MLB News & Moments You Should Know: 4/7/24

Union, MLB exchange heated statements after Strider, Bieber injuries.

Stay updated on everything baseball with our morning MLB News & Moments articles. We’ve got you covered to keep you in the know.

This weekend marks the start of the rest of the affiliated minor leagues after Triple-A began last weekend in conjunction with MLB Opening Day. Not everyone is fortunate to live close to an MLB city, but there is a better chance a minor-league team might be a little closer. The minors are great for many reasons. Not only are tickets a fraction of what you pay for an MLB game, but stadiums are more intimate and you have a chance to see stars of tomorrow. Take the opportunity if you can.


Today’s Headlines


MLB, Union Get Testy Over Arm Injuries


With two more noteworthy elbow injuries in the past few days (more on those below), the players union fired a salvo at the league, which lobbed a grenade of its own in return. “Despite unanimous Player opposition and significant concerns regarding health and safety, the Commissioner’s Office reduced the length of the Pitch Clock last December, just one season removed from imposing the most significant rule change in decades,” MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark said in a released statement. “Since then, our concerns about the health impacts of reduced recovery time have only intensified.” Not long thereafter, MLB issued this retort: “This statement ignores the empirical evidence and much more significant long-term trend, over multiple decades, of velocity and spin increases that are highly correlated with arm injuries. Nobody wants to see pitchers get hurt in this game, which is why MLB is currently undergoing a significant comprehensive research study into the causes of this long-term increase, interviewing prominent medical experts across baseball which to date has been consistent with an independent analysis by Johns Hopkins University that found no evidence to support that the introduction of the pitch clock has increased injuries.” What comes of this mess is anyone’s guess.


Strider Has Damaged UCL, Needs More Tests


Pitcher injuries have certainly been a big storyline in the first week-plus in MLB. Now, one of the bright young stars is sidelined indefinitely. Atlanta right-hander Spencer Strider has an injured ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow that will need further evaluation, the team said. It will be at that time when it is determined whether rest and rehab will work or if Strider needs Tommy John surgery. Strider, the runner-up in the 2022 NL Rookie of the Year voting who then was an All-Star and finished fourth in NL Cy Young balloting in 2023, felt discomfort in his start Friday and had an MRI Saturday.


Guardians’ Bieber To Have Tommy John Surgery


Speaking of UCL injuries: The Cleveland Guardians were off to a good start to the season, sitting at 6-2 entering Saturday’s action. But the health of their ace, right-hander Shane Bieber, was a lingering question following his start Tuesday. The answer came Saturday, and it was not good news. Bieber will undergo Tommy John surgery in the next few days and won’t return until sometime in the 2025 season. Bieber missed 2½ months last season with elbow issues, returning for two September starts. The Guardians’ rotation was already without right-hander Gavin Williams, who is on the 15-day injured list with right elbow discomfort, so starting depth is being tested out of the gates. Right-handed reliever Peter Strzelecki was called up to take Bieber’s roster spot.


Marlins’ Skid Reaches 9


The Miami Marlins‘ opening schedule didn’t appear to be imposing, but two of its first three opponents were ones to be wary of. With just one game left in those series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Angels, and St. Louis Cardinals, the Marlins have yet to get into the win column. The latest setback was a 3-1 road decision to the Cardinals, sending the Fish to an 0-9 mark to begin 2024. Steven Matz pitched five shutout innings for the Cardinals, who scored all three runs off left-hander Trevor Rogers in the fourth and fifth innings. Not only is this the worst start in the franchise’s 33-year history, but the Marlins are the first team since 2016 to start 0-9 since 2016, when Atlanta and Minnesota did the same. Rookie Max Meyer will start Sunday in a bid to avoid an 0-10 beginning. It doesn’t figure to get easier for the Marlins after this series as they play at the New York Yankees before returning home to face the Atlanta Braves and the San Francisco Giants.


Reds Surge Past Mets


There are rallies and then there are rallies. The Cincinnati Reds, who trailed 5-2 in the fifth inning and 5-4 entering the bottom of the eighth, erupted for five runs to topple the New York Mets 9-6. Spencer Steer provided the big blow, snapping a 5-5 tie with a three-run homer to left-center field.


Strasburg’s Retirement Official


While no statement has been released, Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg has retired from MLB. It was revealed with a simple entry on MLB.com’s transactions page. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft out of San Diego State has not pitched since tossing 4⅔ innings on June 9, 2022, his only appearance that season. Strasburg had surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in 2021. The reason why the 35-year-old had not yet announced his official retirement was the negotiations over the remainder of a seven-year, $245 million signed before the 2020 season. In his 13-year career, the three-time All-Star went 113-62 with a 3.24 ERA. Less than a year after being drafted, Strasburg made his debut to much fanfare, striking out 14 over seven innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also helped the Nats win the 2019 World Series.


Best Moments From Yesterday


Dreams Come True


Jake Burger was born in St. Louis in 1996. Just a few days shy of his 28th birthday, the Marlins’ slugger hit a pair of home runs Friday in the ballpark where he watched many Cardinals games as a kid. So on Saturday, he re-created a childhood memory.


Girl Dad

Washington Nationals outfielder Jesse Winker brought his daughter to the ballpark and shared a cool moment on the field pregame.


Jersey Nostalgia

Los Angeles Angels closer Carlos Estévez was outside Angel Stadium signing autographs when a fan handed him an authentic jersey from a recent season. It nearly made him cry considering the current state of MLB uniforms.


Injuries and Other Moves


Pat Zachry, the 1976 NL Rookie of the Year as a pitcher with the Cincinnati Reds, died Thursday. He was 77.

Boston Red Sox shortstop Trevor Story (dislocated left shoulder) was placed on the 10-day injured list. Shortstop David Hamilton was called up from Triple-A.

Chicago White Sox center fielder Luis Robert Jr. (strained right hip flexor) was placed on the 10-day IL. It is a Grade 2 strain for Robert, who missed nearly three months in 2021 with a more severe injury to the same injury. A timeline for his return is not known.

New York Yankees right-handed reliever Jonathan Loáisiga said he will have UCL surgery. He is expected to miss 10-12 months. This procedure will not be a Tommy John surgery, which he has had previously.

Milwaukee Brewers right-handed starter Jakob Junis (right shoulder impingement) was placed on the 15-day IL. Left-hander Aaron Ashby, coming off left shoulder surgery, was promoted from Triple-A and is expected to start Monday.

2012 World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval has signed with the Staten Island FerryHawks, an independent team. The third baseman was in spring training with the San Francisco Giants, with whom he won three World Series championships, before being released.

Right-handed reliever Dinelson Lamet was designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Dodgers, who called up right-handed reliever Gus Varland from Triple-A.


Articles You Should Read


Don’t confuse Angels fans’ loyalty for blind faith — Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times

Dodgers’ Yamamoto making adjustments on, off field in new country — Fabian Ardaya, The Athletic

Tigers’ hot start has Detroit hungry for October — Jon Morosi, MLB.com


Fantasy Baseball Coverage


Starting Pitcher Roundup

Hitter Performances

Reliever Ranks

Starting Pitcher Streamers

Steve Drumwright

Steve Drumwright is a lifelong baseball fan who retired as a player before he had the chance to be cut from the freshman team in high school. He recovered to become a sportswriter and have a successful journalism career at newspapers in Wisconsin and California. Follow him on Twitter and Threads @DrummerWrites.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login