MASH Report (8/31/15) by Jeff Zimmerman August 31, 2015 • Tomorrow roster’s can expand to allow anyone on the 40-man roster to join the MLB team. This is when the official DL becomes about useless. Teams won’t move players to the DL because teams no longer need to free up roster spots. Also, hitters who can hit, but not play in the field will return. It will keep a list of players who should be on the DL, but aren’t starting on Thursday. • Stephen Strasburg owners may not want to start him this week as he is again dealing with back issues. Still, Strasburg left after throwing 60 pitches in four innings, allowing seven hits and four runs, all four on home runs. Nationals Manager Matt Williams described the problem as a “recurrence” of the upper back trouble he had earlier this season, which contributed to his first of two 2015 disabled list stints. Asked if this discomfort may lead to a third, Strasburg said, “I wouldn’t jump to that conclusion.” We will know more after he pitches his mid-week bullpen session. • Jason Castro’s hamstring strain may cause him to miss the rest of the regular season. First, here is the report from the team. Castro has been getting treatment since Friday, but said his quad is still sore, which was to be expected. With an already short bench, placing him on the 15-day disabled list became the team’s most logical option. Manager A.J. Hinch said there were a couple of different scenarios in play, depending on what hap-pened with Castro. After the team’s medical personnel evaluated Castro, they felt it was “unlikely that he was going to be able to come back within a couple weeks,” Hinch said, considering both his injury and the position he plays. Also, here is the average days on the DL for players with quad strains. I think the Astros need to try to get him 100% for the post season. • Denard Span is done for the season with labrum hip surgery. “After the second game [against the Padres], I went home,” Span said. “I wasn’t feeling good. I had two hits. Normally when I get two hits, I’m in an upbeat mood. I just wasn’t. So I talked to my mom and I thought [having surgery] was best for my future. I need to go ahead and get myself fixed so I can be myself on the field.” Span said he’s had a terrible eight months. He had hernia and abdominal surgery before the regular season started. He hasn’t fully recovered from the abdominal surgery. Then he had back spasms that put him on the disabled list on July 7. He will be an interesting free agent. I could see him take an incentive-laden one-year contract to build back up his value. • Brad Ausmus thinks Victor Martinez’s knee is not 100% and it is causing his struggles. “Victor was so good at getting good swings on the ball, even on balls up last year,” Ausmus said. “I don’t know if this year’s really indicative, because I just don’t think Victor, from the time he injured his knee, I don’t know if Victor was ever right.” After a midsummer resurgence following a stint on the disabled list to strengthen the knee, Martinez is batting under .200 since the All-Star break and around .200 for August. He has driven in more runs in August than he did in April and May combined, but pitchers have attacked him more aggressively — elevating fastballs he has had trouble hitting with authority He hasn’t been his normal self with career low 0.5 K/BB and his lowest ISO (.122) since 2008. • Mark Teixeira is limited to just pinch-hitting duties because a thigh bruise is keeping him from running. Teixeira said that the injury does not affect him much in day-to-day life, but it has made a 90-foot sprint impossible. “I was probably a little too aggressive with it early on,” Teixeira said. “It’s kind of what caused some of the inflammation to not go away. It’s serious pain. I know the difference between be-ing sore and having serious pain. When I try to run, it’s serious pain. That’s what worried me.” This injury should not surprise his owners and they will need to find another option at 1B. • Matt Cain is on the DL with a irritated nerve in his elbow. Here is a classic description how an injury can affect a pitcher. Cain described his discomfort as an “achy” feeling that he experienced at various junctures of the day. This contributed to his inability to maintain a consistent arm slot, which in turn robbed his pitches of movement and made them easier to hit. • Yasiel Puig will be on the DL for the minimum 15 days as he deals with a strained hamstring. • Zach Putnam is on the DL with a strained groin. The White Sox bullpen was gassed and needed some help before rosters expand. • Desmond Jennings’s knee is still giving him issues and he may miss the rest of the season. • David Freese is supposed to get off the DL today. • Ex-FanGraphs writer, Mike Axisa, looked at some minor league pitchers coming back from Tommy John surgery for CBS Sports. Velocity Readings • Bryan Mitchell’s average fastball velocity is fine. • Andre Rienzo’s also fine. • Daniel Webb’s is down about 2 mph. Players on the DL in 2015 The Red players have had updates since the last report. Click on the “Date” for a link to go to the latest article on the player.