Rodgers was flown back to Houston to visit team doctors after being lifted prematurely from his last start. The severity of the injury is currently unknown, though any injury to a pitcher's throwing elbow is often cause for concern. "We're currently determining next steps," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "We should know something by early next week." Expect an update on his status once the Astros release more information.
Whalen opened the season on the DL after experiencing some inflammation in his throwing shoulder, something the Mariners wanted to be cautious with after his 2016 was cut short due to a shoulder issue. He'll head straight to Tacoma where he'll likely slot into the starting rotation there, but he could eventually earn a call-up with the Mariners if an opportunity arises.
Smith was never going to return before June, so the Red Sox decided to transfer him to the 60-day DL to free up a spot on the 40-man roster for Chase D'Arnaud, who was recently claimed off waivers. He hasn't been given a firm timetable for return, but he has been able to get though multiple bullpen sessions healthy, so he seems to be slowly progressing through his rehab.
Command, Merritt's most valuable asset, has gone awry at the beginning of 2017. Despite his 2-1 record, Merritt is averaging 3.8 BB/9, more than double his average over six-plus MiLB seasons. Opponents have mustered 29 hits against the Clippers' starter in just 21.1 innings, leading to an ugly .333 BAA. Despite playing hero for a day in the Tribe's ALCS Game 5 victory last year, the soft-throwing lefty obviously has some kinks in the armor that he'll need to work out before toeing a major-league rubber.
The left-hander was eyeing a big-league job when spring training opened, but was ultimately sent down to provide the organization with rotation depth. Morimando's early-season struggles with Columbus certainly haven't help his chances of earning a spot start for the Tribe anytime soon. Through four starts, the 24-year-old is 1-3 with a 6.65 ERA and 1.75 WHIP, struggling with command (14:11 K:BB) and getting tagged by opposing hitters (.307 BAA) over 21.2 innings.
Chapman and manager Joe Girardi both dismissed the notion that something was wrong with the 29-year-old's elbow after the game. There was a noticeable dip in Chapman's velocity during his season-high 33-pitch outing -- only cracking 100 mph once after averaging 100 mph through his first seven appearances -- though he did clock in at 98 mph on the final pitch of the game. "I feel fine," Chapman said. "Thank God I feel fine." It doesn't appear to be anything overly serious, but it will definitely be something to monitor in the coming days.
This is relatively welcomed news for Cedeno, whose plan is simply to rehab for a couple of months before rejoining the Rays. Given he'll be out an extended period of time, the Rays could transfer him to the 60-day DL to free up a 40-man roster spot, though nothing has been announced yet. For the time being, Danny Farquhar should be the Rays' primary bullpen option against lefty batters.
Though the official move hasn't been made yet, the right-hander will occupy the extra roster spot awarded to teams that play twin bills. Barnes likely will be sent down soon after Game 2.
The veteran right-hander needed just 11 pitches to dispose of the potent trio of Jed Lowrie, Ryon Healy and Khris Davis, logging his third consecutive scoreless appearance in the process. Norris has successfully converted a save opportunity in each of those outings as well, as he continues holding down the fort in the ninth inning until Cam Bedrosian (groin) is ready for a return.
The left-handed reliever was sent packing to open up a roster spot for the returning Jose Iglesias (concussion). Ryan will return to a role for organizational bullpen depth.