HOUSTON — Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch occasionally bristles at conventional methodology Authentic Saquon Barkley Jersey , particularly given the availability of superior data and how its dissemination shapes decisions.
For instance, last Friday in Kansas City, the Astros (50-26) recalled first baseman Tyler White to take the roster spot of left-handed reliever Reymin Guduan, who made one appearance two days earlier before being placed on the paternity list for the birth of his child.
That move left the Astros one arm short in the bullpen and, when Guduan exhausted his time on the paternity list, the organization returned him to Triple-A Fresno instead of recalling him to Houston.
The Astros have completed two series with an extra position player on their bench, a move that some might consider unorthodox but one Hinch is reticent to harp on, despite being asked about his roster configuration more than once in the past week.
“In the heat in Kansas City, it was nice to have an extra guy when we won by a lot,” Hinch said of a 10-2 victory on June 16. “Maneuvering some pinch-hit opportunities has been key. Obviously, it allowed us to start an all right-handed lineup (Tuesday against Rays left-hander Blake Snell) and give (second baseman Jose) Altuve most of the day off.
“Our starters have gone pretty deep … the last two outings, which has allowed the bullpen to get rested. It feels a little different to have seven relievers, but in actuality, that’s too many. I’d have five position players on the bench if I could.”
The Astros, who will open a three-game series with the Royals on Friday at Minute Maid Park John Gibson Jersey , will stand pat with seven relievers for the immediate future.
Right-hander Joe Smith, currently on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation, has begun a throwing program and is poised for a return to the active roster that could reset the bullpen balance.
Left-hander Dallas Keuchel (4-8, 4.15 ERA) will start the opener for Houston. He is 4-1 with a 2.89 ERA in seven career starts against the Royals and picked up the win over Kansas City in his last start, allowing two unearned runs, six hits and one walk with five strikeouts in six innings in a 10-2 victory on June 16.
Keuchel had been 0-3 with a 7.33 ERA in his previous five starts.
The Royals will counter with left-hander Danny Duffy (3-7, 5.55 ERA) on Friday. Duffy surrendered seven runs (six earned), seven hits and three walks with five strikeouts in six innings of his previous start, a 10-2 loss to the Astros on June 16. He is 2-3 with a 5.29 ERA in eight career appearances (five starts) against Houston.
Kansas City (22-52) has dropped nine consecutive games and 15 of 16 overall, including all three games during a series against the Astros last weekend at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals are batting .188 this month, their worst record in any month under ninth-year manager Ned Yost.
The Royals last won a road series on May 21-23, taking the final two games of a three-game set at St. Louis.
CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs‘ starting pitchers may not be performing as consistent as they would like, but Joe Maddon’s offense is finding ways to make up for it.
Addison Russell’s grand slam helped bail out starter Mike Montgomery in Friday’s series opener against the Minnesota Twins. Now, as Tyler Chatwood takes the mound in Saturday’s matinee interleague game at Wrigley Field, the Cubs will push for their third straight victory after they rallied for their second consecutive come-from-behind win Friday at Wrigley Field.
Russell’s blast erased a three-run deficit en route to a 10-6 victory that included home runs by Jason Heyward Authentic Josh Manson Jersey , Ben Zobrist and Kyle Schwarber. The win came a day after the Cubs scored seven runs in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The run support could be big for Chatwood, who has struggled throughout the season and will make his first start after being activated off the paternity list earlier this week. Chatwood told reporters Friday that he feels good and that he was able to come in and throw a bullpen session as he prepared for Saturday’s start.
He admitted the uncertainty of when his wife would give birth weighed on him in his last start. Chatwood (3-5, 3.95 ERA) has taken no-decisions in four of his past five starts but was effective in his most recent outing. Chatwood allowed a run and two hits in five innings against the Dodgers when he threw 101 pitches. He is 0-2 in three career starts against the Twins with a 6.91 ERA.
“Luckily, everything worked out,” Chatwood said Friday of the week’s events, according to the Chicago Tribune. “Everybody’s good.”
Chatwood will start after the Cubs hoped Yu Darvish could return from a right triceps injury on Saturday. Darvish, who experienced pain in a bullpen session on Thursday, flew to Dallas for a second opinion. Tests showed he has a right elbow impingement and inflammation and will be re-evaluated in three to five days.
The Twins, who have lost six of their last eight games despite Joe Mauer’s five RBIs in Friday’s loss, will attempt to get back on track when left-hander Adalberto Mejia makes his first start of the season. Mejia, who went 4-7 with a 4.50 ERA in 21 starts last year, has spent the entire season in the minor leagues.
Mejia pitched well at Triple-A Rochester and struck out 50 and registered a 2.74 ERA in 49 1/3 innings. He has posted a 4-1 record in June with a 1.41 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 32 innings. Mejia will face the Cubs for the first time in his career.
The Twins announced this week that they would recall Mejia at a time that manager Paul Molitor said makes sense for everyone involved.
“The reports have been his command has been much better,” Molitor told reporters earlier this week, according to the team’s official website. “More efficient. His off-speed seems to be working. His changeup is the only pitch that’s been hot and cold. His fastball-slider command has been really good. He’s had a handful of good outings in a row. Efficient is good.”