MLBits: Brewers Injuries, Cardinals Young Pitchers, Cespedes Surgery, More

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MLBits: Brewers Injuries, Cardinals Young Pitchers, Cespedes Surgery, More

Chicago Cubs

There’s been a TON of stuff going on around baseball lately – particularly with the Cubs, their injured players, and their potential trade targets – so let’s do a quick round-up of MLBits to get back on top of things, shall we?

  • The Brewers learned that they’d be without starter Brent Suter (UCL tear) for the remainder of the season two days ago, but according to Robert Murray, he’s going to get a second opinion first. The chances for Tommy John surgery remain high, but perhaps the Brewers have the slightest, tiniest bit of hope yet for Suter. And they definitely have plenty of overall hope: for a second there, when Kris Bryant and Brandon Morrow were still playing, Javy Baez was feeling good, Zach Britton/Nathan Eovaldi were still available, the Cubs hadn’t lost two straight to the Diamondbacks, and the Brewers hadn’t won two straight against the Nationals, I thought the Cubs were going to walk away with the division. But just a couple days later and it looks, again, like it’ll be a fight. It’s okay, but it is what it is.
  • And just like that, lady fate claps back:

  • The Brewers rotation has taken a beating this season, and it seems their injury struggles are not over. I’ll tell you what, if both the Cubs and Brewers were even reasonably healthy this season, this would’ve been one hell of a divisional race. Maybe it still is. We’ll see what each club does in the coming days.
  • Meanwhile, the Cardinals, for all of the heat and reputation tarnishing that has occurred over the past several years (hacking scandal, Dexter Fowler mis-handling, firing their manager mid-season, etc.), continue to churn out young pitchers like nobody’s business:

  • The Cardinals only have two qualified starters this season – All-Star Miles Mikolas and 24-year-old Luke Weaver – but the former has been excellent and the latter has shown a ton of promise. Meanwhile, 22-year-old Jack Flaherty came into today with a 3.15 ERA (3.89 FIP) and looks like a mainstay for their rotation over the next 5-6 years, 24-year-old Austin Gomber threw 6.1 IP of 2-run ball in his starting debut yesterday, and 26-year-old Daniel Poncedeleon threw 7.0 *hitless* innings on Monday night in his debut. They are a machine.
  • Elsewhere in the NL Central, the Pirates have now won 11 straight to climb within 6.0 games of the Cubs, and 3.0 games of the second Wild Card.
  • After teasing us with a (not-too-believable) #hugwatch yesterday, Bryce Harper is back in the lineup this afternoon. I *suppose* it’s still possible that the Nationals (7.0 games back) decide to move some of their pending free agents before the break, but I definitely doubt it’ll include Harper.
  • Earlier this morning, Yoenis Cespedes learned that he’d undergo season-ending surgery on both of his heels. Apparently, though, they won’t occur at the same time, and that could *seriously* lengthen this recovery process:

  • In case you glossed over it, “recovery time will be a minimum of 8-10 months. It could be longer. It won’t be shorter.” Yikes. If the worst case scenario happens (10 months), the Mets won’t see Cespedes back on a baseball field until next June, at which point he’ll still need a nice, long rehab assignment. This could realistically keep him out until the 2019 All-Star break. Reminder: the Mets signed Cespedes to a four-year, $110M extension before the 2017 season and he’s still owed $58.5M after this year. HOWEVA, according to the Mets, the team has an insurance policy on Cespedes’ contact, which will now kick in.
  • When a similar situation occurred with David Wright’s contact, they were able to save 75% of what they owed via insurance. In this case, that means they could save some serious cash. HOWEVA (x2), don’t expect the Mets to reinvest that money into the payroll, because they’ve apparently not “revised [their] baseball operations plan.” Like, look at this crap:

  • Throwing under/side armed like that allows the pitch to *actually* rise (not just appear to) before it falls down – more sharply than just gravity, too – which must just confuse the heck out of hitters, who aren’t used to seeing that.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami