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Friday, April 28, 2017

Baseball

Theo Epstein has funny response to all the leadership recognition

Theo Epstein

Theo Epstein has been receiving a lot of recognition this week, but the Chicago Cubs executive is not letting it get to his head. In fact, he’s keeping a great perspective on things.

Epstein was ranked No. 1 on Fortune’s list of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” last month. In response, Politico wrote up something on Epstein, saying he could be a great political figure for the Democratic party if he so chose.

Displaying the great self-awareness he has, Epstein had a funny response.

“I just laughed,” Epstein said via CSN New England’s Evan Drellich. “Crumpled up the piece of paper, threw it in the garbage. ‘Cause you know, this stuff is ridiculous, all these articles. I think I need to go do something really ill advised or commit a felony or something. I can put a stop to it in a hurry. But people who know me know that you know, would just laugh at that.”

Epstein may feel like he needs to deflect all the attention from himself, but the truth is it’s well deserved. Epstein has performed two miracles in the sports world by transforming the Red Sox and Cubs into World Series champions. His resume and list of achievements is flawless. Maybe that wouldn’t translate into politics, but there are few things he probably couldn’t accomplish after seeing him break those curses.

Shelby Miller has tear in his UCL, flexor strain

Shelby Miller

The news on Shelby Miller is not great.

The Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher has a tear in his UCL and a flexor strain, according to MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert.

Miller, 26, left his Sunday start with forearm tightness. He was subsequently placed on the DL and underwent an MRI.

The Diamondbacks wanted to get as much information as possible on Miller, so they had him get three medical opinions.

Tommy John surgery reportedly is in play for Miller. Masahiro Tanaka has been able to pitch through a UCL tear. The Angels’ Garrett Richards had one too and opted for plasma injections and rehab, but he’s now on the 60-day DL with a biceps injury. The Diamondbacks and Miller have a big decision on their hands.

Matt Harvey barely received any notice about surprise start

Matt Harvey Mets

Matt Harvey made a surprise start off for the New York Mets on Thursday — one that even caught him off guard.

Harvey allowed six runs over 4.1 innings in a loss to the Braves, as he surrendered five hits and five walks. He did not look like himself, and that could be attributed to the lack of routine he had leading up to the outing.

Harvey started in place of Noah Syndergaard, who was scratched from his scheduled start as a precaution because of biceps tendinitis. Newsday’s Mets reporter Marc Carig says that while the Mets knew about Syndergaard’s issue, they didn’t give Harvey a heads up that there would be a chance he could start Thursday.

If the Mets indeed knew there was a chance that Syndergaard wouldn’t make his start Thursday, they should have given Harvey a notice so he could have prepared properly. As a result of his poor start, Harvey’s ERA for the season jumped from 2.84 to 4.25.

Brandon Phillips has hilarious quote about avoiding disabled list

He may be a 35-year-old playing on one of the worst teams in baseball, but Brandon Phillips hasn’t lost his sense of humor.

On Thursday morning, the Atlanta Braves second baseman, who is currently battling a groin strain, dropped a funny quote about avoiding the disabled list.

“I’m not going on the DL, that’s not going to happen,” said Phillips, per David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’m going to wrap it up, I’m going to do something. I’m going to be like Chipotle burrito, I’m wrapping that thing up. I’m not going on the DL, I promise you that.”

Phillips has actually gotten off to a hot start in his first season as a Brave, slashing .352/.387/.507 with two home runs, nine RBIs, and five stolen bases through 19 games. But he should probably proceed with caution as Chipotle hasn’t always been kind to his fellow MLBers.

Red Sox prospect Kevin Steen in critical condition after car accident

Boston Red Sox pitching prospect Kevin Steen was injured in a serious car accident Wednesday night that left another motorist dead.

According to FOX4 in Fort Meyers, Steen was seriously injured when another car veered off the road, crossed the median and went airborne into his SUV. The 20-year-old was taken to a local hospital and said to be in critical condition. The driver of the other vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene.

Steen, a ninth-round draft pick in 2014, went 3-5 with a 5.37 ERA pitching for the Single-A Lowell Spinners last season. Here’s hoping his condition improves.

H/T WEEI.com

Report: Shelby Miller may need Tommy John surgery

Shelby Miller

Shelby Miller could need Tommy John surgery to repair his elbow, according to a report.

Fan Rag Sports’ Tommy Stokke says Miller has a ligament issue in his elbow and could need Tommy John surgery.

Miller left his start on Sunday for the Diamondbacks with forearm tightness. He was placed on the disabled list Monday and underwent an MRI. He went to see Dr. Neal ElAttrache for a second opinion on his elbow, and his MRI was sent to Dr. James Andrews for a third opinion.

All the checks and re-checks of his imaging results show how much care Arizona is putting into the situation.

Miller, 26, was showing signs of improvement this year as he was 2-2 with a 4.09 ERA. That’s in contrast to his disappointing 2016 season in which he posted a 6.15 ERA in his first year with the club.

The Diamondbacks gave up a lot of assets, including 2015 No. 1 pick Dansby Swanson, to the Braves in a trade for Miller. If he undergoes Tommy John surgery, it would be the latest disappointment from a deal that has not yielded positive results.

5 MLB stars off to poor starts

Every season, a few big-name Major League Baseball players find themselves scuffling out of the gate. Some guys are prone to bad months of April and need time to re-acclimate themselves to big league hitting or pitching, some are just going through a slump, while others find that the skills that once made them so great are starting to erode.

Here is a look at five MLB stars who have gotten off to very poor starts in 2017.

5) Alex Gordon, OF, Royals

The Kansas City Royals’ offense has struggled so much this season that even Eric Hosmer could have found himself on this list. But based on the way he’s played in April, Gordon secures the spot instead.

Gordon is batting just .188 with just three extra-base hits this season — all doubles. His OBP (.270) and slugging percentage (.225) yield an OPS below .500. That’s well below what he would like to do and what the Royals need out of him.

Between 2011-2015, Gordon batted anywhere from .265-.301, posting an OPS over .800 three times. That helped him become a three-time All-Star and earn a four-year, $72 million contract extension from Kansas City prior to last season. But the 33-year-old slipped to hitting .220 last season, though he did have 17 home runs.

Is this the start of a decline for the former No. 2 overall pick? Gordon’s prime may have spanned his age 27-31 seasons, which is fairly typical of an MLB player, and this could be a sign of his aging.

The Royals better hope Gordon bounces back enough to give them some quality production over the remainder of his contract.

4) Victor Martinez, DH, Tigers

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