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Good morning, baseball fans!
Here’s what’s happening in the NL Central.
Just when you thought baseball season was winding down quietly, someone rocks the boat. In this case, that someone is Padres GM A.J. Preller, who has allegedly been hiding medical documents and potential injuries from other teams. So far, Preller has been handed a 30 suspension without pay.
When the Marlins discovered that Colin Rea, the second pitcher they acquired from the Padres in the trade for Andrew Cashner in July, had a strained elbow ligament (later upgraded to a torn UCL), they were furious. Preller maintained his innocence. A.J. Cassavell reported that “the Padres are adamant that Rea was healthy at the time of the trade. The Marlins had access to all of Rea’s medical records in advance, and, like the Padres, they saw nothing wrong with his elbow.”
Buster Olney reports, however, that “Padres officials instructed their organization‘s athletic trainers to maintain two distinct files of medical information on their players – one for industry consumption [as they were required to] and the other for the team’s internal use.” If it’s true, it would be a betrayal on par with the “hacking” scandal in 2015, that led to the felony charges against, and 46 months in prison for former Cardinals director of scouting Chris Correa.
But, on a lighter note, Giancarlo Stanton is close to returning to the Marlins lineup, possibly even for today’s game. Yay, happy news!
Yes, Stanton’s body healed itself at a staggering pace, and he had actually came back on September 6 in a purely pinch hitting role. But now he could be starting in right field when the Marlins open a weekend series against the Phillies, a team against which Stanton has slugged .485 with 19 HR in his career.
Aaaaaand back to bad news. Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada has reportedly been pitching through a herniated disk in his back. Remember that the next time you bang your elbow on the piece of furniture.
Estrada spent a total of twenty days in between starts in July during the All-Star break. Since then, Estrada has had a few starts pushed back by a couple days, but has still made ten starts—roughly one or two shy of the league norm.
Through the first half of the season, Estrada managed 104.1 innings pitched with a WHIP of 0.99. Since the All-Star game, Estrada has pitched 52.2 innings and has a WHIP of 1.48. His BABIP has increased, his strand rate has decreased, and opponents are getting on-base and slugging much better against him.
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Today in baseball history: On September 16th, Jim Thome becomes the third major leaguer this season, and the 23rd overall to hit 500 career home runs.