Fantasy owners that have been stashing Archie Bradley got some awfully rotten news Tuesday.
The top prospect woke up the next day after his April 26 start for Triple-A Reno with more than your average day-after-start soreness. That prompted a CT scan and MRI, which has revealed a “mild” flexor strain in the pitcher’s right elbow.
All things considered, the news certainly could have been worse. We’ve had roughly a zillion Tommy John surgeries already this season, but Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers said Bradley’s ulnar collateral ligament is “intact. There was no fraying, it looked very, very strong. Dr. (Michael) Lee said this is probably very, very minor. It was very good news. Probably no throwing for two weeks and then start him back up again, and hopefully in a month he's back throwing in games."
But while things certainly could be worse for the consensus top pitching prospect in the game, Bradley’s season has unfolded far from what was anticipated to this point. The right-hander pitched well in his first two starts for Reno, which led to many clamoring for his call-up to help the downtrodden D’Backs. But Bradley then allowed 12 runs over his next three outings while failing to go five frames in any of the starts. Now, he’s got the elbow ailment to contend with.
Given the timetable Towers laid out, it sounds like Bradley won’t be pitching again for Reno until late May even in a best-case scenario. He would figure to need at least another month of Triple-A starts before being considered for a call-up.
Bradley obviously still needs to be stashed in any and all fantasy leagues, as the upside is tantalizing. However, it’s yet another injury to a big-name pitcher in a season full of them.
More Problems for Pineda
It’s been a whole paragraph since we discussed an injury to an exciting young starter, so let’s keep the good vibes going, shall we?
Michael Pineda was already in the midst of serving a 10-game suspension for his pine tar incident, but now he’s got a much bigger issue to deal with. The big right-hander had to halt a simulated game on Tuesday due to what turns out is a Grade 1 strain of his teres major muscle. It’s the same injury that’s kept Clayton Kershaw sidelined for over a month, and it sounds like we can expect a similar absence for Pineda.
The Yankees will shut Pineda down for 10 days and are currently projecting the 25-year-old to be on the shelf for 3-4 weeks. That’s probably a best-case scenario given Pineda’s past injury issues.
The news really stinks given that Pineda was starting to look like his old self early on this season after missing most of the previous two years due to injury. Pineda posted a 1.83 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 15/3 K/BB ratio over his first 19 2/3 innings for the Yankees this year. The Bombers will use David Phelps as a rotation replacement.
K-Rod Continues Dominance
The Brewers brought back Francisco Rodriguez just before spring training in a $3.25 million deal that was largely overlooked, but early on it appears to be one of the winter’s biggest bargains.
K-Rod nailed down his 13th save of the season Tuesday with a scoreless inning against the Cardinals. The 13 saves are tied for the most ever in March and April, and he has a chance to make the record his own if he can manage to nail down another one Wednesday. Rodriguez, of course, already owns the single-season saves record at 62, which he set back in 2008 with the Angels.
Rodriguez’s fastball sits around 90 mph these days, but he’s making up for a lack of velocity by mixing in an excellent curveball and changeup. The 32-year-old has yet to be scored upon this year, and he also boasts a 0.69 WHIP and ridiculous 23/4 K/BB ratio across 16 innings.
The Brewers’ bullpen has a whole has been absurd so far this season. Of all the team’s relievers that have been used regularly since Opening Day, only former closer Jim Henderson’s ERA is over 1.50, and he has a 15/3 K/BB ratio over 9 2/3 frames. Tyler Thornburg (0.61 ERA) and Will Smith (0.73 ERA) have been revelations, and even Zach Duke (1.46 ERA) has found a niche with his new sidearm delivery. The ‘pen has been a major reason why the Brew Crew has raced out to an MLB-best 20-7 record and a 6.5-game lead in the NL Central.
National League Quick Hits: Billy Hamilton went 3-for-4 with his first major league home run in Tuesday’s win over the Cubs ... Matt Cain was scratched from Tuesday’s start with a cut on his finger, but he’ll be fine for his next outing. Yusmeiro Petit fired six shutout innings versus the Padres in Cain’s place ... Tyler Chatwood is considered day-to-day after leaving Tuesday's start against the Diamondbacks due to right elbow tightness ... Jon Niese tossed seven innings of one-run ball in the Mets' defeat of the Phillies Tuesday and now boasts a 2.20 ERA for the season ... Michael Cuddyer (hamstring) said Tuesday that while he's "getting better," there's "no timetable" for his return ... Jose Fernandez whiffed eight over eight shutout innings in Tuesday’s win over the Braves ... Jaime Garcia (shoulder) will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Springfield on Sunday, and teammate Jason Motte (elbow) will also begin a rehab there over the weekend ... Mike Minor (shoulder) is scheduled to return to the Braves' starting rotation Friday vs. the Giants ... Aroldis Chapman (head) is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment Thursday with Low-A Dayton ...
American League Quick Hits: Manny Machado (knee) is expected to be activated from the disabled list Wednesday ... A.J. Griffin will undergo season-ending elbow surgery Wednesday ... Jason Kipnis exited Tuesday’s game against the Angels with a right abdominal strain and will be re-evaluated Wednesday before a decision on a potential DL stint Is made ... Carlos Santana belted his second home run in as many nights Tuesday ... Yoenis Cespedes left Tuesday's game due to renewed soreness in his left hamstring but could be back in the lineup Wednesday ... Jurickson Profar (shoulder) has been cleared to swing a bat and will begin a throwing program next week ... Scott Feldman (biceps) remains on track to rejoin the Astros' rotation this weekend ... Josh Willingham had to cut a hitting session short Tuesday after just a few swings due to continued soreness in his left wrist ... Kevin Kouzmanoff is likely to undergo surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back, a procedure that would cost him 7-12 weeks ... Chris Sale (elbow) is not expected to be ready to rejoin the White Sox’ rotation this weekend as initially hoped ... The Indians have demoted Carlos Carrasco to the bullpen, possibly clearing the way for Trevor Bauer to join the rotation ...