Team News and Notes
Atlanta Braves (17-9)
Justin Upton launched his major league leading 12th home run of the season this week. He hit just 17 a year ago, and is currently on pace to shatter his career high of 31 back in 2011. The same can’t be said for his brother B.J. Upton, who has just three home runs, and is hitting a paltry .143 on the season. Freddie Freeman has not made much of an impact since returning from the DL eight games ago, as the first baseman has just one extra base hit during that span. The great start to the season by Paul Maholm came to an abrupt end in his last start. The lefty took his minuscule 1.03 ERA into Detroit, and was battered around to the tune of eight earned runs, and left with a 3.30 ERA. Tim Hudson earned the 200th win of his career on Tuesday, as he pitched a gem against the Nationals. Hudson continues to pitch well despite being 37-years of age, and owns a career record of 200-105.
Washington Nationals (13-14)
How scary is Bryce Harper? Harper hit 22 home runs in his rookie season, and is already almost half way there with nine, and we are only one month into the season. The 20-year-old has been on a tear of late, hitting .353, with four home runs, seven RBI, four doubles, and a triple over his last 11 games. Harper leads the team with a .344 batting average. The Nationals had an injury scare with Stephen Strasburg, and pulled him early from his last start due to forearm tightness. The big guy says he will make his next start, but the Nats might take precautions and skip a start. The Nationals who were expected to be a powerhouse team, continue to struggle, and are under .500 after one month of the season.
Philadelphia Phillies (12-15)
The Phillies starting catcher Carlos Ruiz returned to the lineup on Sunday after missing 25 games due to an amphetamine suspension. The Phillies backstop had a great year in 2012, hitting .325 with 16 home runs and 68 RBI. Delmon Young was activated from the DL on Tuesday, and had two hits including a home run in his season debut. Ryan Howard has been heating up of late, and is showing flashes of his old self. Over his last eight games, the lefty slugger has a .300/.290/.633 slash, with two home runs, 10 RBI, and four doubles. Kyle Kendrick is quietly having one of the best seasons on the Phillies pitching staff. He recently completed a three-hit shut out against the Mets, and owns a tidy 2.41 ERA through five starts to begin the year. Roy Halladay was rolling until he ran into Cleveland on Tuesday, and lasted just 3.2 innings, giving up eight earned runs. I was going to say that he was almost all the way back this week, but apparently he’s not.
Miami Marlins (8-19)
Marlins stud outfielder Giancarlo Stanton was beginning to come around, as he finally tallied his first home run of the season this past week. Stanton was red hot before he strained his hamstring on Monday, as he finally turned the power on hitting three jacks, while also driving in eight runs. The rest of the Marlins remain in a coma offensively, ranking at the bottom of the majors in home runs, runs, and RBI. Jose Fernandez hasn’t made it into the fifth inning in two of his last three starts, while Kevin Slowey leads the team with a 2.15 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.
Nationals: Stephen Strasburg might miss his next start, after being pulled from his most recent outing with forearm tightness. Ryan Zimmerman is ready to play in rehab games, and after a few tune ups this week, he should be activated from the DL on Friday. Jayson Werth was out of the lineup on Tuesday, as he is dealing with hamstring and ankle ailments. Wilson Ramos was activated from the DL on April 29. Reliever Christian Garcia remains on the DL with partial tear in his forearm.
Braves: Jason Heyward who was placed on the DL after having an appendectomy on last Monda, is hoping for a late-May return. Brian McCann (offseason shoulder surgery) began a rehab assignment on Friday, and is all goes well will be activated on May 6.. Jonny Venters (elbow) will begin throwing on Tuesday. Brandon Beachy (Tommy John surgery) is still recovering and could return by midseason.
Phillies: Delmon Young made his return to the lineup a little earlier than expected, as he was activated on April 30. John Lanna remains on the DL, and could miss 6-8 weeks due to a strained quad.
Marlins: Giancarlo Stanton was placed on the DL with a grade 2 strain of his hamstring, which should sideline him a minimum of three weeks. Joe Mahoney was also placed on the DL with a hamstring injury. Adeiny Hechavarria was placed on the DL with a bruised elbow, is ready to begin rehab games. Casey Kotchman who is on the DL with a strained hamstring may return by mid-May. Logan Morrison is recovering from a torn patella tendon that required surgery last September, is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment on May 10. Henderson Alvarez is throwing and could return by early May, while Nathan Eovaldi remains out indefinitely, and was transferred to the 60-day DL.
Upcoming Schedules (4/29-5/5)
Nationals: (ATL, 4/29-5/2), (@PIT, 5/3-5/5)
Braves: (WSH, 4/29-5/2), (NYM, 5/3-5/5)
Phillies: (@CLE, 4/30-5/31), (MIA, 5/2-5/5)
Marlins: (@MIN, 4/29-5/1) (@PHI, 5/2-5/5)