It was just over a month ago that we found out Major League Baseball was preparing to suspend Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez and about 20 others connected to the Biogenesis clinic. We found out Tuesday that those suspensions will likely be handed down soon.
ESPN.com’s T.J. Quinn and Mike Fish, who have been following the story from the beginning, reported Tuesday that MLB is planning to hand down suspensions after the All-Star break. The report also stated that Braun has already been interviewed by MLB and refused to cooperate with their investigation. A-Rod is expected to meet with them Friday and is also not expected to talk.
Of course, it’s no surprise that the players aren’t cooperating with the investigation. They know that MLB is looking to suspend them, and they have little incentive to speak up.
That MLB appears close to throwing down the hammer is ominous, but this thing is far from over. Most, if not all, of the roughly 20 players are sure to file appeals through the Major League Baseball Players Association, which could drag things out for months. There’s a good chance no one will have to serve a suspension this season, if at all. We also don’t know if MLB’s evidence will be good enough to hold up after the appeals process. But, given the weight of this thing, they must be pretty confident if they plan to move forward.
If you’re a fantasy owner of Braun, Nelson Cruz, Everth Cabrera or others connected to Biogenesis, you might be tempted to trade them before suspensions are levied. That’s your prerogative, but it would be a surprise if you’re able to get full value. It would probably be best to wait for things to play out.
Off the Marc
When the Mets signed Shaun Marcum to a one-year, $4 million deal over the winter, the move was met with praise. After all, we’re talking about a guy that posted a 3.57 ERA and 1.18 WHIP from 2008-2012. As long as he stayed healthy, Marcum was likely to give the Mets some nice bang for their buck.
Well, Marcum has never really seemed totally healthy, and when he did take the mound, he pitched quite poorly, putting up a 5.29 ERA over 78 1/3 innings. That’s all over now, though, as the right-hander is set to undergo season-ending surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome.
Marcum is expected to be ready to resume throwing in a couple months, so he should, in theory, be fine for spring training. Thoracic outlet syndrome is a tricky thing, though, as we’ve seen it significantly alter or completely derail careers before. He’ll surely have to settle for a modest, incentive-laden one-year deal again this offseason.
The Mets will fill Marcum’s rotation spot with Carlos Torres for the time being.
Eaton Back from DL
Adam Eaton was one of the more popular sleepers in fantasy drafts this past spring. After a long rehab process from a sprained ulnar collateral ligament that involved a month-long setback, he finally made his season debut on Tuesday.
The 24-year-old outfielder’s debut didn’t go well, as he went 0-for-4 and committed an error in center field in a loss to the Dodgers. Still, the fantasy upside with Eaton is pretty high, as he boasts plenty of speed, great on-base skills and some pop.
The problem, of course, is that the Diamondbacks have a boatload of outfielders. The plan before Eaton’s injury during spring training was for Gerardo Parra to be the fourth outfielder, but he’s earned the right to play regularly by out-playing Jason Kubel and Cody Ross. Eaton, Parra and Kubel figure to play pretty regularly against right-handed pitching, though Martin Prado will play some left field against them while Eric Chavez handles third base.
Even though he actually hit better against lefties last season, Eaton seems likely to sit pretty often against southpaws. That might not be such a bad thing, as it’s probably a good idea for the D’Backs to ease him back into action.
National League Quick Hits: The Dodgers expect Matt Kemp (shoulder) to return from the disabled list when first eligible ... Eric Stults tossed the second complete game in his last five starts in Tuesday’s win over the Rockies ... Ricky Nolasco spun seven innings of one-run ball in his Dodgers’ debut Tuesday ... Alfonso Soriano had the second two-homer game in his last four contests in Tuesday’s win over the Angels ... Wily Peralta continued his recent surge with a three-hit shutout against the Reds Tuesday ... Ted Lilly (neck) will pitch in relief when he returns from the DL ... Cole Hamels allowed one earned run for the second straight start in Tuesday’s win over the Nationals ... Cristhian Martinez will be sidelined for the next 7-8 months after undergoing shoulder surgery ... The Rockies acquired Mitchell Boggs from the Cardinals in exchange for international bonus pool money ... Neil Walker has landed on the DL with a strained oblique ... Ike Davis was benched for the second straight game against a lefty Tuesday ... Carlos Gonzalez (finger) missed a second straight game Tuesday but is expected to avoid the DL ... Yadier Molina (knee) returned to the Cardinals' lineup Tuesday ... The Cardinals released Ty Wigginton ... Brian Wilson (elbow) could reportedly audition for scouts around August 1 ... The Giants signed Jeff Francoeur to a minor league contract ... Jedd Gyorko (groin) could begin a rehab assignment Wednesday ...
American League Quick Hits: Alex Rios boosted his trade value by going 6-for-6 with two stolen basesagainst the Tigers Tuesday ... Kendrys Morales homered twice and singled against the Red Sox Tuesday ... Jose Quintana went eight frames against the Tigers Tuesday and holds a 3.13 ERA over his last six starts ... Adrian Beltre went 4-for-4 with two homers and five RBI in a win over the Orioles ... Brandon Morrow (forearm) resumed throwing from a mound Tuesday ... Jason Vargas (blood clot) has been cleared to resume throwing ... The A’s will call up Sonny Gray from Triple-A Sacramento prior to Wednesday’s game to work in relief ... Jacoby Ellsbury (wrist) remained out of the Red Sox' lineup Tuesday ... Danny Salazar will make his major league debut on Thursday against the Blue Jays ... Melky Cabrera (knee) could begin a rehab assignment later this week ... Jake Peavy (rib) will begin a rehab assignment on Sunday ... Omar Infante has landed on the DL with a left ankle sprain ... Dayan Viciedo went 3-for-4 with two home runs in a win over the Tigers ... Justin Verlander was pounded for five runs on 12 hits over seven innings Tuesday and now has a 3.71 ERA on the season ... The Orioles optioned Kevin Gausman to Triple-A Norfolk after Tuesday’s game ...