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Alfonso Soriano put on quite a show Tuesday night in the Bronx. On Wednesday, he rewarded those who stayed around for the second act.
A night after going 3-for-6 with two home runs and six RBI, Soriano did one better against Jered Weaver and the Angels on Wednesday, going 3-for-3 with two more home runs and seven RBI, including a grand slam.
The slam came in the first inning of the game and foretold of the trouble Weaver would have on the night. It also foretold of Soriano's continued success, as he would add a solo home run and a two-run double later in the game. To top it off, Soriano also walked once on the night.
It hasn't been a wildly successful reunion tour with the Yankees thus far, as Soriano is batting just .258 even after the two-day homer binge. But he's now got seven home runs and 21 RBI in 17 games with the Bronx Bombers, and he seems to be enjoying his new digs -- six of the seven homers he's hit since being traded have come at Yankee Stadium.
Soriano is prone to streaks, so his owners ride should enjoy the ride while it lasts. Because even the best shows leave Broadway eventually -- except, you know, CATS.
Click here for the latest MLB Player News including more notes on Soriano and fewer about Broadway musicals, and follow @Nate_Grimm and @Rotoworld_BB on Twitter while you're at it.
Passing The Buch-holz
Not many times does a division leader acquire the services of an ace pitcher in late August.
The Red Sox are hoping to do just that in the form of Clay Buchholz.
Buchholz, who has been on the disabled list since June 9 with a shoulder injury, threw a 50-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday afternoon without issue. The 29-year-old threw all of his pitches and reported no ill effects after the outing.
"Best day so far," Buchholz told WEEI.com following the session.
Though his return is still likely a few weeks away, if and when he does get back it could be a huge boost to both his real life and fantasy teams. The right-hander was arguably the best pitcher of the first half of the season, going 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA and 81/29 K/BB ratio in 84 1/3 innings before hitting the DL. The legitimacy of some of those performances is still up for debate, but they happened nonetheless.
Common sense tells us Buchholz likely won't be able to sustain a 1.71 ERA upon his return, but even his expected fielding-independent pitching (xFIP, to some) was a still-impressive 3.18 in those 12 starts before the injury. If he can return to 85 percent of that pitcher, he should be wildly valuable to both the Red Sox and fantasy teams making that playoff push.
From here, Buchholz will throw another bullpen session on Saturday and reassess from there. If all goes well, a simulated game is likely to follow, with a minor league rehab assignment shortly behind. Watch for a Buchholz return in late August or early September.
Tell Me Moore
Fantasy owners got less exciting news about another exciting arm on Wednesday.
The Rays announced that Matt Moore will not rejoin the rotation this weekend as hoped. The southpaw has been on the disabled list since July 29 with left elbow soreness, and he told reporters on Wednesday that the elbow feels "good but not great." Still, the Rays maintain the move is them exercising caution and not because the 24-year-old suffered a setback.
Moore will throw a bullpen session on Sunday and could be good to go shortly thereafter, making this only a slight inconvenience for fantasy owners. Owners can still hope to have a healthy, effective Moore pitching before the end of August.
National League Quick Hits: Cardinals prospect Oscar Taveras will undergo season-ending ankle surgery next week. Those hoping to get a glimpse of the uber-prospect must wait until 2014 ... Jeremy Hefner has been diagnosed with a partially torn MCL. The injury won't require immediate surgery, and the Mets still hope to have him back this year ... Francisco Liriano allowed one run in a complete-game victory over the Cardinals. Sometimes a bad start at Coors Field is just a bad start at Coors Field ... Tyler Pastornicky left Wednesday's game with a sprained left knee. With Dan Uggla set to undergo eye surgery, second base could quickly become a problem for the Braves ... John Lannan left his start Wednesday with a left knee injury. A knee injury forced him to miss two months earlier this season ... Wilmer Flores' ankle was "marginally better" on Wednesday, according to Mets manager Terry Collins. Flores could still require a couple more days off before returning ... Wandy Rodriguez (forearm) threw a 35-pitch bullpen session, saying he felt fine. He'll next throw live batting practice on Friday ... Hanley Ramirez returned to the Dodgers' lineup, going 2-for-5 (at press time) with a double and a run scored.
American League Quick Hits: Alexi Ogando underwent a CT scan Wednesday after he complained of shoulder soreness following his Tuesday start. More will be known Thursday, but a skipped start could be in his near future ... Colby Rasmus was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain. Poor timing for the outfielder, who was in the midst of a career year ... Jim Johnson blew his second consecutive save opportunity and ninth of the season. If the Orioles go a different route in the ninth inning, look for it to be Tommy Hunter with the first shot ... there remains no timetable for a return for John Jaso (concussion) ... Mike Moustakas (calf) should avoid a DL trip but won't be available until the weekend at the earliest ... Peter Bourjos (wrist) is expected back on Friday ... Desmond Jennings (finger) hopes to return to the Rays on Monday ... Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos suggested the team will call up Anthony Gose in the coming days. Snatch up the speedster if you're hurting for steals.