The prior week in MLB was about a high-profile player receiving a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, a club in National League promotes a prospect due to another injury, and a strikeout artist makes history.
Seattle Mariners Second Baseman Robinson Cano Receives 80-Game Suspension for Positive PED Test
The baseball world was turned upside down this past week when it was revealed that Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano was suspended 80 games for violating Major League Baseball’s joint drug agreement, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 15, 2018
MLB issued a statement about the suspension, and they mentioned the drug which Cano tested positive, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.
This from MLB:
Robinson Cano received an 80-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Furosemide, a Diuretic, in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Canó’s 80-game suspension is effective immediately.
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) May 15, 2018
Cano sent out a statement and said a doctor in the Dominican Republic gave him the drug, which resulted in him testing positive for a banned substance.
— Robinson Cano (@RobinsonCano) May 15, 2018
This is a significant loss for the Mariners as the second baseman is off to good start in 2018, by hitting .287 with four homers and 23 RBIs in 39 games.
He has also been one of the most productive second basemen of his era, as indicated by him hitting at least 20 home runs in eight of the last nine seasons and has a career .304 batting average.
Cano was already going to be sidelined for quite some time as he needs to undergo surgery to repair his fractured right hand, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.
According to a source, Robinson Cano will indeed require surgery to repair his fractured hand. With 80-game suspension, recovery time won’t be an issue.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) May 15, 2018
Cano will be allowed to serve his 80-game suspension while trying to get healthy from the injury. The first game he will be eligible to return once the suspension is finished is Aug. 14 against the Oakland Athletics.
Cano was building a resume worthy of being inducted into Cooperstown, but with this suspension, he may no longer be considered a lock to join the pantheon of the greatest players in the sport.
Washington Nationals Lose Utility Player Howie Kendrick to Ruptured Achilles, Promote Juan Soto
The Washington Nationals have lost another player to injury as utility player Howie Kendrick suffered a ruptured Achilles. He will undergo surgery on Monday and it will knock him out for the remainder of the year, per Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post.
As expected, Kendrick’s season is over. He said he hopes to have the surgery Monday to get it out of the way ASAP and commence the rehab.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) May 20, 2018
The Nationals will promote outfield prospect Juan Soto to the Majors, per Byron Kerr of MASN Sports.
Juan Soto being called up to the #Nats, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed. He is expected to join the Nats in D.C. for sunday
— Byron Kerr (@masnKerr) May 20, 2018
Kendrick was injured during the eighth inning of the first game of a doubleheader against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.
The loss of Kendrick is enormous for the Nats as he posted a .303 average and .805 OPS in 40 games with 14 doubles, four home runs, and 12 RBIs.
A positive aspect is that this injury creates playing time for one of the best prospects in the Nationals farm system.
The 19-year old outfielder is their No. 2 prospect and the No. 15 overall prospect in the Majors. Soto has skyrocketed through the Nats farm system this year and has looked great at each level.
He began the 2018 season in Hagerstown, but received a promotion after just 16 games, by hitting five home runs and compiling a 1.300 OPS.
Then, he continued to rake at Class A Advanced Potomac, where he mashed seven home runs and had a 1.256 OPS in 15 games.
Soto was recently promoted to Double-A Harrisburg, and his bat hasn’t slowed down, as indicated by him hitting two home runs, tallying 10 RBIs and posting a .981 OPS in eight games.
Soto had a pinch-hit at-bat in Sunday’s game against the Dodgers and became the first teenager to appear in a game for the Nats since Bryce Harper in 2012, and the third in franchise history – Tim Raines for Montreal Expos was the other to have that honor in 1979.
The Nationals have suffered a multitude of injuries to key players, and Soto has a chance to prove he belongs with the team for the rest of the year.
Washington Nationals Starting Pitcher Max Scherzer Makes History
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer is one of the best pitchers in MLB as evidenced by him winning the National League Cy Young in each of the last two seasons.
He made history in the outing on Saturday against the Dodgers, by recording his 100th strikeout of the year in just his 63rd inning, per MLB Stat of the Day.
.@Max_Scherzer got his 100th strikeout of the season in just 63 IP.
That’s the fewest innings to reach 100 Ks in a season EVER (previously 65.2 IP – Kerry Wood). pic.twitter.com/SS4aIS6Gqi
— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) May 20, 2018
This is the fewest amount of innings for any pitcher ever to reach 100 strikeouts in a season (Kerry Wood was the previous record holder, needing 65 2/3 in 2001).
The scary part for Scherzer is that he’s getting better as he ages. He fanned 268 batters in 200 1/3 innings in 2017, and it’s possible he could strikeout 300 batters in 2018.
If he reaches that feat, Scherzer will become the first NL pitcher to reach that mark since Clayton Kershaw struck out 301 in 2015.