The MLB Daily Dish is a daily feature we’re running here at MLBDD that rounds up roster-impacting news, rumors, and analysis. Have feedback or have something that should be shared? Hit us up at @mlbdailydish on Twitter or @MLBDailyDish on Instagram.
- It appears as though that 2021 is the year of the no-hitter. It is only May 20th and there have now been six no-hitters thrown this year after Corey Kluber threw a no-no last night against the Rangers. That six doesn’t even include Madison Bumgarner’s seven inning no-hitter earlier this season and is only two away from the all-time single season league record. I’m sure that there is nothing different about the ball...nope, not a thing.
- Perennial MVP candidate Mike Trout probably won’t win the AL MVP Award in 2021, as he’s going to spend the next 6-8 weeks on the shelf recovering from a calf strain. Even though Trout had slumped in May, he still led the majors with a .466 OBP and 1.090 OPS due to the ridiculous .425/.523/.781 slash line he posted in April, and his loss is as massive as can be for an Angels team that was already struggling to stay above water in the AL West.
- White Sox rookie DH Yermín Mercedes offended a few unwritten rule respecters by swinging at a 3-0 pitching and homering off Twins utilityman Willians Astudillo in the ninth inning of Chicago’s 16-4 victory on Monday night in a moment that should have been one of the most entertaining highlights of 2021 but instead served as fodder for a feud within the baseball community. Mercedes’ manager, Tony La Russa, spent Tuesday airing out the AL Rookie of the Year favorite, calling him “clueless,” saying that “there will be a consequence he has to endure” from the White Sox, and responding to Mercedes’ declaration that he’s “going to play (his) game” by saying that “No, he doesn’t, he plays the game of Major League Baseball, respects the game, respects the opponents.” After Twins reliever Tyler Duffey threw at Mercedes Tuesday night — and was promptly ejected, along with manager Rocco Baldelli — La Russa didn’t come to his DH’s defense, saying he didn’t “have a problem with how the Twins handled that.” With the Hall of Fame manager siding against his best hitter, it should be interesting to see whether the White Sox’s chemistry is impacted.
- The Dodgers signed veteran slugger Albert Pujols to a major league deal, less than a month after he was designated for assignment and released by the Angels. For a moment there was a rumor floating around that the 41-year-old might sign with the Cardinals so he could play out his career with the team he made his name with. But clearly the Dodgers believe he has some fuel left in the tank, despite the .198/.250/.372 slash line he posted with the Angels this season.
- The Angels have acquired Hunter Strickland from Tampa Bay for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Strickland will be a welcome addition to an Angels bullpen that has been run dry. He’s also started this season like a firecracker, posting a 1.69 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 16 innings. Coming from a competitor like Tampa Bay, it will be interesting to see what Strickland does in Los Angeles—both on and off the mound.
- Remember when the league and MLBPA got in a very public back and forth that resulted in MLBPA essentially calling the league’s bluff and calling for a shortened slate of games with the idea that the players were going to file a grievance? Do you remember that Manfred tried to one-up that by saying no season was going to happen at all unless the players waived the right to file a grievance? That was fun...and that grievance has arrived as MLBPA formally accused the league of negotiating in bad faith on the terms of the 2020 season.
- The Mariners’ former president Kevin Mather caused all sorts of havoc this past offseason when, among other things, he said that because their top prospect Jarred Kelenic declined to sign a long-term extension with the Mariners, that he was not going to start the 2021 season with the team in order to manipulate his service time. Well, that whole episode did not end well for Mather, but it didn’t stop the team from doing just that as both Jarred Kelenic AND Logan Gilbert got called up to the majors. We are sure it was because they “weren’t ready yet” and needed a handful of minor league games to become major leaguers.
- The Braves’ Mike Soroka has had a rough road back to health over the last year or so. After rupturing his Achilles’ tendon early in the 2020 season, his rehab was delay this spring by soreness in his shoulder and his return was pushed back to June of this year. Now, the Braves got even worse news as Soroka has been feeling discomfort in his repaired Achilles and underwent exploratory surgery.
- While things on the health and safety front have gone largely well for the sport of baseball in 2021, we have been getting semi-regular reminders that COVID-19 is still a thing and it can most assuredly impact the games being played. Case in point: on Tuesday, it was announced that the Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. and Wil Myers both tested positive for the virus. For a team very much in the playoff picture, another stint without their best player is most definitely less than ideal. Fortunately, Tatis Jr. appears to be asymptomatic for the moment which does portend well for him bouncing right back.
- It wouldn’t be a baseball season without a Mets pitching injury and for the Mets, this was the worst guy to get hurt. Despite a clean MRI earlier in the week, the team had to put the best pitcher in baseball, Jacob deGrom, on the IL due to an issue with his right side. No word yet how long he may be out.
- The Braves have signed reliever Shane Greene to a one-year deal, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network. While the contract is in the $1.5M range, it will likely end up at $1.1M after being prorated based on how much of the season is behind us. The 32-year old has been with the Braves since the 2019 trade deadline, throwing 52 1/3 innings of 3.27 ERA/3.87 FIP in his time with the Braves. He hit free agency at the end of last year and it certainly a welcome familiar face for a Braves bullpen that’s been less than reliable so far this season.
- Its never great news when a player ends up on the ground after attempting to run to first, but the news was particularly bad for Luis Robert and the Chicago White Sox. The young star was diagnosed with a torn hip flexor and won’t even be able to begin baseball activities for 12-16 weeks, which very much puts his season in jeopardy. That White Sox outfield is looking awfully thin these days.
- The Dodgers have their own injury problems. Dustin May left his most recent start in the second inning and on Monday, it was announced that he is going to have to undergo Tommy John surgery which will put him out until at least some time next season. It’s silly how much depth that Dodgers roster has, but they can’t really afford to lose too much more talent on the pitching side.
- The Braves have placed Travis d’Arnaud on the 60-day injured list after undergoing a pretty rough sprain to his thumb that could be more serious than initially posed. William Contreras, the young 2015 international signee, will take d’Arnaud’s spot behind the plate.
- In some disturbing news, MLB has placed Roberto Alomar on the ineligible list, while the Blue Jays severed all of their ties with Hall of Famer. His name will be removed from the team’s “Level of Excellence” and his banner at Rogers Centre will be taken down following an investigation of sexual misconduct against him. He is now the only Hall of Famer on the ineligible list.
- The Rays got some reinforcements for their pitching staff last week as Shane McClanahan, who was added to the team’s postseason roster during their World Series run in 2020 and had yet to make his regular season debut, was called up to the big leagues.
- The Rockies have been poorly run for a while now, with general manager Jeff Bridich at the forefront of that mismanagement. They somehow made their relationship with their best player, Nolan Arenado, so bad that they had to trade him away and throw in a bunch of cash in order to do so. Well, Bridich’s time finally came as he and the team decided to mutually part ways last week.The Nationals have placed Stephen Strasburg on the 10-day injured list. A recent MRI has shown inflammation in his right shoulder after a start last Tuesday that raised some eyebrows. He’s currently 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA over his first two starts this season.
- Since being a highly heralded pitching prospect who was drafted #3 overall, Carlos Rodon has had to overcome several severe injuries and the label as a “bust” in his career whether it was fair or not. For at least one night, though, Rodon showed everyone what he was capable of as he threw a no-hitter (and nearly a perfect game if not for a 9th inning HBP) against the Indians.
- A’s reliever Trevor Rosenthal underwent thoracic outlet surgery, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports. The 30-year-old kicked off this season on the IL because of a shoulder problem. While the procedure is usually a 12-week recovery period, he will be re-evaluated in eight weeks. The closer spent this offseason hunting for a long-term deal that would hopefully keep him planted for a while. What he ended up with was a 1-year, $11M deal with the Athletics. After a monster comeback in 2020, pitching a 1.90 ERA over 23.2 innings pitched between the Royals and the Padres, this feels like a devastating blow for any sort of late-career renaissance. Fingers crossed for Oakland fans that he ends up back in the bullpen sooner than anticipated.
- The Yankees made a somewhat surprising addition, acquiring veteran infielder Rougned Odor from the Rangers in exchange for minor league outfielders Antonio Cabello and Josh Stowers. The Rangers are responsible for paying all but the league minimum to Odor, who they previously designated for assignment, and the Yankees will take a chance on a hitter who is capable of dominating right-handed pitching but has struggled to make contact in recent seasons.
- Orlando Arcia was widely considered one of the top prospects in baseball about five years ago, but he’s mostly been a disappointment since arriving in the big leagues. The Braves will see if they can turn his career around after acquiring the 26-year-old shortstop from the Brewers in exchange for relievers Patrick Weigel and Chad Sobotka. Arcia will initially report to Atlanta’s alternate training site.
- The health and safety protocols that the league has put in place for the 2021 season have been a hot topic given that we are amidst a vaccine rollout that should, in theory, make existing out in the world much safer and easier. Monday, MLB sent out a memo to teams saying that if at least 85% of a team’s roster becomes vaccinated, that the health protocols they are operating under will be relaxed.
- The White Sox, fresh off an impressive run to the postseason last year, are primed to win the AL Central this year, but things just got a bit harder. It was announced last week that slugger Eloy Jimenez ruptured his pectoral tendon and will miss around 5-6 months of action as he recovers. While the White Sox do have a good number of quality bats in their lineup, Eloy’s injury is really going to put their depth to the test and place a lot of pressure on some young guys to perform.