Mike Hessman, who hit his 11th homer of the season for the Toledo Mud Hens on Tuesday. The blast was the 400th of Hessman's minor league career, an incredible number at any level. He's just four homers away from breaking the all-time International League record (258). Tip of the cap for a helluva career.