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Frogs in the Pros: Update Edition

Injury updates, Arrieta hits his stride, and Cashner leads the Rangers

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ahhhhh, it’s good to be back covering baseball. I apologize for the absence, as several people have noted that it’s been over a month since we had a FITP update. Since y’all are (mostly) Frog Fam, I can share the news with you that we added a new little one to our family on July 11. While most families would’ve been expecting it for at least a few months, ours wasn’t. We were actually scheduled to take a family trip to the West Coast on July 12. But we were also a waiting adoptive family, and we got The Call of a baby born just 3 hours away a few hours before our flight was scheduled to leave. We had been waiting for just 13 days. So we went home, cancelled everything, packed our baby bag and gear, and drove out early the next day, with our three-year-old in tow. After two weeks of paperwork, phone calls, and Dr. appointments, we made it back home and have finally gotten settled. So I’m here to give you an update on our Frogs in the Pros, while our new baby girl sleeps in her swing next to me.

Injury Update

When we last saw our Frogs, they were heading into the All-Star Break mid-July. Several Frogs have seen injuries this year, but Brandon Finnegan has had the toughest battle to get healthy. After straining his left trapezius in April, Finnegan returned to the mound on June 26 after a lengthy rehab stint. But in his first game back, he left the game after 4 innings with the same injury. He was eventually moved from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL, and recently underwent surgery for a torn labrum in his right shoulder (remember, he’s a lefty on the mound). At this point, he might have a shot at returning sometime in late-August or early-September, but the Reds are currently in last place in the NL Central Division, so their season may be finished by the time he’s ready to return. As always, we wish him the absolute best and speedy healing. At least he can watch some Frog Football from the training room soon, right??

Minors-to-Majors

Taylor Featherston showed up in a Rays uniform in June, and he’s seen spotty play throughout the summer. His first home run came June 13, and he hit a second one June 21. Since then, he’s been in and out of the lineup, mostly helping cover for injured Tampa Bay players. He was sent to the minors July 16, recalled July 31, and optioned back to the minors on August 4. We hope to see him again this fall, as the Rays are currently in third place in the AL East.

Chad Huffman saw some play time this season with the Cardinals and was optioned to their minor league team in Memphis in late June. On July 25, he was released by the Cardinals and signed a minor league deal with the Nationals on July 28. The Nationals are in 1st place in the NL East right now, so if he could see some important games if he gets called up.

Stefan Crichton spent most of April through June traveling between the Norfolk Tides and Baltimore Orioles. I’m pretty sure he kept both uniforms in a bag with him at all times, never knowing where he’d end up one day to the next. In June, he was optioned back to Norfolk and has stayed there since. The Orioles’ pitching staff has struggled as a whole this season, as they currently sit in 4th place in the AL East.

Big League Dreams

Matt Carpenter has had his work cut out for him this season. Depending on the day, Cards fans either love him or want him traded. They show little mercy for mistakes. Carpenter has struggled with both hitting and baserunning this season, getting caught stealing a couple times in crucial games. While his numbers are nowhere near where they were the past couple years, he’s continued to help the Cardinals stay afloat in the NL Central Division (they currently sit in 3rd). He had a few 3-run homers in August so far, against the Royals and Pirates. He left the game July 23 against the Cubs with quad pain in the bottom of the 2nd and returned July 25. He also sat out on August 2 with right hip pain. He currently has 101 hits, 69 runs, 16 home runs, and 60 RBIs. He’ll face the Padres tonight.

Andrew Cashner signed a one-year contract with the Rangers in the offseason, after leaving the Marlins as a free agent. In a season that saw the departure of longtime Rangers pitcher and fan favorite Yu Darish, Cashner has given fans a new hero, and Frog fans are especially glad to see him playing just down the road. While he doesn’t have a great strikout/walks ratio or a great strikeout/innings pitched ratio, Cashner hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs in his past 7 starts. He did sit out August 8 against the Mets, but returned for his next start with no signs of discomfort. He has a 3.31 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP, making him the best Rangers starting pitcher at the moment. He’ll face the Angels tonight for the first time since 2015. The Rangers are currently 4th in the AL West and aiming for a Wild Card spot.

Jake Arrieta has taken a lot of heat this season, as he’s been working on his mechanics and control. But since his return from the All-Star Break, he’s given Cubs fans no reason to complain. While his offseason future is still unknown, the Cubs are glad to have “2015 Jake” back on the mound. With Pitcher Jon Lester out with shoulder fatigue, Arrieta will be forced to carry the team more than he has in past seasons, as he and Lester have always shared that load, especially during last year’s World Series run. The Cubs already showed him loyalty after Miguel Montero spouted off about him earlier this season. Montero recently returned to Wrigley with the Blue Jays and was treated to boos from fans. Arrieta reportedly invited Montero to join him for a drink after the game (which didn’t happen, but it was a nice thought, right?). Arrieta currently has a 3.63 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. He’ll pitch tomorrow in Cincinnati. The Cubs currently lead the NL Central Division.