Smith deflected a grounder with his bare hand, but was able to stay on and record two outs before being pulled in the middle of an at-bat. It's not clear if the injury is related to the ball that ricocheted off his hand or his elbow that sidelined him for the first three weeks of spring games. The southpaw should be considered day-to-day until the Giants release more about his injury.
The 27-year-old reliever was razor-sharp, throwing 28 of his 37 pitches for strikes and extending his streak of not allowing an earned run to nine appearances. Brebbia has quietly become one of manager Mike Matheny's most trusted bullpen options, with Wednesday's outing lowering his ERA and WHIP to 1.64 and 0.77, respectively.
No other reason than rest was given for Pollock's day off, so it's probably just a maintenance breather during the afternoon contest. Since returning July 4, Pollock is just 8-for-37 (.216) with a solo home run, though he does have three stolen bases, a good sign that he'll offer his normally top-shelf fantasy production in time. Gregor Blanco takes his place in center field, batting eighth.
Parayko avoided the sophomore slump by registering 35 points -- two more than his rookie numbers. The blueliner averaged 21:12 of ice time which includes minutes on both the power play and penalty kill. The 24-year-old has performed well with the man advantage -- all four of his goals came with the extra attacker -- and he should continue to expand this role heading into the 2017-18 campaign.
Kela didn't experience any issues during his bullpen session Tuesday and had no complications while throwing off flat ground Wednesday either, so it appears the right-hander's health is sound after a sore shoulder sidelined him for about three weeks. Earlier in the week, manager Jeff Banister seemed to dismiss the idea of Kela needing a rehab assignment before being activated, so it appears likely that the 24-year-old will be available out of the bullpen for the Rangers' series finale with the Orioles on Thursday. While Alex Claudio has picked up the Rangers' lone two saves since Matt Bush was removed from the closing role in late June, Claudio is hardly entrenched as the ninth-inning man, so look for Kela to merit consideration for those duties upon returning. Kela was arguably the Rangers' top reliever prior to hitting the DL, compiling a 2.64 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 42 strikeouts in 30.2 innings.
Vazquez gets a day off from his catching duties following three starts in the past four games, including an 0-for-3 night at the plate during Wednesday's victory. Sandy Leon will take over behind the plate in his stead.
After making back-to-back starts in center field, Broxton will take a seat in favor of Brett Phillips for the series finale. The Brewers are currently riding a four-game losing streak, and Broxton is hitless with five strikeouts over that span. The difficult stretch has dropped Broxton's season batting average down to .220.
Moreland will once again take a seat in favor of Hanley Ramirez at first base. With southpaw Francisco Liriano on the mound for the Blue Jays, this move was to be expected, especially with Moreland's continual struggles at the plate. During the second half of the season, he is batting just 2-for-21 with nine strikeouts in seven games of action.
After turning in three no-hit innings for the Rangers' rookie-level Arizona League team last week, Griffin raised his pitch count in his second rehab start, but wasn't able to work deeper into the game since he was unable to silence the opposing bats. On a positive note, Griffin at least succeeded in finding the strike zone, as he didn't yield a walk for the second straight outing, but he'll likely require at least one more rehab start before being activated from the 60-day disabled list. It's unclear if Griffin will have a rotation spot with the Rangers waiting for him once activated after he turned in a 5.77 ERA and 1.28 WHIP over eight starts with the big club earlier this season.
Thames had another rough day at the plate Wednesday, fanning four times in a hitless effort. He now has seven strikeouts in his last two games, and four three-strikeout games on the month. Despite the incredibly hot start, it's been tough sledding for Thames for an extended stretch now. He's batting just .210 since May 1. As a result, he'll give way to Jesus Aguilar at first base, despite right-hander Jameson Taillon taking the hill for the opposing Pirates.
Cozart sits for the sixth time in the last 17 games. Over that stretch he is hitting .326/.380/.587 with two home runs in 46 at-bats. He continues to get more days off than his talents would typically dictate, as the Reds are intent on making sure Scooter Gennett and Jose Peraza, who is starting at shortstop and batting eighth, continue to get semi-regular playing time.
The Mets are looking to increase the versatility of their infielders, so they'll have Walker try some reps at the hot corner, with the possibility that he'll log time there when he returns, which should happen within the week. New York also assigned this plan for Asdrubal Cabrera. Perhaps this is to open up time for prospect shortstop Amed Rosario, who's hovering at Triple-A Las Vegas waiting to debut and may do so after the July 31 trade deadline. As for Walker, his playing time may decrease, but he may earn another eligible fantasy position before the season ends. It may not be enough for him to qualify at third next year, though.
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