LEADING OFF: Sabathia nearing 3,000 Ks, Snell’s toe a go
A look at what’s happening around the majors Wednesday:
Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia needs six strikeouts to join Randy Johnson and Steve Carlton as the only left-handers with 3,000 Ks, putting him within reach during a start against the Angels. Sabathia (1-0, 0.00 ERA) would be the 17th player overall to reach the milestone. When he does, he’ll be the first pitcher to do so since John Smoltz in 2008. The 38-year-old Sabathia announced prior to the season that he’ll retire at year’s end.
TOE’S A GO
Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell is set to return to the Rays 10 days after breaking a toe. Snell (2-1, 2.16) fractured the fourth toe on his right foot attempting to move a decorative display in a bathroom April 14. He threw 18 pitches off a mound Saturday and eight more pitches Monday, and now he’s scheduled to start against Kansas City.
Cubs shortstop Addison Russell is joining Triple-A Iowa to prepare for his return from a 40-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. Russell is expected to play when Iowa begins a nine-game homestand against Nashville. He had stayed in Arizona to work out after the Cubs broke camp for the start of the season. Russell was suspended last fall after a series of allegations made by his ex-wife. While declining to get into any specifics, Russell said in February he was accountable for his past actions and apologized for “the hurt and the pain” he caused.
Major League Baseball is reviewing Bryce Harper’s rant at an umpire, trying to determine whether the Phillies star should be disciplined. There was no decision Tuesday, a day after Harper went wild during a game against the Mets at Citi Field. Harper was ejected for the 12th time in his eight-season career while he barked from the dugout four batters after being called out on strikes by Mark Carlson.
Touted prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is nearing his first big league call-up, but No. 2 Blue Jays prospect Bo Bichette could be a ways behind after breaking his left hand Monday. X-rays revealed a fracture after he was hit by a pitch while playing with Triple-A Buffalo, and he was set to visit a hand specialist to determine further treatment. Bichette, a 21-year-old shortstop, hit .417 with four homers and five RBIs in 18 spring training games. He was batting .250 with one home run and eight RBIs in 14 games with Buffalo.