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MLB News and Notes: Week of June 4

On June 4, 1953, after batting practice at Forbes Field, the Pirates and Cubs announced a shocking trade. Pittsburgh sent slugger Ralph Kiner, C Joe Garagiola‚ P Howie Pollet‚ and OF Catfish Metkovich to Chicago for C Toby Atwell‚ P Bob Schultz‚ 1B Preston Ward‚ 3B George Freese‚ OF Bob Addis‚ OF Gene Hermanski‚ and $150‚000. Can you imagine how the fantasy world would react today if two teams made a trade right after batting practice? Let’s take a look at the latest MLB news happening on June 4, 2018.

MLB News and Notes

Is Paul Goldschmidt starting to break out of his slump? The Diamondbacks first baseman went 1-for-3 with a homer and two runs scored in Saturday’s game against the Marlins. He now has a hit in six of his last seven games with four extra-base hits in that span, raising his OPS on the season to .732, including two homers in his last three games. The Saturday game featured a special “Paul Solo” bobbleheads to fans in attendance, so Arizona may want to have some more of these giveaways to help keep the force strong with Goldschmidt.

Clayton Kershaw returned from the 10-day disabled list to start against the Phillies at home on Thursday, having missed almost all of the month of May with left biceps tendinitis. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, the bad news is that Kershaw’s back tightened up during the game.  Back issues are nothing new for Kershaw, but it has to be concerning for the Dodgers and fantasy owners that it’s seemingly been one health problem after another for Kershaw in recent years. The Dodgers announced Friday that Kershaw had been put on the 10-day DL. He received an anti-inflammatory injection in his back and is expected to be out at least a month.

The Atlanta Braves have a lot of good young talent, especially on the mound. One of those is Sterling, IL native Mike Foltynewicz. On Friday, he enjoyed his first career complete game shutout, outdueling Washington All-Star Stephen Strasburg.  Foltynewicz recorded a two-hit shutout while tying a career-high with 11 strikeouts. He needed just 106 pitches with 73 going for strikes. The youngster is owned in 70% of ESPN leagues, so he would be a great pickup or young arm to add via trade.

The Red Sox placed Dustin Pedroia on the 10-day disabled list with left knee inflammation. The 34-year-old underwent a cartilage restoration procedure on his left knee last fall and has been trying to work his way back to the field ever since. After experiencing another bout of knee soreness, the club held him back for another three games before placing him on the DL again. Without Pedroia, middle infielders Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez are expected to continue sharing time at second base. Also, Mookie Betts has been diagnosed with a left abdominal strain and was placed on the 10-day disabled list. There seems to be no indication that he’ll be held back for a long period of time, and as the move is retroactive to May 29, Betts could return as soon as June 8 if his recovery goes according to plan.

Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani will make his first start since Sept. 28, 2016, on Tuesday night. DeSclafani missed all of the 2017 season with a partially torn right ulnar collateral ligament. He has been on the disabled list all season with a strained left oblique muscle. DeSclafani was 9-5 with a 3.28 ERA in 2016 and is 20-20 with a 3.99 ERA in 341 career innings over 64 appearances. Fantasy owners who need pitching help should keep an eye on him.

Madison Bumgarner will make his season debut Tuesday night at home against the Diamondbacks after recovering from a broken pinky on his pitching hand. His return comes at a good time for the Giants, as they recently placed right-hander Jeff Samardzija on the disabled list with a right-shoulder tightness.

Luiz Gohara has rejoined the Braves after taking nine days off to visit his mother in Brazil. He was granted a leave of absence after his mother underwent heart surgery, but the procedure went far better than was expected, so he returned to Atlanta for Sunday’s game against the Nationals.

Chris Archer was removed from Saturday’s game against the Mariners after five innings with groin tightness. The young Tampa pitcher will have the injury checked out, and he is questionable for this week’s turn at home against these same Mariners.

Now that the Red Sox have released Hanley Ramirez, a few teams, including the Orioles, have shown interest in the veteran. It would not be surprising to see him signed this week. He would still make a valuable asset in deeper leagues.

The Giants placed Brandon Belt on the 10-day disabled list on Saturday after he was sent to a local hospital to be evaluated and treated for appendicitis. Belt made it through just two innings of Friday’s series opener against the Phillies. After his first at-bat,  he appeared to be in serious pain and was quickly removed from the game. The Giants confirmed the emergency appendectomy on Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Giants reinstated second baseman Alen Hanson from the disabled list.

Jung Ho Kang has begun to play games with the Pirates’ minor league team at High-A Bradenton. Kang has spent the last four weeks at the Pirates’ spring training complex in Florida, going through daily workouts and appearing in extended spring training games. Kang missed the entire 2017 season following his third DUI arrest in South Korea in December 2016, after which he was not permitted entrance to the United States. In his last big league season, he hit .255/.354/.513 with 21 homers in only 103 games. He is worth a stash in most leagues.

The Vlad watch will continue. The Toronto Blue Jays have placed third baseman Josh Donaldson on the 10-day disabled list with tightness in his left calf, but instead of calling up Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the Jays instead called up left-handed pitcher Tim Mayza. Guerrero is hitting .414 with 11 home runs and 53 RBI in Double-A.

The Phillies placed outfielder Rhys Hoskins on the 10-day disabled list with a fractured jaw. Hoskins fouled a ball off of his face in the ninth inning of Monday’s loss to the Dodgers, and a subsequent CT scan revealed the fracture. To fill his roster spot, the club promoted outfielder Dylan Cozens. He is batting .226/.325/.440 with 10 home runs and 25 RBI in 197 plate appearances with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.


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