Every Friday, we dive into the top headlines surrounding the hometown team and highlight the biggest blast of the week. This edition of "Headlines and Homers" has some interesting tidbits, including rehabs for key players and more high praise for a record-setting righthander.
Headline #1: Ty France Injury Scare
First baseman Ty France tends to wear a lot of pitches during the season. Opposing pitchers have plunked France 58 times since 2020. So he wasn't immune this week, taking a Trevor May fastball on the palm. There were thoughts he'd be out a few days to get the swelling down. Luckily, the wrist and hand weren't in the equation, and the 28-year-old was back in the lineup a couple of days later.
The results were optimal for a critical offensive cog who had been struggling. Hopefully, this means a patented Ty France hot streak is incoming.
Headline #2: Pitching reinforcements on the way
Relief ace Andres Munoz posted some video of his most recent bullpen in Arizona. Per Seattle Times reporter Ryan Divish, he will go out on a rehab assignment during this homestand, thinking he will rejoin the team for the upcoming road trip.
Additionally, Penn Murfee is on a similar path and will likely join Munoz for rehab. Subsequently, manager Scott Servais will have some decisions to make to get the two relievers on the 26-man roster. The thought is rookie Juan Then will be one of the players to go down to Tacoma. As for the other, your guess is as good as mine.
Headline #3: Bryce Miller shines
President of Baseball Operations, Jerry Dipoto, joined Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports 710 for his weekly conversation, which included high praise for phenom Bryce Miller. He racked up his fifth quality start in a row to start his major league career. Through five starts, Miller has 31 innings pitches, 28 strikeouts, and three walks with a 0.51 WHIP.
The key is an elite fastball (average 3200 RPM) and George Kirby-like control, but what is the comp? Dipoto offered up a young Kansas City Royal, Bret Saberhagen.
Homer of the Week
There were many choices for this week's homer of the week. How about Jose Caballero's three-run shot to left, Ty France's multi-homer game, or Jarred Kelenic's gigantic shot to deep right-center? We're giving struggling Teoscar Hernandez the award for this week. His at-bats are slowly improving, and when he gets the barrel on the ball, the exit velocities are there. Seeing him cut through the Marine Layer for this homer was refreshing.
The strikeouts are still prevalent (34%), but the hits are starting to fall. Here's hoping it is a sign of things to come.
Four wins in a row with the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates coming into town. There is a real chance to erase the bumpy start. I like our chances with George Kirby, Luis Castillo, and Marco Gonzalez slated for the three-game set.