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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Baseball

Astros pitcher Wade Miley hit ball off train tracks in batting practice

Houston Astros logo

The Houston Astros once again have one of the best offenses in baseball this season, and now even their starting pitchers are getting in on the fun.

Prior to Saturday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Astros lefty Wade Miley had quite the show of strength in batting practice. Miley tattooed a ball off the train tracks in left-center field at Minute Maid Park and added a bat flip for good measure, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.

The former All-Star Miley, who has spent most of his career in the National League, is a .155 lifetime hitter, which actually isn’t too terrible for a pitcher. He also has one home run and 15 RBIs in his nine big league seasons.

In any case, Miley fared much better than other pitchers recently have in BP.

Mets’ Brandon Nimmo seeking second opinion on neck injury

New York Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo is having major problems coming back from his neck injury.

Nimmo halted his rehab assignment on Friday due to neck soreness, and has now gone to Los Angeles in search of a second opinion on his ailing neck.

After something of a breakout season in 2018, the neck injury has wrecked Nimmo’s 2019. He was hitting just .200 with almost no power before going on the disabled list, and has not played since May 20. Coupled with a somewhat funny off-field fiasco this season, and it just hasn’t been a year Nimmo will want to remember.

Mets GM hints team could still buy at trade deadline

Brodie Van Wagenen

At 33-36, the New York Mets sit firmly in third place in the NL East, and have failed to generate much momentum this year. Despite it all, they are, perhaps optimistically, refusing to rule out adding pieces at the July 31 trade deadline.

General manager Brodie Van Wagenen did not rule out selling, but also added that the Mets will not hesitate to be buyers if the situation calls for it come late July.

If the Mets want to fulfill Van Wagenen’s optimistic hopes, they’re going to have to start winning games soon. They’re five games out of the second NL Wild Card spot, but that could very easily expand if they continue to tread water while others ahead of them win more than they lose. There are plenty out there who think the Mets could be doing better than they are with the talent on their roster, but if it doesn’t manifest itself in the next month, they may have to make significant changes.

George Springer moving closer to rehab assignment

The Houston Astros are close to getting George Springer out on a rehab assignment as he works his way back from a hamstring injury.

Springer took live batting practice on Monday as he readies himself for a rehab stint after roughly three weeks out.

Springer hasn’t played since May 24, when he left the game with an ominous-looking injury that did not turn out to be quite as bad as feared. The Astros have fared just fine without him, going 10-4 so far in June, but they’ll welcome him back. He was an MVP candidate before the injury, hitting .308 with 17 home runs.

Yankees acquire Edwin Encarnacion in trade with Mariners

Edwin Encarnacion parrot

The New York Yankees have added another big bat to their roster.

The Yankees on Saturday evening acquired Edwin Encarnacion in a trade with the Seattle Mariners, as first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The New York Post’s Joel Sherman says 19-year-old pitching prospect Juan Then may be included in the trade. He adds in some financial details of the move:

Encarnacion had been sidelined recently with a lower back issue, though that may have been the Mariners being extra cautious as they pursued trade options. The 36-year-old DH has slugged an AL-leading 21 home runs this season and recently surpassed the 400-home run mark for his career. He is batting .241/.356/.531 this season.

He will join a crowded DH market in New York. The Yankees have Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton out on rehab assignments getting closer to returns. They also added Kendrys Morales in a trade with Oakland, though he is on the injured list because of his calf. Plus Clint Frazier is also in the mix as an outfielder and DH option.

Seattle has been unloading players since their early hot start fizzled out. They’re 19 games out of first in the AL West and recently dealt Jay Bruce to Philly.

Edwin Jackson calls his pitching ‘horses—’ after getting shelled by Angels

Edwin Jackson is a former All-Star and World Series champion, but you wouldn’t know it based on how he has been pitching this season.

The Toronto Blue Jays righty was lit up for seven earned runs in just one inning of Monday’s 10-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels, retiring a mere two batters in the process. After the game, Jackson was critical of himself.

“I think my pitching has just been horses—, to be honest, since I’ve been here,” said Jackson, per Gregor Chisholm of the Toronto Star. “That’s point blank. The execution has been terrible. I know I’m better than that. That’s not who I am.”

Jackson, who was acquired by Toronto last month, entered play on Monday with a 1-4 record and a 10.22 ERA on the year. Those numbers will be even worse now after he served up six hits (including three homers) and two walks to a sub-.500 Angels team.

The 35-year-old has had a solid 17-season career with plenty of memorable moments and funny mishaps alike. At some point though Jackson may have to come to the realization that he just does not have it anymore.

Yu Darvish feels vindicated after beating Dodgers

Yu Darvish

Yu Darvish had some trouble pitching at Dodger Stadium in his brief tenure with the team back in 2017, and the right-hander feels like he was finally able to atone for that with a strong performance on Saturday night.

Darvish allowed just two hits and one earned run in seven innings while leading the Chicago Cubs to a 2-1 win over the Dodgers. After the game, he spoke about how important it was for him to pitch well in LA.

Darvish started Game 7 of the 2017 World Series against the Houston Astros, and he lasted just 1 2/3 innings. He gave up four earned runs and never really gave the Dodgers a chance, and they ended up losing 5-1. While their offense is just as much to blame, Darvish knows he put them in a massive hole.

A strong performance in June is nothing in comparison to Game 7 of the World Series, but the solid game in addition to what Clayton Kersaw said about Darvish should make him feel a lot better.