The wait is over, Astros fans.
Frustrated with their lack of offense, it was reported late Tuesday night that Houston would be calling up top prospect George Springer prior to Wednesday’s game. Word leaked of Springer’s promotion just hours after he had gone 3-for-4 with a grand slam and four runs scored in Triple-A Oklahoma City’s win over Colorado Springs.
Springer batted .353 with three homers, nine RBI and four stolen bases in his first 13 games this year before the call-up. It was a continuation of what was a dominating two-plus seasons in the minors, as Springer entered play Tuesday with a career .300/.396/.558 batting line with 64 homers and 85 stolen bases over 283 games on the farm. He nearly went 40/40 between Double- and Triple-A last year, slugging 37 longballs and swiping 45 bags while driving in 108 runs, scoring 106 and hitting .303/.411/.600.
The 24-year-old does swing and miss a lot, having whiffed 334 times over 284 contests. The lack of consistent contact could lead to Springer’s average not being all that great, at least not out of the gate. However, there might not be a better power/speed prospect in all of baseball, and that’s what fantasy owners salivate over. Springer should be in right field Wednesday night and most every night for the Astros going forward (unless he’s eventually moved back to center field). The club has optioned Robbie Grossman to Triple-A and designated Lucas Harrell for assignment to make room for Springer.
Walker Suffers Setback
The Mariners are sitting above .500 in the early going largely on the strength of their starting pitching; a group that entered play Tuesday with a 2.75 ERA. The club was anticipating that top prospect Taijuan Walker would bolster the rotation soon. However, it appears that they’ll have to wait a big longer for the young righty.
Walker was slated to make what was supposed to be his final rehab start for Triple-A Tacoma Tuesday, but he had trouble getting loose in the bullpen before the game and was ultimately scratched with tightness in his throwing shoulder.
Of course, it’s the shoulder that sent Walker to the disabled list in the first place, as he entered camp with some soreness and had to be shut down again in late February after renewed achiness when he tried to ramp things up. Walker had been progressing steadily over the last six weeks, but he hit another bump in the road Tuesday.
Walker will be re-evaluated on Wednesday before the M’s decide the next course of action. Even if he doesn’t have to undergo further testing, you have to figure this will set him back at least a week or two and, in all likelihood, longer.
Johnson Headed for Tommy John?
It’s a day that ends in a “y,” so it only makes sense that we have another (possible) Tommy John surgery victim.
On Tuesday evening we learned that Josh Johnson would get a second opinion on his elbow next week from the infamous Dr. James Andrews. Later that night, it was reported that the Padres are worried the right-hander could be facing what would be his second Tommy John operation (and his second elbow surgery in the last six months).
The Padres signed Johnson to a one-year, $8 million deal over the offseason, but it’s looking like he might never throw a pitch for them. They do have a $4 million option on the righty for 2015 if he winds up making fewer than seven starts in 2014 (which obviously seems likely), but it remains to be seen whether they’d consider bringing him back even at a discount.
Johnson would be the second Padres pitcher (Cory Luebke being the other) and 22nd pitcher overall to undergo Tommy John surgery this year.
Lagares Lands on DL
Juan Lagares has been a bright spot in the early going for the Mets, not only providing excellent defense in center field but also hitting a better-than-expected .314/.345/.471 with a home run and seven RBI in his first 13 games. Needless to say, it was a bummer when the Mets decided Tuesday that his right hamstring strain would require a trip to the disabled list.
The 25-year-old’s injury doesn’t come at a great time, as Chris Young (quad) is still on the DL and Curtis Granderson (ribs) is banged up. However, the good news is that Young is expected back on Friday and Granderson was cleared of any serious injury.
In need of outfield help in the short term, the Mets called up Kirk Nieuwenhuis prior to Tuesday’s game and watched him go 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBI in a win over the D’Backs.
National League Quick Hits: Jenrry Mejia made an early exit from Tuesday’s outing due to a blister but could be ready for his next start ... Shelby Miller whiffed seven over seven innings of one-run ball in Tuesday’s win over the Brewers ... Jhonny Peralta went 2-for-4 with his fourth homer of the season Tuesday ... Tom Koehler yielded just one hit over seven shutout frames in Tuesday’s win over the Nationals ... Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Tuesday that Marco Scutaro (back) is still not close to returning ... Everth Cabrera was a late scratch from the Padres' lineup Tuesday due to a sore right knee ... The Dodgers optioned Paco Rodriguez to Triple-A in order to clear room for the return of Brian Wilson (elbow) from the DL ... Nationals manager Matt Williams said Tuesday that Denard Span (concussion) could play in a couple rehab games by the end of the week ... Chad Billingsley has been sent for a dye-MRI on his right elbow after a bullpen session Tuesday was cut short due to renewed discomfort ... Craig Kimbrel (shoulder) played catch Tuesday and remains day-to-day ... The Cardinals activated Mark Ellis (knee) from the DL ... The Phillies activated Mike Adams (shoulder) from the DL ...
American League Quick Hits: Jose Reyes (hamstring) is on track to be activated from the disabled list on Friday ... Dustin Pedroia (wrist) was given a cortisone injection Tuesday and is aiming to return on Wednesday ... Mike Napoli left Tuesday’s game with a dislocated left ring finger but is not ruling out being back in the lineup Wednesday ... Adam Lind exited Tuesday’s game with a back injury and didn’t sound optimistic that he’d be ready to play soon ... Blake Beavan left Tuesday's start against the Rangers have four innings due to tightness in his right shoulder ... Kevin Kouzmanoff went 3-for-4 with a home run and three runs batted in the Rangers’ win Tuesday ... White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Tuesday that Matt Lindstrom remains the team's closer for the time being ... Oswaldo Arcia received a cortisone shot in his right wrist Tuesday ... Koji Uehara (shoulder) is on track to be available out of the Red Sox' bullpen on Thursday ... Hisashi Iwakuma (finger) will throw a simulated game on Friday ... The Yankees called up Scott Sizemore on Tuesday ...