Minor (shoulder) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha on Thursday, 610 Sports Radio's Josh Vernier reports.
He recently threw a live batting practice session, so a rehab assignment was anticipated to begin this week. The Royals could desperately use some help in the starting rotation, and if Minor's rehab assignment goes well, he should get a shot to start games for the big league club in August. That said, it's worth pointing out that Minor hasn't been a quality big league pitcher since 2013, primarily due to injuries, but also ineffectiveness in his last full season in 2014.
Rodriguez has been using his slider more often and getting good results with the pitch, Mark C. Volain of MassLive.com reports. "It's become a much more defined pitch so it's a much more usable pitch. He's been able to mix it in with the two other pitches that he has," manager John Farrell said. "I can't say there's a prescribed number to go out there and throw, but it's a good pitch and he's using it."
Since his return from the minors, Rodriguez has thrown his slider a bit more than 30 percent of the time, according to BrooksBaseball.net. Rodriguez threw the slider 32 times during Wednesday's loss, matching the number he threw in his previous start, but saw an uptick in strikes with the pitch, with 21 called strikes Wednesday compared to 19 last Friday. There are still issues he needs to overcome -- we'd like to see Rodriguez get deeper into games with more consistency -- but there are hopeful signs of improvement.
Shoemaker (5-11) gave up five runs on eight hits and a walk in Wednesday's loss to the Royals. He struck out just one.
Considering Shoemaker had recorded 11- and 13-strikeout games quite recently, it's startling to see him fall back to just a single whiff even against a contact-oriented time like the Royals. Considering the progress he's made keeping the ball in the park, it'd be nice to get more than mediocrity out of Shoemaker's ERA (4.17) and WHIP (1.26), but most of the ugliest numbers there came way back in April. Of course, that's not to say he's been much better in July -- he hasn't.
Darvish allowed two runs, four hits and no walks over six frames, but didn't factor into the decision in Wednesday's 6-4 loss against the Athletics.
After struggling with his command and surrendering a leadoff triple and solo shot in a rocky first inning, the right-hander settled in nicely as he allowed just two other batters to reach base before departing in the sixth with a one-run lead. The 29-year-old was in line to collect his first win since June 3, until the bullpen imploded and surrendered four runs in the eighth inning. Darvish will get another shot to add to the win column this Tuesday when he takes the mound in Baltimore.
Duffey (5-8) was blasted for five runs on eight hits and a walk over just 1.1 innings in Wednesday's loss to the Braves.
His teammates made a valiant comeback effort, but it fell just short, leaving Duffey with his second straight loss in an abbreviated outing. In those two games, he's given up 11 runs (all earned) and a stunning 17 hits and two walks without a strikeout over 3.2 innings. Duffey's been hugely blowup-prone this year, and this is only the latest example, but manager Paul Molitor said after the game that the 25-year-old righty is still in line to start Monday.
Johnson's first start back for Triple-A Pawtucket was described as "tentative" by Red Sox manager John Farrell, Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe reports. The left-hander allowed four runs on six hits and four walks last Sunday in his return to Pawtucket after four starts at the lower levels of the organization.
"Where his games in Lowell, there might've been a little bit more freedom to the stuff, the attack of the strike zone, I think the ball-strike ratio kind of reflected the tentativeness - and the walks that were issued. First start back, a step in the right direction, but still he's got some work to do," said Farrell. Johnson will continue to work his way back from a two-month layoff to treat an anxiety issue and at this point is not ready to be a helpful piece for Boston.
Manager A.J. Hinch indicated Wednesday night that Fister will likely be placed on the paternity list in the coming days, Brian McTaggert of MLB.com reports.
The move would provide the Astros with a useful roster spot following hamstring injuries for both Luis Valbuena and Carlos Gomez. Fister's stay on the paternity list, assuming it occurs in the next couple days, would also likely be short enough for the veteran hurler to make his next scheduled start Monday against the Blue Jays.
McCullers (6-4) struck out 10 while holding the Yankees to a single run on five hits and two walks over six sharp innings in Wednesday's 4-1 win.
That's three consecutive one-run outings and five in six starts for McCullers, who also notched his third double-digit-strikeout game in that span. He did so while snapping a streak of three consecutive four-walk games. That said, we've seen the second-year fireballer show good control in spots before, only to regress, which is half of why he still owns a gargantuan 1.53 WHIP that's in strong disagreement with his shiny 3.18 ERA. The other half is that he's been victimized be a .378 BABIP, which seems overwhelmingly likely to drop toward normality down the stretch. All in all, things are clearly trending up for the 22-year-old righty, whose next start will come Tuesday against Toronto.
Paxton (3-5) threw five innings of three-run ball while allowing six hits and a walk and striking out six, but took the loss as opposing starter Gerrit Cole threw a CG.
Although the final score was Pirates 10, Mariners 1, Paxton did his best to keep the game close, and it wasn't until Paxton was yanked that the Pirates broke the game wide open. Paxton continued to flash his newfound velocity, his fastball averaging a blazing 97 mph this season, best of any left-handed starter. But the six strikeouts in five innings were actually better than his season-long rate of 8.4 K:9. He also continued to pound the strike zone, issuing just his 17th free pass of the season in 11 starts. With only 5 home runs allowed, the only explanation for his mediocre 4.27 ERA is his opponent's batting average on balls in play, which sits at .374, the fifth highest in the MLB among pitchers with at least 60 innings pitched.
Carrasco (7-4) was tagged with the loss despite giving up just three runs on three hits over six innings Wednesday versus the Nationals. He walked three and struck out five.
Unfortunately for Carrasco, his third straight quality start didn't stand a chance against Stephen Strasburg's gem in this one. However, the 29-year-old did enough to win on most other days, including retiring 10 consecutive batters at one point. Although it's not what many owners had bought in expecting for, Carrasco has put together a fine season in his seventh MLB go-round that includes a career-best 2.45 ERA and 10 quality outings in 15 starts. He has a friendly matchup with the Twins in his next turn on Tuesday, a team he limited to four hits in a victory just two starts ago.