Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander has many reasons to be grateful, and his recent marriage to supermodel/actress Kate Upton just might be the biggest blessing of his life.
In fact, the 2011 Cy Young Award winner credits Upton for saving his baseball career, according to an article Thursday from Bleacher Report.
As a member of the Detroit Tigers in 2014, Verlander was slumping miserably with a soaring ERA and a disappointing win total. He was told by a Tigers coach to get an MRI on his sore shoulder. Figuring he would need surgery that would put his career in jeopardy, Verlander cried. Severe depression came along with the physical injury.
Upton helped Verlander find the way. "She was instrumental in me not ... like, jumping off a bridge," Verlander told Bleacher Report about Upton, whom he first met in early 2012.
--Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper was scratched from the starting lineup prior to a day game against the Atlanta Braves due to right knee soreness.
Harper was plunked just below the knee by a pitch from Atlanta's Dan Winkler in the seventh inning on Wednesday night. Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Harper underwent X-rays, which were negative.
"We thought he was going to be OK," Martinez told reporters. "He was out there trying to get loose this morning, and just couldn't get loose. It was pretty swollen."
--The Boston Red Sox demoted struggling left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz to the bullpen.
Pomeranz was a career-best 17-6 for the Red Sox last season but is just 1-5 with a 6.31 ERA in 11 starts this year. He has served up 10 homers in just 51 1/3 innings and has also issued 32 walks while striking out 44.
Dropping Pomeranz out of the rotation leaves left-hander Brian Johnson (3-3, 4.00 ERA) as the fifth starter. Ace lefty Chris Sale (shoulder) is expected to be activated from the DL on Sunday to face the Baltimore Orioles.
--The Cleveland Indians placed outfielder Leonys Martin on the disabled list with a non-baseball condition and recalled outfielder Greg Allen from Triple-A Columbus.
Martin did not play on Wednesday night after becoming ill the previous day.
Martin, who was acquired from the Detroit Tigers at the trade deadline, is batting .333 with two home runs and four RBIs in six games since the trade. He is batting .255 with 11 homers and 33 RBIs in 84 total games this season.
--The Los Angeles Dodgers activated right-hander Ross Stripling from the 10-day disabled list to start their game against the Colorado Rockies in Denver.
The first-time All-Star was on the DL due to an injury to his right big toe. He is 8-3 with a 2.68 ERA in 27 appearances (16 starts) this season.
Ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City in a corresponding move.
--The New York Yankees activated left-hander J.A. Happ from the 10-day disabled list as expected to start their game against the visiting Texas Rangers.
Happ, who shined in his first start with the Yankees following a trade from the Toronto Blue Jays, was sidelined after contracting hand, foot and mouth disease, which commonly affects children. Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters earlier this week Happ was no longer contagious.
Right-hander Chance Adams, who took the loss in his major league debut against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in a corresponding move.
--The Seattle Mariners placed right-handed reliever Sam Tuivailala on the 10-day disabled list a day after being removed from an outing with a strained right Achilles suffered during a rundown.
Tuivailala was making his fifth appearance with the Mariners following a trade from the St. Louis Cardinals when he got hurt. On the season, he has a 3.41 ERA in 36 appearances.
The Mariners also optioned right-hander Chasen Bradford to Triple-A Tacoma, recalling righties Casey Lawrence and Nick Rumbelow from tacoma in corresponding moves.
--Field Level Media