May 2018 - Baseball Wiretap

Justin Verlander Thought His Career Was Over After 2014 Start

May 31, 2018 8:25 AM

Justin Verlander worried that his Major League career might be over after a start against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Aug. 11, 2014.

Verlander's first pitch that night for the Detroit Tigers was an 86 mph fastball. After the first inning, Brad Ausmus approached Verlander to tell him that he could not allow the right-hander to continue.

It was the shortest start of his career and he feared it might be his last.

"There's that tunnel down there, and I sat down and lost it," Verlander said. "I thought my career was over. I thought I was done. I thought the MRI was going to say I needed shoulder surgery.

"I was 99 percent sure I was going to need shoulder surgery. I couldn't throw a baseball."

As it turned out, the pain in Verlander's shoulder during the 2014 start against the Pirates resulted from a failure to fully rehabilitate after the core muscle surgery earlier that year. "My body was a disaster," Verlander said.

Once the 2014 season ended, Verlander worked diligently with Annie Gow, a New York-based physical therapist, on what he describes as a "body reclamation project."

"I learned a ton about my body and maintenance," Verlander said. "Now I take it upon myself to maintain everything that I gained in that offseason. If some kinks in the chain pop up along the way, I'll call [Gow] and talk to her. I'll address it myself. I know a lot of my weaknesses. I address them almost daily, to try to keep on top of it. Obviously, I got into that position [before]. I want to stay away from going back."

Jon Morosi/MLB

Tags: Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Misc Rumor

Nathan Eovaldi Understands After Being Pulled From No-Hit Bid

May 31, 2018 8:18 AM

He wasn't happy at first, but Nathan Eovaldi understands why the Tampa Bay Rays pulled him from a potential no-hitter on Wednesday night.

Coming off a second Tommy John surgery, Kevin Cash pulled him after six innings in his return against the Oakland Athletics.

"I didn't want to shake his hand," Eovaldi said. "I haven't gone seven innings in a really long time. So we played it safe and it was good. I would have liked to stay out there until I gave up a hit, but I understand the situation as well."

He threw 70 pitches and registered four strikeouts.

Cash said he debated sending Eovaldi out for the seventh.

"It was tough, there was no doubt, but we have to do what's right by him," Cash said. "He wanted to stay, but realistically, he's not getting to the ninth inning. I'll just blame [pitching coach Kyle Snyder]. I wanted to keep pitching him, but Kyle told me to pull him."

Associated Press

Tags: Tampa Bay Rays, Misc Rumor

Carlos Gomez: Nothing Random About MLB Drug Tests

May 31, 2018 7:56 AM

Carlos Gomez is speaking out against Major League Baseball's drug testing program, claiming there is nothing "random" about it.

Gomez made the comments in Spanish following a test on Tuesday, which came three days after he was activated from the disabled list.

He told the Tampa Bay Times in separate comments that it was the sixth or seventh time he has been tested in the first nine weeks of this season.

"They tell you that it's random, that they do the tests randomly and those players who go out there, go and do a drug test," he said. "Until they prove to me that it is random, I will not believe it. Because for me, it's not random. They go and choose the person they want. It's not random. If it's not that, show it to me.

"I have the greatest luck on my team, because they test me more than everyone else. I arrived now, three days after coming from the disabled list, and they are already testing me again."

Gomez told Yahoo! Sports the day after Robinson Cano was suspended earlier this month that the league targets older players and Latino players for testing.

MLB defended its testing procedures in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times.

"Our Joint Drug Program, which is negotiated with the Players Association, is independently administered and has random testing procedures in place with no regard for a player's birthplace, age, or any other factor," the league said. "Every aspect of the test selection process is randomized and de-identified, and every player is included each time random selection is conducted.

"This results in some players being tested more often than others, but, as a whole, MLB players are tested more frequently than any athletes in professional sports."


Tags: Tampa Bay Rays, Misc Rumor

Reds Could Move Homer Bailey To Bullpen

May 30, 2018 9:04 AM

The Cincinnati Reds have had internal discussions about moving Homer Bailey to the bullpen.

A report characterized the move as fairly likely. The Reds could slot Luis Castillo in to start in Bailey's place Sunday on regular rest.

Bailey's six-year, $105 million contract extension quickly became a mistake. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 and had bone spurs removed from his elbow in 2017. He's been limited to 187 1/3 innings since 2015.

John Fay/Cincinnati Enquirer

Tags: Cincinnati Reds, Misc Rumor

Madison Bumgarner Will Return To Giants Tuesday

May 30, 2018 8:55 AM

The San Francisco Giants have a date for Madison Bumgarner's return to the mound.

Bumgarner will throw 70-75 pitches for San Francisco's San Jose affiliate on Thursday and then pitch for the Giants at AT&T Park on Tuesday.

That would mean Bumgarner could throw 90-95 pitches next week.

The Giants are scheduled to face the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday.

Matt Snyder/CBS Sports

Tags: San Francisco Giants, Injury, Misc Rumor

Noah Syndergaard Has Strained Index Finger

May 30, 2018 8:40 AM

Noah Syndergaard has a strained index finger on his pitching hand and is headed to the 10-day disabled list.

Syndergaard was examined Tuesday back in New York after experiencing soreness in his right index finger. The DL stay is retroactive to May 26.

"He threw a side yesterday, and that's when he started noticing it, that [it] was sore," Mickey Callaway said. "He had some bruising at the base of his wrist, so we just said that he needs to get that checked out."

Callaway added that Syndergaard had "a little" soreness after his last start and that the pitcher would wear a splint on his finger to keep it immobilized.

The manager didn't seem to believe Syndergaard would miss much time.

"Right now, the goal is to rest it a couple of days and give him a bullpen this weekend," Callaway said. "After that, he should be all good."


Tags: New York Mets, Injury, Misc Rumor

Joe Maddon Upset Anthony Rizzo's Slide Was Deemed Illegal

May 30, 2018 8:35 AM

Major League Baseball has found that Anthony Rizzo's eighth-inning takeout of Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz in Monday's game was illegal.

Diaz subsequently threw the ball into right field while attempting a double play, allowing two runs to score in Chicago's 7-0 win. The play was reviewed, and the call on the field was upheld.

Clint Hurdle disagreed with the call at the time and was ejected.

Maddon and MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre spoke on Tuesday.

"It was a good baseball play," Maddon said. "It was interpreted the next day as being wrong, which I totally find incongruent."

The league determined Rizzo altered his path to slide into Diaz, who went down as the ball sailed into right field. The umpires found Rizzo did not alter his path enough for the Cubs to be penalized.

"The umpires got it right," Maddon said. "It's almost like a doctor reading an MRI. You might get two different opinions with the same set of information. ... I will not back down from that. I believe I'm right."

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Cubs, Misc Rumor

Theo Epstein: Machado Speculation 'In Fantasy Land At This Point'

May 29, 2018 8:32 AM

The Baltimore Orioles have started the season poorly, which has increased speculation that Manny Machado will be on the trading block before long.

The Chicago Cubs have often been linked to Machado, but Theo Epstein downplayed the club's current chances to add the infielder.

"I understand it's natural for people to connect the dots and there to be this kind of frenzy from time to time, but it's honestly something we're looking at and just rolling our eyes at," Epstein told 670 The Score. "It's not like July, where every now and then there's lots of coverage on deals that are actually being discussed or actually might happen. This one is just out there in fantasy land at this point."

Machado will be a free agent this coming winter.

Mully & Hanley Show/670 The Score

Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

Justin Verlander Says 'Thank You' To Yankees Fans After Strong Outing

May 29, 2018 8:27 AM

Justin Verlander held the New York Yankees to a single run over 6 2/3 innings on Monday as the Houston Astros won 5-1 at Yankee Stadium.

As Verlander walked off the mound, he was met with jeers from the fans. He enjoyed the moment, taking off his cap and waving it toward the fans.

"Just having fun," he said. "Yankees fans having fun with me, so I decided to have some fun back."

Verlander was actually hoping for more boos during pregame introductions.

"I've come to find here at Yankee Stadium, it's a term of endearment," he said. "So thank you."

Associated Press

Tags: Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Misc Rumor

Giants Call Up Pudge Rodriguez's Son

May 29, 2018 8:13 AM

The San Francisco Giants purchased the contract of Dereck Rodriguez from Triple-A Sacramento before Monday's game.

Rodriguez, the son of Hall of Fame catcher Pudge Rodriguez, went 4-1 with a 3.40 ERA after signing as a minor league free agent on Nov. 15.

"I've been to a lot of stadiums. But I wasn't here for me; I was here for my dad," the right-hander said. "It's nice coming here and having my name on the locker and not his."

Rodriguez didn't appear in a loss to the Colorado Rockies.

Associated Press

Tags: San Francisco Giants, Misc Rumor

Pirates Angered By Anthony Rizzo's Slide At Home Plate
Clint Hurdle made his displeasure known after Anthony Rizzo took out the legs of catcher Elias Diaz on a force play at home plate.

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Rare Five-Inning Save By Rays' Austin Pruitt
Austin Pruitt became the first pitcher in more than 15 years to record a five-inning save during the regular season.

Padres Send Catching Prospect To Twins For Phil Hughes
The Twins receive minor league catcher Janigson Villalobos from the Padres in the deal.

Clayton Kershaw Throws Simulated Game
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is a step closer to a return to the Dodgers' rotation.

Madison Bumgarner Sharp In Triple-A Rehab Start
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner had not ruled out an immediate return to the Giants.

Shinn-Soo Choo Hits 176th HR, Most By Asian Born Player
Shinn-Soo Choo's homer on Saturday moved him past Hideki Matsui for the most by a Asian player.

Cubs Place Yu Darvish On DL
Yu Darvish is 1-2 with a 4.95 ERA in his first season with the Cubs.

Shoehei Ohtani Will Rejoin Rotation Next Week
The Angels are managing Shoehei Ohtani's pitching workload.

Yankees Activate Greg Bird From DL
The Yankees have demoted Ronald Torreyes to the minors.

Mariners Acquire Alex Colome, Denard Span From Rays
The Mariners are adding roughly $9 million in remaining 2018 salary.

Greg Johns/

Red Sox Designate Hanley Ramirez For Assignment
Hanley Ramirez is hitting .254 with six home runs and 29 RBIs this season, starting 25 games at first base and 19 at designated hitter.


Mariners Agree To New 25-Year Lease To Remain At Safeco Field
On Wednesday night, the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District Board approved the agreement.

Mariners Blog

Welington Castillo To Be Suspended 80 Games
Welington Castillo of the White Sox will be suspended 80 games for violating the league's joint drug agreement, according to a source.


Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez Balk At Home Run Derby
Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez have a combined 31 home runs for the Red Sox, but neither wants to be any part of this year's Home Run Derby.


Red Sox Asking A Lot For Blake Swihart
The Red Sox are listening to trade offers for Blake Swihart, but they are not willing to part with him for little in return.

Evan Drellich/NBC Sports

Jose Bautista Signs With Mets, Doubles In First At-Bat
The Mets signed Jose Bautista on Tuesday afternoon, two days after he was cut by the Braves.

Associated Press

Twins Acquire Chris Carter From Angels
Chris Carter, 31, was hitting .255 with 13 home runs and 43 RBIs in 38 games for Triple-A Salt Lake this season.

Associated Press

Aaron Judge Won't Participate In Home Run Derby
"There is no need to do it," Aaron Judge said when asked about defending his title.


Joe Maddon Doesn't Think Rays' Starter Strategy Will Catch On
Joe Maddon is known for thinking outside the box, but he doesn't believe having a reliever start games is something that will catch on.

Jesse Rogers/ESPN

Cardinals Will Use Alex Reyes In Rotation
Alex Reyes will rejoin the Cardinals as a starter when the right-hander is finished with his rehabilitation.

Derrick Goold/St. Louis Post-Dispatch