LEADING OFF: Urena, Puig appeal bans, deGrom up, Colon party
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
JUST A MINUTE
Recently suspended players Jose Urena and Yasiel Puig are both appealing their punishments and should remain in action this weekend. Urena, the Marlins right-hander who plunked breakout Braves rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. with the first pitch of a game Wednesday, was suspended six games by Major League Baseball but was in uniform Friday and could pitch this weekend while the appeal process is completed. Puig also figures to play this weekend for the Dodgers in Seattle as he appeals his two-game ban for fighting and inciting a benches-clearing scrap against San Francisco.
CY PAST VS. CY POTENTIAL
Mets ace Jacob deGrom tries to enhance his NL Cy Young credentials when he starts vs. Jake Arrieta and the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. DeGrom leads the majors with a 1.81 ERA — he’s evened his record at 7-7 after New York recently gave him some long-overdue run support. Arrieta (9-7, 3.33) won the 2015 NL Cy Young Award with the Cubs.
The Texas Rangers will honor Bartolo Colon with an on-field tribute before they host the Angels. Earlier this month, the 45-year-old Colon topped Dennis Martinez for the most wins by a pitcher from Latin America.
Colon added another victory this week and is 247-186 in the majors. Martinez, who finished in 1998, was 245-193. Martinez will be at Globe Life Park for the ceremony, which will include the Rangers and their players making presentations to Colon.
INJURED AND IMPATIENT
Trevor Bauer isn’t going to let a stress fracture in his right leg get in the way of throwing a baseball. Cleveland’s right-hander will be out four to six weeks with the injury, but that’s not stopping him from keeping his arm in shape. Bauer played catch from his knees while wearing a walking boot with an athletic trainer Friday, and he hopes to return faster than the timetable given by manager Terry Francona. The right-hander admitted he didn’t take the news very well when he learned he’ll be out for an extended period of time.
“I was furious,” he said. “I’ve pretty much felt the same way since.”
ON THE JOB TRAINING
Reds Gold Glove catcher Tucker Barnhart is getting a different look at the diamond. He made his first career start at first base on Friday night after Cincinnati put star Joey Votto on the 10-day disabled list with a bruised lower right leg. Barnhart had seen limited time at Votto’s spot earlier this season.
The Brewers are hoping for quick recovery for slugger Eric Thames after he injured his left knee colliding with center fielder Lorenzo Cain chasing a flyball Friday. St. Louis’ Matt Carpenter drove a ball into the right-field gap in the first that Thames caught before running into Cain. Both players fell to the ground and remained still for a few seconds before getting up on their own. A Brewers trainer checked with Thames and Cain before the game resumed, and Thames was lifted in the bottom of the third with knee soreness. He is hitting .229 with 16 homers and 37 RBIs in 68 games.
LONG, LOSING ROAD
Angels lefty Andrew Heaney has gone nearly three years since winning a start on the road. His streak of 16 consecutive winless road starts has already tied Rudy May (1965-69) for the longest such streak in team history. Heaney’s last road win was Sept. 2, 2015 at Oakland. His scheduled start Saturday night at Texas, where he is 0-2 with a 10.57 ERA in two career starts, comes a year to the date after his return to the Angels from Tommy John surgery on July 2, 2016.