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MLBits: Cardinals Banged Up, Melancon Needs Surgery, Marlins Cutting Payroll, More

MLB News and Rumors

Is anybody else excited for the “It” reboot/remake this weekend?


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I’m a HUGE horror movie fan, and while I don’t expect this will be the best horror movie ever (or even of the year, for that matter), I’m always in favor of blockbuster horror movies that make themselves accessible to the masses. It’s good for the oft-maligned genre.

Oh, and to that end, if anybody has some good horror movie suggestions ahead of October, drop a line in the comments. I’m running out of scary movies to watch. I think I’ve seen them all.

Okay, time for some news from around the league …

  • The Cardinals were already playing without Dexter Fowler and Kolten Wong yesterday, but now they’ll have to push forward without Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham, too. Each player experienced right shoulder injuries yesterday and is expected to miss some time. Carpenter’s injury (right shoulder tendinitis) is expected to be the more severe of the two, and he hasn’t ruled out an MRI or a cortisone shot. Pham seems less concerned, but given how many players the Cardinals are missing, it’s fair to wonder where things are headed. In fact, I wonder how many more at-bats they’ll let Carpenter, in particular, take this season. They’re not “out of it” yet, but they’re pretty close and could decide to look ahead to 2018 (and beyond). The Cardinals are coming to town next weekend, for what it’s worth. You can watch Mike Matheny discuss both injuries here.
  • Manager Clint Hurdle will return to manage the Pirates in 2018 … and 2019, 2020, and 2021. Reports indicate that he signed a four-year extension with the team recently, though the details of the deal are not yet clear. Hurdle (575-534) has overseen some of the best Pirates teams in recent memory, since taking over in 2011, and I think they’re probably lucky to have him stick around.

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  • As if the Giants needed more bad news this season, right-handed reliever Mark Melancon, who signed a 4-year/$62 million deal over the winter, will soon undergo surgery to “alleviate pronator syndrome.” The question, for some stupid reason, is whether to do it now or after the season. Yeah, for some reason the Giants (54-86, 39.5 games out of first place) can’t decide if they rather get their expensive closer under the knife now or in October. And it sounds like the primary reason against it is Melancon, himself, saying he wants to pitch until the end of the year before having the surgery. Why? That’s silly, dude.
  • According to the Miami Herald, the new Sherman/Jeter Marlins’ ownership group is expected to reduce payroll … significantly. And that’s not just a hint at their desire to trade Giancarlo Stanton. According to the article, the team’s current $115 million payroll is expected to recede to $80-$85 million if they keep Stanton and $55 million if they trade him. Which, oh my God that’s low, even for the Marlins. Worse, there seems to already be plenty of ammunition for fans to hate on the new owners the way they did with Jeffery Loria. One such possibility, which stuck out to me: Jeter reportedly plans on paying himself $5 million a year to recoup his $25 million investment in five years. That’s not a “bad look.” That’s a terrible look, especially for an owner who’s potentially about to trade a guy with 53 home runs (as justifiable as it may be).
  • A while back, the Astros fired about eight Major League scouts. The move was less about the Astros skimping on money, as some had suggested, and more about their continued push away from traditional scouting and towards analytics and video. At the Athletic, Ken Rosenthal discussed the progressing march away from traditional scouting with a number high-level baseball execs, and most of them, including the Astros, concede that scouts are still very important.

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  • At Philly.com, Matt Gelb discusses the Minor Leaguer who lost his right eye when an elastic exercise band attached to a metal hook broke apart and hit him in the face, ending his career. With plenty of comments and discussion with Matt Imhof, himself, this is one article you’ll want to checkout. The short version, however, goes something like: Terrible story, great person.
  • On Friday, MLB Advanced Media announced that MLB.tv will now be free to college students for the rest of the year. Outside of the obvious reasons this is a good idea (baseball is finally reaching out to the youth of the country in a meaningful way), I think there’s a quietly huge win hidden behind the surface. Most college kids don’t live at home where their favorite team might be blacked out. So, if you’re away at school you’ll actually get to use MLB TV and not just frustratingly wonder why you signed up for something you can only use sometimes. And it’s especially helpful as more and more people (especially younger people) cut the cord.
  • Giancarlo Stanton broke the right-field camera with his 53rd home run of the year. Baseball is AWESOME.
  • And Baseball is also FUN. Over at our sister site, I wrote up J.D. Martinez’s record-tying four-homer game last night against the Dodgers.

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  • And finally, at FanGraphs Travis Sawchik has an awesome post examining what might be the most extreme defensive shift you’ll ever see. The D-Backs, against the right-handed batting D.J. LeMahieu, put exactly zero defenders in left field – risking a fairly easy inside the park home run … that is, if he could just pull the ball. If you’re wondering how it played out, I encourage you to check out his post here at FanGraphs.

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Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami.