Tyson Ross continued to flash his dominance on Thursday, racking up a season-high 11 strikeouts over six innings in a victory over the Cubs. The 27-year-old right-hander surrendered just one run on five hits and a walk on the evening.
Ross began missing bats at an impressive rate during his breakout 2013 campaign, and has carried over those gains in full force this season. Through Thursday, his 143 strikeouts tie him with teammate Ian Kennedy for third in the National League, trailing only Stephen Strasburg and Johnny Cueto.
It has been long documented how well Ross has fared in the spacious confines of Petco Park (1.89 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 78/20 K/BB in 76 1/3 innings this year), but it has been his work on the road recently that has taken the All-Star hurler from just a matchup play to a true fantasy ace.
With Thursday’s victory at Wrigley, Ross now owns a 1.89 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 26/2 K/BB ratio over 19 innings in his last three starts away from home. He’ll head in search of his 10th victory when he does battle against the Cardinals at home on Tuesday.
Yanks looking to bolster rotation
Looking for help to bolster an ailing and struggling starting rotation, the Yankees took to the trade market earlier in the month and acquired Brandon McCarthy from the Diamondbacks. While his arrival has certainly helped, if recent trade rumblings are any indication, the Bombers are looking to go back to the well in search of further upgrades.
With C.C. Sabathia out for the season and Masahiro Tanaka likely staring at the same fate, the Yankees are currently rolling with a starting five of McCarthy, Hiroki Kuroda, David Phelps, Shane Greene and Chase Whitley. It’s not exactly a group that strikes fear into the heart of opposing offenses.
They picked up Chris Capuano from the Rockies in exchange for cash considerations on Thursday, and he may get an opportunity to start, but the Yankees have much bigger targets in their sights. According to ESPN’s Jim Bowden, the Yankees are currently engaged in discussions with the Padres about a potential reunion with Ian Kennedy, and also talking to the Rockies about veteran southpaw Jorge De La Rosa.
The Yankees are currently tied for the final Wild Card spot in the American League, and sit just three games back of the Orioles in the American League East. They’ve already traded for McCarthy, Capuano and Chase Headley in recent days, and look as if they are willing to go all-out in an attempt to push toward a postseason berth. Expect at least one of those hurlers to be donning pinstripes before next week’s trade deadline.
Kendrys Morales returns to Mariners
After the Mariners were unsuccessful in their attempts to convince Kendrys Morales to return to the team after a terrific 2013 season, the M’s took matters into their own hands on Thursday, dealing right-handed reliever Stephen Pryor to the Twins for the veteran slugger.
Morales belted 23 home runs and drove home 80 runs while hitting .277 for the Mariners over 156 games in 2013. After he was unable to secure the deal he was looking for over the winter, he sat out the first three months of the season before inking a one-year pact with the Twins for a prorated portion of $12 million.
The switch-hitter brings another strong and stabilizing bat to the middle of the Mariners lineup, where he’ll serve as the designated hitter and slot behind Robinson Cano on most nights. His arrival takes a bite out of the fantasy value of Corey Hart, who has struggled through injuries and poor performance in his 51 games on the season.
National League Quick Hits: Though the Mets are receiving trade interest in Daniel Murphy, they are unlikely to deal the All-Star second baseman … Justin Ruggiano (groin) is expected to return to the Cubs lineup over the weekend … Angel Pagan (back) has resumed swinging a bat and could return to the Giants lineup during the first week of August … The Pirates downplayed their interest in re-acquiring A.J. Burnett, calling it “mild at best” … The Cubs are interested in trading away Edwin Jackson, though interest has been lukewarm … The Diamondbacks are looking to deal second baseman Aaron Hill … The Phillies would love to unload Ryan Howard, and could be willing to eat a substantial portion of his remaining contract … Cole Hamels racked up 10 K’s over eight innings of one-run ball in a victory over the Giants … The Mariners have inquired on the availability of Rockies outfielder Drew Stubbs … The Mets recalled Wilmer Flores from Triple-A Las Vegas, where he was slashing .323/.367/.568 with 13 homers and 57 RBI.
American League Quick Hits: Marcus Stroman twirled seven shutout innings of one-hit ball in a win over the Red Sox … Wei-Yin Chen twirled eight innings of shutout baseball in a victory over the Mariners, and has now won each of his last four starts … Danny Duffy hurled seven shutout innings in a no-decision against the Indians while Corey Kluber fanned 10 over nine innings of work in a no-decision on the other side of the diamond … Brandon Moss belted his third career grand slam to power the A’s in a rout of the Astros … Phil Hughes (shin) was knocked out of Thursday’s start after being hit by a comebacker in the fourth inning, but is expected to make his next start … Jake Petricka converted his fifth save of the season, and could be the favorite to secure the closer’s role with Zach Putnam placed on the disabled list … Teams have inquired on the availability of struggling Indians right-hander Justin Masterson … The Yankees will decide Friday whether Mark Teixeira (lat) will require a trip to the DL … Joe Mauer (oblique) hit in the batting cage, and could soon take live batting practice … Avisail Garcia (shoulder) is making quick progress in his recovery and could return before the end of the season … Chris Taylor is expected to see regular playing time at shortstop for the M’s, relegating Brad Miller to a part-time role … Manny Machado missed his third straight game with lower back tightness … Asdrubal Cabrera (back) is expected to return to the Indians lineup over the weekend … Brandon Morrow (finger) threw off a mound for the first time and could be looking at a late-August return … The A’s finally cut the cord and released Jim Johnson (6.92 ERA, 2.06 WHIP in 40 1/3 innings) … Neftali Feliz is expected to take over as the Rangers closer in the wake of the Joakim Soria trade.