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MLB News and Notes: Week of April 30

Now that the pesky diversion called the NFL Draft is over, fantasy owners and fans can now get back to the matter at hand: baseball.

Shohei Ohtani, everyone’s favorite two-way player, appeared to sustain an ankle injury after running out a ground ball and trying to avoid a collision with Neil Walker at first base. He already has his scheduled pitching start for Tuesday pushed back and did not start in Sunday’s game against the Yankees.  Nick Tropeano is currently listed as the Angels’ starter for Tuesday.

AT&T Park wall 1, Yasiel Puig 0, as the Dodgers outfielder left the first game of a doubleheader against the Giants when he crashed into the wall chasing a foul ball. X-rays on the foot came back negative, and the Dodgers say Puig is dealing with a foot contusion and hip soreness. On Sunday, the Dodgers placed him on the 10-day disabled list. Joc Pederson should see an increase in playing time while Puig is recovering.

Ronald Acuna, considered by many to be the top prospect in baseball, has been called up by the Atlanta Braves. After a stellar spring and an MVP performance in the Arizona Fall League, the Braves sent him to the minors, citing “developmental reasons.” The reality is this: If a player spends at least 172 days on the big-league roster, he gets credit for a full year of service time, which counts toward the six years of control a team has before the player becomes a free agent. So by keeping Acuna in the minors for a couple of weeks at the outset, Atlanta would have him under contract through the 2024 season instead of 2023. Not the first time it has been done and it won’t be the last until the rules are changed. Through his first five games, he has a home run, four RBI, and .421 batting average.

The oblique has been the focus 0f a couple of key injuries in recent days. Wil Myers has a strained left oblique and was placed on the 10-day disabled list. Myers was replaced in Saturday’s game by Matt Szczur. The Padres recalled Travis Jankowski, who has been red hot at Triple-A El Paso.  Then on Sunday, Diamondbacks pitcher Robbie Ray left Sunday’s game against the Nationals in the second inning because of a strained right oblique. If Ray has to miss time, Braden Shipley would likely be called up to fill his spot in the rotation.

Did we not tell you last week that Sean Manaea was hot? After last Friday’s outing, he now holds the longest hitless streak in A’s franchise history with 14 consecutive innings. He picked up the win against the Astros after allowing an unearned run on four hits and one walk with seven strikeouts over seven innings. Manaea has now allowed one earned run or fewer in five of his six starts.


Speaking of hot players, Cardinals outfielder Tommy Pham is on quite a run.

Fantasy owners of Xander Bogaerts are happy to see that the Red Sox shortstop has been activated from the 10-day disabled list. IF/OF Brock Holt was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Holt has played very well in the early going, as he has hit .340/.400/.520 with a home run and seven RBI. Also, Mookie Betts left after the fourth inning of Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays with right hamstring tightness. Betts was held out of Sunday’s lineup, and his situation should be monitored throughout the week.

Byron Buxton was working his way back from chronic migraines when he fouled a ball off of his left foot in his first rehab game last Sunday and suffered a hairline fracture in his left big toe. Without Buxton, the Twins will continue to try to fill the position with some combination of Max Kepler, Ryan LaMarre and Eddie Rosario in the center field spot. Of the three, LaMarre has seen the most starts in center during Buxton’s absence.

Orioles infielder Tim Beckham had core muscle surgery on Thursday morning and is expected to be out until at least early June. In Beckham’s absence, utility man Danny Valencia has started at third base.  To bolster their depth,  the Orioles acquired Jace Peterson on Tuesday. The veteran, who was most recently with the Yankees, has made 15 career starts at third base.

Jung Ho Kang has been granted a work visa and will soon rejoin the Pirates. Kang had previously not been allowed to enter the U.S. after he was arrested for his third DUI in Seoul in December 2016. It will still likely be a while until he actually appears in a major league game, as he will need to get back into game shape and up to game speed, but he would make a nice stash-and-save for fantasy owners who have that option.

Eric Thames suffered an injury while making a defensive play during Tuesday’s 5-2 win over the Royals and underwent a successful procedure to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. He is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. Without Thames, the Brewers are expected to utilize some combination of Ryan Braun and Jesus Aguilar at first base.

Wade Miley has been added to the Brewers rotation and will make his starting debut on Wednesday against the Reds. Miley was dominant in his final rehab start on Friday for Double-A Biloxi, pitching six scoreless innings and striking out 11 batters while allowing just two hits. He suffered a groin injury at the end of Spring Training. Brent Suter will now pitch out of the bullpen.

Phillies shortstop J.P. Crawford was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right forearm strain.  Jesmuel Valentin was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Maikel Franco and Scott Kingery are expected to play regularly at third base and shortstop, respectively.



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