Cleveland Indians outfielder Leonys Martin had a bacterial infection that attacked his organs and was life-threatening, but he is in stable condition and improving, Indians president Chris Antonetti said.
Antonetti addressed the team Monday and said that Martin, who has been hospitalized at Cleveland Clinic for nearly a week, is recovering and his outlook is good, but that “progress will be measured in weeks, not days.”
Antonetti said that Martin had a bacterial infection that entered his bloodstream and damaged his internal organs. Antonetti said the organs started to shut down, and it was “severe.”
“Thankfully, he’s made a lot of progress in the last 24 to 36 hours,” Antonetti said. “He’s regained a lot of the organ function. We’re optimistic. He’s on a good path right now, and we’re hopeful that he’ll have a full recovery. But he’s got a long path to get back to full health in front of him. It’s going to take some time.”
The Indians acquired Martin, 30, from the Tigers on July 31 just before the non-waiver deadline. He became ill last Tuesday night and did not play Wednesday. On Thursday, the Indians placed him on the 10-day disabled list. On Friday, some Indians players wrote Martin’s name on their hats, and manager Terry Francona asked fans to pray for him.
“What I would say, if you believe in saying prayers and things like that, keep him in your thoughts,” Francona said.
In six games with the Indians, Martin is hitting .333 (5-for-15) with two homers and four RBIs.
Antonetti said he did not know whether Martin would play again this season.
“I haven’t even thought about baseball,” Antonetti said. “He’s got a long path to get to full health in front of him. It’s going to take him some time, but we’re in a much better spot today than we were 24 to 36 hours ago.”
DALLAS — The 2018 NHL draft was, in comparison to other recent editions, a muted affair.
There were only two major trades made, and few credible rumors to spark speculation. Arguably the biggest move was the NHL return of a player who hasn’t been in North America since 2013. Well, that and the most prized free agent of the summer agreeing to listen to other teams’ pitches.
The draft itself had a Swedish defenseman, Rasmus Dahlin, selected by the Buffalo Sabres at No. 1 overall, and more “hey, maybes” than sure things among its top prospects.
That said, some teams and individuals leave “Big D” with “Big W’s,” while others walked off the draft floor taking an “L.” Here’s a look at the winners and losers at the 2018 NHL draft.
Winner: Islanders draft class
ESPN’s Chris Peters gave the New York Islanders an “A” for their remarkable draft class of 2018. That includes the good fortune of having the potentially dynamic scorer Oliver Wahlstrom dropping to No. 11 and then snagging defenseman Noah Dobson at No. 12.
It extends to defenseman Bode Wilde (No. 41) and center Ruslan Iskhakov (No. 43) on Day 2.
“I don’t think we could be more pleased with how it turned out,” GM Lou Lamoriello said.
Loser: Islanders fans’ nerves
The news came down during the draft that Islanders superstar center John Tavares will field pitches from at least five teams in the next week, before he’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
That includes two teams with considerable cap space (San Jose, Vegas), his hometown team (Toronto) and the team for which one of his closest friends plays (Tampa Bay).
The odds are still good that Tavares remains with the Islanders, who can give him eight years on a contract and where he’s professed a desire to stay to help return the franchise to glory. But that doesn’t make this any easier for Islanders fans.
Winner: Boo, Gary Bettman
Taking ownership of the incessant, unending booing that occurs whenever he shows up in front of a large group of NHL fans brings out a playfully antagonistic side to the commissioner — rather than the exasperatingly antagonistic comportment that we usually see.
Loser: Gary Bettman, Boo
The NHL draft began Friday night with a solemn tribute to the Humboldt Broncos and the victims of that horrific bus crash earlier this season. Alas, the segment was presented by Bettman, who was welcomed with Pavlovian booing from fans. No one else could have done this segment? Only the guy who always gets booed at first sight at an event like this?
The fans, for what it’s worth, calmed down after Bettman asked them to. But seriously, did the NHL not see this coming?
Winner: Jim Gregory
A senior vice president of hockey operations for the league, Gregory has played a large role in the development of the NHL draft since 1979, having also served as director of the NHL Central Scouting Bureau for several years. In 2007, he was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder.
He also has been the voice of Day 2 of the draft for decades, and this was his last draft serving in that role. He was given a standing ovation at the start of Round 2, and every team in the NHL thanked him for his service during the final round while making its picks.
Loser: Jamie Benn
The Dallas Stars captain was playfully dunked on by Hall of Famer and former Dallas captain Mike Modano. The two appeared on stage during the Stars’ first-round pick, and Modano noted that while he had experienced this moment before, Benn never did.
“They usually don’t let fifth-rounders on stage,” Benn lamented.
Later, Modano noted how much prep time Benn needed before the appearance. “We just needed to get the script done early so he could have two hours to look at it. It was only two lines. But the name of the draft pick [Ty Dellandrea] sent him for a loop,” he said, laughing.
Winner: USA Hockey
It’s a great time for USA Hockey. Youth participation is up. The NHL is on the verge of adding another American-based team (Seattle), which means potential growth in that region as well. In all, 55 Americans were drafted in 2018, as the U.S. is pumping out a new generation of stars.
Oh, and did we mention the buzz is already building for next year’s draft, which should be headlined by an American, Jack Hughes, as the No. 1 pick? For now we have Jack’s brother Quinn, a swift-skating defenseman, as well as Brady Tkachuk, a dynamite personality and potentially dominant power forward, among the top 10 picks.
Loser: Hockey in the U.S.
It’s going to be tough to market these young American stars when so many are stashed away in Canada. Tkachuk was picked by the very unsexy Ottawa Senators at No. 4. (His equally dynamic brother, Matthew, plays for the Calgary Flames.) Quinn Hughes was picked by the Vancouver Canucks.
Couple that group with Brock Boeser (Vancouver), Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary), Auston Matthews (Toronto) as well as the 11 Americans on Winnipeg’s roster, and that’s a haul of talent that casual fans won’t get to catch on NBC’s game of the week very often.
One bright spot: The Rangers traded up to select Minnesota-born K’Andre Miller at No. 22. An engaging personality, he could shine on Broadway — though it might take a few years for him to make the roster.
Winner: Los Angeles Kings
There were plenty of teams in on the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes. The Los Angeles Kings were the ones to get the good news.
The Kings always seemed like the favorite, and especially because they were willing to kick in a third year on the deal. GM Rob Blake was desperate to add offense after his team mustered only three goals in a first-round sweep by division rival Vegas in the playoffs. By all accounts, Kovalchuk still has juice (and should be especially lethal on the power play).
This signals the Kings are going all-in on a championship with this core; Kovalchuk will be the 10th player on the roster over the age of 30.
Loser: Boston Bruins
Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney sounded cautiously optimistic Friday after making his pitch for Kovalchuk. Of all the teams that lost out on the Russian superstar, Boston could have used him the most.
Now Sweeney has to scrape together an offseason Plan B. Besides re-signing restricted free agents, the Bruins could use another scoring winger. So who are they going to call? Rick Nash.
“He’s strongly indicated that Boston is a place he would consider,” Sweeney said Saturday. “As would we.”
We’ll do Bruins fans a favor and not list Nash’s stats with Boston in the 2018 playoffs.
Winner: Brian MacLellan
The Washington Capitals’ general manager greatly helped his chances to re-sign pending free-agent defenseman John Carlson by dealing away defenseman Brooks Orpik to the Colorado Avalanche, who bought out the final year of his $5.5 million average annual value contract.
The package of Orpik and goalie Philipp Grubauer netted Washington the No. 47 overall pick, which it used on Kody Clark, the son of former NHL player Wendel Clark.
Loser: Philipp Grubauer
While the restricted free-agent backup goalie has to be happy with his new three-year deal worth $10 million, it was Grubauer’s stated goal to be a starting goaltender in the NHL. It won’t happen next season, as GM Joe Sakic made it clear that Grubauer will share time with Semyon Varlamov. But hey, what’s a little competition?
Winner: the Hurricanes
The Hurricanes promised to be active in reshaping their roster, and they delivered. Carolina unloaded two players who were proving difficult to re-sign, and in exchange added an established top-four defenseman (Dougie Hamilton), a stopgap, bottom-six forward (Micheal Ferland) and an elite defensive prospect (Adam Fox) who, if he signs, could be the face of the blue line for years to come.
GM Don Waddell has hinted that more moves still could come, but for now, Canes fans should feel better about the state of the roster.
Loser: Dougie Hamilton
For the second time in four years, Hamilton was shipped on draft weekend. And once again, the character assassins were out to rationalize why. (In an interview with Fan 960, Sportsnet’s John Shannon said: “The whole team would go for lunch at Moxies, and Dougie Hamilton would go to the museum.”)
That can’t feel great for a defenseman who actually has played some great hockey of late, especially finding his way with Mark Giordano as a partner. We feel for Hamilton. We really do. Waddell says he plans on keeping him on the Canes’ roster.
Winner: Red Wings
Filip Zadina might be the surest scorer in this draft, and somehow — miraculously — he fell in the Red Wings’ lap at No. 6 overall. This is a winger who can play as soon as this season, even in a top-six role.
The Red Wings then capitalized on another draft faller, when center Joseph Veleno was available at No. 30. Detroit’s biggest need was defense, and the Wings addressed that with three defensemen during the next two rounds.
Detroit is embarking on a total makeover, and this draft couldn’t have gone any better for GM Ken Holland, who has been on a roll since the trade deadline after bringing in a haul for Tomas Tatar. Apparently, reports of Holland’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. The Red Wings being good again is fun for everyone.
Fun was an endangered species for all but the Red Wings this weekend, after momentum had been building in the weeks before the draft.
The Ottawa Senators seemed poised to make several splashes — the biggest involving Erik Karlsson. The Canadiens’ Max Pacioretty could have been on the move. So, too, could the entire Carolina Hurricanes roster. Yes, the Hurricanes gave us something to buzz about on Day 2 with an old-school, five-player shuffle with the Flames.
We were promised a series of bombastic fireworks; instead, we got a few sparklers — especially on Day 1.
The No. 1 pick was determined months ago, and the trade highlight was a backup goaltender (Philipp Grubauer) moved in a salary dump — to a team that only expects to platoon him. Reporters seemed so desperate for drama that they prematurely began buzzing about a Pacioretty-to-San Jose trade that sadly never materialized.
Miguel Cabrera is an all-time great, one of the most lethal right-handed batters ever with four batting titles, two home run championships and a Triple Crown season. You have to wonder, however, if we’ll ever see Super Scary Miggy again.
Cabrera ruptured a biceps tendon on a swing in Tuesday’s 6-4 loss to the Twins and he’ll require season-ending surgery. His season is over after 38 games and only three home runs. Once one of the iron men of the game, Cabrera averaged 157 games per season from 2004 to 2014 without landing on the DL. But check out his list of injuries since 2014:
• 2014: Played 159 games and hit .313 with 25 home runs but had surgery after the season to repair a stress fracture in his foot and bone spurs in his ankle.
• 2015: Landed on the DL for the first time, missing six weeks because of a calf strain and playing only 119 games (he still hit .338 to win his fourth batting title, although he hit only 18 home runs).
• 2017: Bothered by back problems all season and played 130 games, hitting .249 with 16 home runs.
• 2018: Missed time earlier because of a hamstring issue and now he’s out for the season. While he managed to hit .301 while in the lineup, he never did find his power stroke.
Cabrera is now 35 years old — turning 36 next April — with a body struggling to
handle the rigors of playing baseball every day. There is still ability there when healthy, as witnessed by a strong 2016 season when he hit .316 with 38 home runs, but will he be able to tap into that ability in the future? The worrisome aspect for the Tigers? Cabrera’s future salaries: $30 million per season in 2019, 2020 and 2021, then $32 million per year in 2022 and 2023… and then a $30 million vesting option (or an $8 million buyout) for 2024, and a $30 million vesting option for 2025.
That’s a minimum of $162 million owed an aging superstar who probably moves to DH next season. Look, maybe Cabrera bounces back and this won’t end up as bad as the Albert Pujols contract. He’s a better hitter than Pujols, who turned into a one-dimensional slugger in his mid-30s, with declining batting averages and worsening control of the strike zone. Cabrera still had a .397 OBP, so there’s some hope he’ll age better if the body does.
Still, when Cabrera signed the extension back in March 2014 — when he still had two seasons remaining on his contract at the time — it was obviously a risky bet given the deal would, at minimum, go through Cabrera’s age-40 season. The contract was widely criticized in part because there was no need to do the contract when he was still two years away from free agency. If the Tigers had waited even one year, they would have witnessed the first signs of Cabrera’s body breaking down.
That extension came courtesy of an owner now deceased and a GM no longer here. The current regime has to work with the ramifications.
Super Nola: Aaron Nola’s ERA has been below 3.00 all season. After two abbreviated five-inning outings to begin the season, he has pitched at least six innings in each start since, which might not impress the old-timers but qualifies as a workhorse by today’s standard. He has given up more than three runs only once, and that was just four runs. He has given up only five home runs in 91 innings, despite playing his home run games in a great home run park.
Nola improved to 8-2 with a 2.27 ERA after fanning 10 in 6⅔ innings in a 5-4 victory over the Rockies on Tuesday, a game made close when Colorado rallied for three runs in the ninth. The game ended when Seranthony Dominguez fanned Nolan Arenado on a checked swing, a call that Arenado was not happy about.
Here’s Nola fanning Charlie Blackmon with his wipeout curveball:
Nola has always had the curve, but the continued improvement of his changeup has taken him to a new level. Talking about the changeup after the game on MLB Network, Nola explained it was a pitch he didn’t use much at LSU because he threw his curve so much, but he started focusing on it a lot more in spring training in 2017. Indeed, his confidence in the changeup can be seen through his usage:
Oh, Haniger had two home runs as the Mariners beat the Angels to overcome Mike Trout’s two home runs. Although this is a pretty awesome little factoid: Trout became the first player to have consecutive multihomer games at Safeco Field — yes, no Mariner has ever done it.
Mad Max: The Max Muncy show continues as the Dodgers pounded Bartolo Colon and the Rangers:
That’s four games in a row with a home run for Muncy. His OPS is over 1.000. Baseball is amazing.
Braves slam hapless Mets: Ozzie Albies had the big blow with a grand slam to cap a six-run sixth inning as the Braves beat the Mets 8-2. This play kind of sums up the Mets’ season:
The closest races are at catcher, where Gary Sanchez leads Wilson Ramos, and first base, with Jose Abreu over Mitch Moreland. I thought shortstop might be closer, but Manny Machado has a 110,000-vote lead over Francisco Lindor, with Didi Gregorius and Carlos Correa a couple of thousand votes behind Lindor.
Abreu is the interesting player in a weak crop at first base. He’s really the only deserving starter, based on 2018 performance plus previous track record, unless you want to give a legacy vote to Miguel Cabrera or Albert Pujols. If he does win the vote, he’d be the first White Sox position player to start since Frank Thomas in 1995.
Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila joined Buster Olney on the Baseball Tonight podcast to discuss the drafting of Casey Mize, being honest with his players in regards to the rebuild and his thoughts on the success of some former Tigers.
The Detroit Tigers selected University of Texas second baseman Kody Clemens on Tuesday with the first pick of the third round (79th overall) in the MLB amateur draft.
He is a son of former major league pitcher Roger Clemens.
Kody Clemens has hit .346 with 21 home runs and 68 RBIs for the Longhorns this season, his junior year. He was limited to being the designated hitter for most of his sophomore season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2016.
The Longhorns are currently in the NCAA baseball tournament. They will play Tennessee Tech in the Austin Super Regional, starting Saturday.
Roger Clemens won an American League MVP award, seven Cy Young Awards and 354 games during his 24-season career.
The Tigers opened the MLB draft on Monday by selecting Auburn right-hander Casey Mize with the No. 1 overall pick.