The big storylines from today’s Padres-Dodgers game all revolve around Max Scherzer. Not only did he become just the 19th pitcher in Major League history to reach 3,000 career strikeouts, he also threw an immaculate inning and carried a perfect game into the eighth inning. However, the opposing clubhouse didn’t have nearly as much to celebrate. Padres reliever Austin Adams tied a modern-day record for hit batsmen in a season and Blake Snell left the game after just 11 pitches with what the club later announced as “left adductor tightness”, also known as a groin injury.
This is very unfortunate timing for both the club and Snell, as they are in a crowded playoff race and he was just starting to turn his frustrating season around. Following a miserable outing against Oakland on July 28th, Snell was sitting on an ERA of 5.44 through 84 1/3 innings, with an elevated walk rate of 14.3%, well above this year’s league average of 8.7%. However, since that time, the lefty seemed to have got into a groove and righted the ship, throwing 43 2/3 innings with 65 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.85, along with a much-improved walk rate of 8.6%.
The severity of the injury isn’t clear at this point. But with the club currently tied with the Reds for the last National League Wild Card spot, with the Cardinals just a game back and other teams looming, every remaining game is tremendously important. Rotation health has been an ongoing issue for the club in the past few months, so much so that the club signed Jake Arrieta a few weeks ago to try and paper over the injuries. However, Arrieta landed on the IL himself and hasn’t been terribly effective in his two appearances with the Friars. Losing Snell for any amount of time, especially when he was throwing so well, would surely be a blow to their chances.
Some other injury updates…
- Matt Boyd is meeting with elbow specialist Keith Meister, Tigers manager AJ Hinch tells Chris McCosky of The Detroit News. “He is scheduled to see Dr. Meister in Dallas and then we’ll get further evaluations and opinions and see what’s next for him,” Hinch said. While a meeting doesn’t necessarily spell doom, this is a potentially concerning development, given that Meister is often associated with Tommy John surgery. McCosky points out that Meister recently performed the procedure for Tigers catcher Jake Rogers, but the doctor has also recently taken the knife to Tyler Glasnow and many others. If any kind of serious surgery is required, it would be very poor timing, given that Boyd is currently slated to reach free agency after the 2022 season. The 30-year-old is playing this year on a $6.5MM salary and can be controlled for one more year via arbitration. Boyd’s name has been often mentioned as a trade candidate for the rebuilding Tigers in recent years, though a deal has yet to come to fruition. A lengthy surgery rehab could further dent any trade value he has left and also hurt Boyd’s chances to cash in on his quality career via free agency. Since the start of 2016, Boyd had given the Tigers 727 innings with an ERA of 4.75, accruing 10.2 fWAR in that time.
- The Mets provided yet another vague update about Jacob deGrom, as manager Luis Rojas tells Anthony DiComo of MLB.com he is scheduled to throw off a mound, “maybe this week.” deGrom was on his way to a brilliant season before elbow issues put him on the shelf in July. Through 92 innings this season, he has an ERA of 1.08 with an excellent walk rate of 3.4% and an absurd strikeout rate of 45.1%. Given that there’s only three weeks remaining in the season, it seems that the chances of those winding up as his final numbers are growing.
- In better news for the Mets, the prognosis for outfielder Brandon Nimmo seems to have improved. DiComo gives some details of the onfield workout Nimmo took part in today and says that Nimmo believes he can return to face Philadelphia, whom the Mets start a three-game series with on Friday. Going into tonight’s game against the Yankees, the Mets are 3 1/2 games out of a playoff spot and would surely love to get Nimmo back into the mix to help with their postseason push. In 77 games this year, the 28-year-old has hit .302/420/.415, an excellent wRC+ of 139.