Right-hander Yu Darvish is out for the season, but he at least is happy to finally know the source of his elbow pain.
An MRI taken last week revealed he has a stress reaction. He has been on the disabled list since May 21, diagnosed with a strained right triceps and an impingement in his shoulder.
Darvish made two rehab starts with low Class A South Bend (Indiana) on June 25 and Aug. 19. He left the second outing after one inning.
“At first I was told it was a simple tightness, but I always knew there was something else other than the tightness,” Darvish said. “With the diagnosis, I’m relieved to know what that something is.”
Darvish, who does not need surgery, went 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA after signing a six-year, $126 million contract as a free agent in February.
❚ Second baseman Daniel Murphy went 9-for-23 (.391) with two home runs and five RBI in his first five games after being acquired from the Nationals in a trade Aug. 21. Javier Baez moved from second base to shortstop when Addison Russell (sprained left middle finger) went on the disabled list.
The Reds had high hopes for 25-year-old right-hander Luis Castillo this year following a fine rookie season.
In 2017, Castillo went 3-7 with a 3.12 ERA in 15 starts. But he is 7-11 with a 5.07 ERA in 26 starts this year, and his struggles returned Aug. 25 when the Cubs tagged him for five runs in 31⁄3 innings in a game at Chicago.
Despite the rough outing, there are signs Castillo is regaining his rookie form. In his previous eight starts, he had a 2.96 ERA and gave up more than three runs just once.
“Sometimes the hitters will let you know if you’re missing with your spots and they take advantage of it,” interim manager Jim Riggleman said. ❚ Right fielder Scott Schebler returned from the disabled list Aug. 25 after missing nearly six weeks because of a sprained right shoulder. His rehab assignment with Class AAA Louisville (Kentucky) was stopped Aug. 1 after seven games, then resumed Aug. 20 for four games at Class AA Pensacola (Florida).
Corey Knebel has gone from pitching in the All-Star Game in 2017 to being sent to the minor leagues in the latter stages of this season.
The Brewers optioned their former closer to Class AAA Colorado Springs (Colorado) on Aug. 24 to work on his pitching mechanics. The right-hander was 0-2 with a 11.37 ERA in his last seven games and had a 7.24 ERA in 14 games since the All-Star break.
“This isn’t really a demotion. It’s a break,” general manager David Stearns said. “Allow him some time to really work on some things in bullpen sessions. It’s really tough for active relief pitchers at the major league level to do that during the normal course of a season because they need to pitch in games every single night.”
Left-hander Josh Hader and right-hander Jeremy Jeffress have been sharing the closer duties in recent weeks.
❚ Right-hander Joakim Soria, who had 16 saves for the White Sox this season, was activated from the disabled list when Knebel was demoted. Soria had been sidelined for two weeks because of a strained right thigh.
Right-hander Chris Archer doesn’t have much experience hitting at the major league level. He spent his first seven seasons with the Rays in the American League, where the designated hitter rule is in effect, until being traded to the Pirates on July 31.
Archer escaped serious injury during a batting mishap Aug. 20 against the Braves. He fell backward while unsuccessfully checking his swing during a strikeout and landing awkwardly on his left leg, then left the game an inning later.
“The one thing that I’ve always prided myself in in this game is being on the field, but I think it was the smart move,” Archer said of being taken out.
Archer made his next start Aug. 26 but gave up six runs in four innings at Milwaukee.
❚ Left-hander Steven Brault was recalled from Class AAA Indianapolis on Aug. 20 and pitched a combined six scoreless innings in his first two relief appearances. He had a 4.93 ERA in his first 31 games.
St. Louis Cardinals
Bench coach Mike Shildt was a relative unknown when he was promoted to interim manager after Mike Matheny was fired one day before the start of the All-Star break.
Shildt joined the major league coaching staff last season. Before that he was a scout and minor league coach and manager in the organization.
However, he’s making a case to return as manager. The Cardinals went 26-12 in Shildt’s first 38 games after compiling a 47-46 record under Matheny.
The hot streak propelled the Cardinals to the top of the NL wild-card standings.
“Shildt’s been really good at letting us play our own game and letting us play the way we want to play. That’s the biggest thing,” second baseman Kolten Wong said. “We have so many different personalities and different guys in this clubhouse. You just have to allow people to be themselves, and eventually people are going to mesh.”
❚ First baseman-outfielder Matt Adams was claimed off waivers from the Nationals on Aug. 21. He spent the first six years of his career with the Cardinals before being traded to the Braves in May 2017.
“That was one of the stranger innings you’ll ever see.”
Craig Counsell Brewers manager, after his team gave up four runs in one inning against the Reds without a ball leaving the infield
Mike Shildt has led the Cardinals, whose key players include first baseman Matt Carpenter, to a 26-12 record since he became interim manager in mid-July.