It’s no secret that Chris Carter is an all-or-nothing hitter. The good news is that he’s been much more “all” than “nothing” lately.
Carter blasted a pair of home runs – one a two-run shot and the other of the three-run variety – in Tuesday’s victory over the Twins. The hulking slugger now has seven longballs in 11 games this month and 15 over his last 31 contests. He’s batting .315 with 15 home runs, 36 RBI and 29 runs scored since the beginning of July. Tuesday’s two-homer showing was Carter’s sixth (!!??!) this season. He now trails only Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Abreu and Nelson Cruz among the major league leaders with his 28 bombs.
Of course, Carter is no stranger to hot (and cold) streaks. Since joining the Astros last season, he’s been notorious for long cold spells followed by home run binges. There’s no reason to believe this hot streak is any different, but fantasy owners will enjoy the ride while they can.
Hendricks Holding Opponents in Check
We’ve all seen it a hundred times before. A pitcher cruises through the minor leagues with terrific numbers but is largely dismissed by scouts because he gets by more on pitchability than stuff.
Kyle Hendricks is your latest example of this. While it’s super early, the 24-year-old is off to a good start in his quest to prove those scouts wrong.
Hendricks held down the first-place Brewers with ease Tuesday, tossing 7 1/3 scoreless innings while limiting the Brew Crew to six hits (all singles) and one walk with five strikeouts. The stellar outing comes after Hendricks limited the Rockies to two runs over eight frames at Coors Field and held the Dodgers to one earned run over seven innings at Chavez Ravine.
But wait, Hendricks’ dominance dates back further.
After allowing three runs in his first one-third of an inning in his major league debut, Hendricks has given up just five earned runs across his next 41 frames. That’s an ERA of 1.10, kids.
It would be silly to suggest that Hendricks will continue at this rate (his ERA for the season now sits at 1.73). However, the Ivy League grad has the guile to conceivably keep it going for a while longer and is worth a roll of the dice in fantasy leagues. His next matchup -- this weekend versus the Mets at Citi Field -- is a good one.
Verlander Gets Good News; Machado Still Waiting on News
A couple big stars went down with injuries Monday. One received good news from his MRI, while the other still waits to find out how serious his ailment is.
Justin Verlander was cleared of any structural damage in his right shoulder, and while he’s fully expected to miss his first ever start due to injury this weekend, it’s possible he’ll manage to avoid the disabled list.
"Really, there was no major structural damage," manager Brad Ausmus told MLB.com. "At this point, we don't expect him to go on the DL. We're still kind of evaluating what the treatment options are, but there's a possibility he may only have to miss a start and be back with us."
Verlander, who is dealing with what team trainer Kevin Rand referred to as “normal wear and tear” in his shoulder, will be re-evaluated by team physician Dr. Stephen Lemos on Wednesday to determine a treatment plan. It will likely include a combination of rest and medication, with the goal of getting him back in the rotation sometime next week. The DL, of course, is still possible.
Like Verlander, Manny Machado underwent an MRI. His situation, however, still remains pretty murky.
The Orioles are saying for now only that Machado has a ligament sprain in his right knee. How severe the sprain is isn’t yet known, but the club promises to have a more in-depth update on the third baseman Wednesday. It sounds like Machado could undergo further testing and/or seek additional opinions before it’s determined how long he might be out. For what it’s worth, manager Buck Showalter seemed optimistic.
"I haven't heard anything negative," Showalter told MLB.com. "Manny seems to be in good spirits. That's good. So we'll see what the day brings."
By definition, a sprain means the ligament is torn to some degree. If it’s a minor sprain, Machado could conceivably even avoid the disabled list, though that seems unlikely. A moderate or worse sprain and he’s almost surely done for the season, with surgery possible (if not likely). The picture will become much clearer on Wednesday.
National League Quick Hits: Homer Bailey’s next start has been pushed back to Sunday due to a stiff elbow and neck ... Michael Taylor singled and launched his first homer in his major league debut Tuesday ... Troy Tulowitzki (hip) will visit a specialist Wednesday to determine whether he has labral damage in his left hip ... Yonder Alonso will undergo an MRI after leaving Tuesday's game versus the Rockies with a right forearm strain ... Doug Fister improved to 12-3 with seven shutout innings against the Mets on Tuesday ... Jarred Cosart held the Cardinals to three hits over seven scoreless innings Tuesday ... Brandon Phillips (thumb) took batting practice on Tuesday for the first time since landing on the DL ... Jayson Werth (shoulder) will undergo an MRI Wednesday ... Gerrit Cole (lat) will make another rehab start before rejoining the Pirates’ rotation ... Everth Cabrera was placed on the disabled list with the same left hamstring strain that he had last month ... Andrelton Simmons (ankle) is expected back in the lineup Wednesday ... Brett Anderson will undergo season-ending surgery Thursday to repair a disk in his lower back ...
American League Quick Hits: George Springer (quad) will be shut down for the next two weeks ... Chris Sale struck out 12 over eight scoreless innings but took a no-decision Tuesday ... Leonys Martin finished 4-for-6 with a stolen base and a run scored as the Rangers outlasted the Rays Tuesday ... Jeremy Hellickson took a no-decision despite lowering his ERA to 2.03 after six scoreless frames Tuesday ... Oswaldo Arcia went 2-for-4 with a pair of home runs in Tuesday’s loss to the Astros ... Jake Marisnick went 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored in Tuesday's win over the Twins ... Josh Donaldson homered twice and drove in four runs in the Athletics' victory over the Royals ... Ricky Nolasco (elbow) will rejoin the Twins' rotation on Friday against the Royals ... Alex Rios (ankle) is expected back in the lineup Wednesday ... The Orioles are hoping to get J.J. Hardy back in the lineup Friday after an MRI confirmed that he has a sprained left thumb ... An MRI has revealed a hairline fracture in Jed Lowrie's right index finger, but the shortstop will try to play through the ailment ... Dexter Fowler (intercostal) will be activated from the DL on Wednesday ... David Murphy (oblique) is expected to miss 4-5 weeks ...