Cole Hamels and Mike Fiers could soon find themselves in a pennant race. Both veterans can increase their chances of joining a championship contender with solid starts on Saturday afternoon.
The two pitchers will be the mound opponents when the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers play the third game of a four-game series at Detroit’s Comerica Park. They have split the first two games.
Both teams are floundering Harrison Phillips Jersey , but contenders seeking veteran help could turn to Hamels or Fiers.
Hamels, a 34-year-old Texas left-hander, knows about the trade rumors but is more concerned with improving upon his recent outings.
“It’s not a big deal,” he told MLB.com after his last start. “It’s out of my control. I have to go and pitch, and hopefully that’ll be the last time I have to answer that question.”
Hamels had stellar road outings against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City in mid-June, but he lasted just five innings in each of his last two starts. He gave up a season-high seven runs and nine hits to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
Hamels (4-7, 4.05 ERA) is 4-2 with a 3.69 ERA in six career starts against the Tigers.
Fiers has been at the top of his game in his last two starts. He held Oakland to one run and five hits in seven innings, then worked a season-high eight innings on Monday in Toronto. The Blue Jays managed just one run and three hits Shaq Thompson Jersey , but he wound up with no-decision when the bullpen couldn’t hold a one-run lead in the ninth inning.
Fiers (5-5, 3.79) has kept opponents off-balance by mixing well-located fastballs with a healthy dose of curveballs and changeups.
“He was changing speeds, locating the ball,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said afterward. “He paints the strike zone. When the catcher sets up away and in front, he throws away and in front.”
Fiers issued 62 walks in 29 outings last season with Houston and was left off the playoff roster. He has shown much better control this year, issuing 20 free passes in 16 starts.
“Just throwing a lot of strikes, changing speeds,” Fiers told the Detroit News. “I’m just glad I got the opportunity here.”
Texas has solved Fiers in the past. He’s 1-3 wth an 8.10 ERA in seven career appearances against the Rangers.
Texas didn’t have any luck on Friday night against Detroit pitcher Jordan Zimmermann after Shin-Soo Choo smacked a leadoff homer. Zimmermann struck out a season-high 11 batters in the Tigers’ 3-1 victory.
Zimmermann pitched eight innings Matt Paradis Jersey , allowing Gardenhire to go straight to fill-in closer Joe Jimenez. Detroit’s regular closer, Shane Greene, is on the disabled list.
“Best thing we’re all seeing is we’re pounding the strike zone right now,” Gardenhire said. “Pitchers are getting deeper into games. That’s really going to help our baseball team.”
Choo’s on-base streak increased to 45 games with the homer, his 17th this season. His bat hasn’t cooled off despite a nagging right quad injury. Choo is batting .291 with a .401 on-base percentage.
The Rangers had scored five or more runs in eight of their previous 12 games.
There's no questioning C.J. Prosise's talent, only his ability to remain on the football field.
The third-year running back for the Seattle Seahawks has been plagued by injuries throughout his first two years in the NFL. From serious ailments like a fractured scapula, broken wrist bone and high-ankle sprains to more minor ones like groin, hamstring and hip strains Emmitt Smith Jersey , Prosise has been sidelined constantly.
With Chris Carson back from injury himself and Seattle using their first-round pick on San Diego State back Rashaad Penny, there is an urgency for Prosise to be able to stay healthy and contribute regularly this season.
Prosise spent the offseason trying to get physically ready to make the most of what could be a final opportunity with Seattle.
"I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life," Prosise said. "I feel like I can do anything on the field. I feel 100 percent and ready to go so I'm excited for this camp. We play a physical game and injuries happen and you can't avoid it. This offseason was geared around getting my body prepared to take the punishment that my body needs to take and so my body is in that position to do that now. So I'm ready to play."
Prosise buckled down with a personal trainer this offseason and was focused on putting himself in a position to withstand the types of injuries that had hampered him his first two seasons.
"That was a big change I made," Prosise said. "Before this I didn't put as much work as I should have been putting in. Now, I've kind of figured out my regimen. And also just getting on the field every day and working with drills, specific running back drills and stuff. For the most part hitting the weight room really hard and getting my body toned up and ready for the season is really what's helped the most."
Prosise has played in just 11 games in his two years in Seattle. But the limited action was still enough to show the type of player he can be when he's in peak form. As a rookie in his first career start, he gained 153 yards from scrimmage in a victory over a New England Patriots team that would go on to the win the Super Bowl. His ability to perform both as a runner and as a receiver out of the backfield caused fits for the Patriots defense.
A week later, Prosise broke free for a 72-yard touchdown run against the Philadelphia Eagles. Then Prosise was sidelined when he broke his shoulder blade late in the first half and missed the rest of the season.
A pair of high-ankle sprains held him to just five games played a year ago as well.
Maybe it's the same tease he's provided in his first two camps with Seattle but Prosise is again drawing praise in the early stages of training camp.
"I'm so fired up for him Deyshawn Bond Jersey ," head coach Pete Carroll said. "He's always been such a terrific potential guy and he has just not been able to stay healthy. He's leaner and stronger. He just is more fit, which screams at how hard he worked and how important this is to him. Couldn't send a better message."
The old adage that your greatest ability is your availability couldn't be more apt when it comes to Prosise. All of his potential will go unrealized if he's not available on Sundays due to injuries. But as Seattle tries to right a rushing attack that managed just one rushing touchdown from the running back position all last season, having an athlete like Prosise at its disposal would be welcome.
NOTES: LB Joshua Perry, who announced his retirement from the NFL earlier this week due to concussions, told NBC's "Today Show" on Thursday that he believes the NFL is doing enough when it comes to concussions. "I think the hardest part.is the research is a little bit fuzzy. I think that we do a great job in terms of the protocol that the NFL has. Coaches aren't pressuring players to get back, I think players feel their own type of pressure to be there for their teammates." Perry had a long post on social media earlier this week announcing he was stepping away after suffering a sixth concussion in the opening days of training camp. Perry was a fourth-round pick of the Chargers in 2016. He signed with Seattle in June.
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