LEADING OFF: Deadline day drama for Minor, others
A look at what’s happening around the majors Wednesday:
ON THE BLOCK
With the trade deadline set for 4 p.m. ET, the hot stove is brimming with big arms that have long been mentioned in rumors. Madison Bumgarner, Noah Syndergaard, Mike Minor, Zack Wheeler and Robbie Ray are the biggest names that might move. Of those pitchers, Minor is the only one set to start on deadline day, with the Rangers left-hander slated to face Seattle four hours after the deadline.
Trevor Bauer, Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes are headed to new clubhouses after a stunning three-team deal Tuesday night. The Reds acquired Bauer from Cleveland, which got Puig and a prospect from the Reds, plus Reyes, top lefty pitching prospect Logan Allen and a minor league infielder from San Diego. The Padres acquired Reds outfield prospect Taylor Trammell in the deal, which a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced.
Bauer was moved hours after being fined by Major League Baseball for heaving a ball from the pitcher’s mound over the center field wall at Kansas City last weekend, a person familiar with the discipline told the AP. An All-Star last year, Bauer made the toss in the fifth inning of Cleveland’s 9-6 loss Sunday. When manager Terry Francona emerged from the dugout to make a pitching change, Bauer turned, took a couple steps and threw the ball over the 410-foot mark. Bauer apologized to the organization and his teammates.
Major League Baseball figures to hand out some heavy discipline following Tuesday’s brawl between the Pirates and Reds, and more fireworks could be on tap in the series finale. Cincinnati manager David Bell faces a suspension for coming back onto the field an inning after being ejected for arguing balls and strikes, and seven other players and coaches were ejected. The ninth-inning melee began when Reds pitcher Amir Garrett charged toward Pittsburgh’s dugout, swinging wildly, and it ended when Yasiel Puig was finally contained after reigniting the fracas with more shoving and shouting. In Pittsburgh’s clubhouse after the game, the Pirates weren’t so sure the score was settled after this dust-up, either.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if it sparks again,” Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove said “We don’t take lightly what happened tonight.”
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles seemed likely to move before the deadline until he got a cortisone shot Tuesday in his right elbow to treat what the club called mild inflammation. Toronto head athletic trainer Nikki Huffman says an MRI showed no structural problems, and that the shot would provide Giles with “a long-lasting effect.” Giles won’t resume throwing until after the 4 p.m. deadline, though, and it’s unlikely a team would try to acquire the right-hander without a clearer picture of his health.
The teams conclude their quick two-game series with a Wednesday matinee. RHP Zack Greinke (10-4, 2.87 ERA) pitches for the Diamondbacks against RHP Masahiro Tanaka (7-6, 4.79) in a matchup of 2019 All-Stars. Greinke went 7 2/3 innings to beat the Yankees 3-1 on April 30 in Arizona. Tanaka lasted only four innings the following day and lost 3-2. Tanaka was tagged for 12 runs on 12 hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings of a 19-3 loss at Boston last Thursday. The only Yankees pitcher to give up more earned runs in a game was Carl Mays, who allowed 13 in a 1923 complete game against Cleveland.
SLIDING INTO FORM
After some early season struggles, Mets ace Jacob deGrom again looks the part of a reigning Cy Young Award winner. He’s doing it differently, though. He threw his slider a career-high 58 times over seven scoreless innings against San Diego last week, averaging a stunning 91.8 mph with the pitch. He’s used that pitch more and more over the past month, following a league-wide trend of increased breaking ball usage. He’s gotten a lot of uncomfortable swings with the pitch, including one from Francisco Mejía last week that wobbled the rookie, buckled his left ankle and nearly caused him to fall over.