ATLANTA — Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard has been prescribed more rest after getting a second opinion on a strained ligament in his index finger.
Manager Mickey Callaway said Syndergaard’s right finger is “tender to the touch.” Syndergaard, on the disabled list retroactive to May 26, was examined Tuesday in New York. There is no immediate timetable for his return.
Callaway added that Syndergaard likely will need a rehab start. The Mets had hoped he could get back this week, but Syndergaard will miss his third straight turn in the rotation.
Seth Lugo again will take his place when New York begins a four-game series Thursday at Arizona.
Syndergaard is 4-1 with a 3.06 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 64⅔ innings as one of the Mets’ aces, along with Jacob deGrom.
Khris Davis would like to stay with A’s several years
Oakland general manager David Forst has said signing Davis long term is a top priority, but the team spent the offseason putting pieces around the star outfielder and designated hitter to try to build another consistent contender. Led by Davis’ 48 home runs and career-high 123 RBIs, the A’s returned to the playoffs for the first time in four years.
The slugger received a $6 million raise this offseason to $16.5 million.
“I’d like to be here. I hope something gets done,” Davis said before Sunday’s workout. “It’s not a good thing being a free agent right now. For my security, it’s going to impact a lot. That’s the way the business is. I’m already 31 so I don’t know if I’m too old. There’s a lot of things that run through my head. Who knows. If it happens, it happens.”
Manager Bob Melvin had some encouraging things to say in Saturday’s team meeting, and Davis said “it made me feel a little more secure.”
“Shoot, I want to stay here at least three more years, but that’s a long time to be an Oakland A. But if anybody can do it I guess it’s me, hopefully,” Davis said. “I don’t think they’ll trade me as long as we’re doing good. So we better do good so I don’t get traded.”
MLB — If Bryce or Manny go to Philly, they better get dirty
A word of advice for Manny Machado and Bryce Harper if one of them winds up taking the Philadelphia Phillies’ money: Be prepared to get very, very dirty.
For they will have signed on to live in a city devoted to the rawest of competitors. The Broad Street Bullies, the Flyers of the ’70s who won a lot of games but are remembered as much for their brawls. Chase Utley, who once told an opposing catcher from the batter’s box that the pitcher needed to drill Utley, because he knew retaliation was in order. Brian Dawkins, the fearless Eagles safety who launched himself into tackles. Reggie White, the Minister of Defense.
Team success would matter, of course, and if Harper or Machado wound up at the top of a championship dogpile or catching cans of beer in a victory parade, they’d be in the Philly circle of trust, for sure, as Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Brad Lidge are, as Allen Iverson is. But before that, in those first games or seasons that Harper or Machado wore a Phillies uniform — if they choose to take the Phillies’ money, and uniform — they should make a habit of running out every ball. Go airborne into third base, a la Pete Rose.
Does CC Sabathia have a Hall of Fame future?
If, a few years from now, CC Sabathia is standing on a stage behind the Clark Sports Complex in Cooperstown, New York, delivering a speech on Induction Day, many will point to a moment this past season that kind of encapsulated what he is all about.
It happened at Tropicana Field on Sept. 27. The New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays were meeting, with not-quite-nothing at stake. The Yankees were trying to put the wraps on home-field advantage for the American League wild-card game, while the resurgent Rays had already been eliminated. On a personal basis, in his final regular-season start, Sabathia needed to go seven innings in order to reach 155 innings, thus triggering a $500,000 contract bonus. He had made it through only seven innings in four of his 28 prior starts.
But that day, Sabathia was rolling through the Tampa Bay lineup, holding the Rays to a lone hit through 4⅔ shutout innings. Then, with two outs in the fifth, a Sabathia cutter got in on rookie Jake Bauers and hit him on the hand. Bauers took his base, Sabathia got the last out, and that should have been that. He had thrown just 54 pitches and the Yankees were up 7-0. There didn’t figure to be a universe in which Sabathia would not get through seven innings and trigger the bonus.
Ballplayers can be thick, at times, and sometimes when they do take leave of their senses, crazy stuff happens. The result can be the occasional beanball war, ejections and even a brawl from time to time. Well, the Rays’ Andrew Kittredge threw behind Austin Romine to start the sixth, sending Sabathia’s catcher sprawling into the dirt. Sabathia, watching from the dugout, started out onto the field, but was intercepted by manager Aaron Boone. Plate umpire Vic Carapazza issued warnings.
It turned out to be a long inning, as the Yankees stretched their lead to 11-0. But Sabathia did not forget. Nor did he cool off and focus on all of that money. With his first pitch of the bottom of the sixth, he nailed Jesus Sucre in the left knee with a 93-mph fastball — the fastest of his 55 pitches that day by two miles per hour. And, yes, it was his last pitch of the day. Carapazza threw him out of the game. Yankees announcer Michael Kay said, “CC just cost himself $500,000.” Kay then added, “That’s why CC’s teammates love him.” As Sabathia stalked off the mound, he pointed at the Rays’ dugout and yelled, “That was for you, b—-.”
The Yankees, of course, ended up giving Sabathia the bonus anyway. You can just see the talking heads describing it on a Ken Burns documentary. This is how legends are made. However, it’s not necessarily proof that one belongs among the legends.
In November, when the annual “Bill James Handbook” was released, in the section where they calculated the probabilities for players to reach career milestones, Sabathia was given an 8 percent chance at winning 300 games. He finished the 2018 season with 246. That chance is now 0 percent, because on Saturday, Sabathia announced that the approaching 2019 campaign — his 19th as a big leaguer — would be his last.
He turns 39 in July, but it’s possible he’ll be leaving a little bit of production on the table. After struggling to adapt to his inevitable drop in velocity a few years back, Sabathia began throwing that cutter, and focused more on using his slider. Starting in 2016, he regained some of his old form. He wasn’t as dominant, and didn’t work as deep into games. But he was still plenty good. Over the past three seasons, Sabathia went 32-24 with an ERA+ of 117 and 8.3 WAR. Three hundred wins was probably a long shot even if he had tried to hang on, but you never know.
Now we’re all looking ahead at yet another Yankee farewell tour. Which isn’t a bad thing. Whatever your feelings about the Bronx Bombers might be, it’s hard to deny that Sabathia has been one of the best and most entertaining pitchers of his generation. When the season ends, the clock will begin ticking on Sabathia’s five-year waiting period before his Hall of Fame case is taken up by the BBWAA. What will that case look like?
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