LEADING OFF: Kapler might return for anthem on Memorial Day

May 29, 2022, 12:01 PM | Updated: May 30, 2022, 12:02 am
San Francisco Giants' manager Gabe Kapler watches play  during the ninth inning of a baseball game ...

San Francisco Giants' manager Gabe Kapler watches play during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Tuesday, May 10, 2022 in San Francisco. (Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

(Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

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SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

Giants manager Gabe Kapler says he might return to the field for the national anthem in recognition of Memorial Day when his team opens a three-game series at Philadelphia.

Kapler has been avoiding the field during the anthem the past few days as a political protest following the school shootings in Texas.

“I’m very comfortable taking it day by day,” he said Sunday. “I think I’ll just decide what makes the most sense in the moment.”

Logan Webb (5-1, 3.54 ERA) starts for San Francisco against Kyle Gibson (3-2, 3.94) in a matchup of scuffling teams with playoff aspirations.

AILING ANDERSON

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson is headed for the injured list after he left Sunday’s game against the Cubs with a right groin strain.

Anderson went down in the outfield after fielding P.J. Higgins’ fifth-inning grounder and throwing to first for the out. He appeared to be favoring his right side as he was helped off the field. The team said he will be evaluated further on Monday.

“It’s definitely a groin issue. The severity is going to depend on the further check, but he’s going on the IL for sure,” manager Tony La Russa said. “He made that spin, not sure exactly if he got his spike stuck or something. That’s typical, he goes on the IL making a great play at the time we needed it.”

It’s another tough break for the struggling White Sox, who have been hit hard by injuries this year. Anderson ranks among the league leaders with a .356 batting average.

LIKE GOLD

Cardinals star Paul Goldschmidt takes a 20-game hitting streak into the series opener against San Diego at Busch Stadium.

Goldschmidt extended his string with a ninth-inning single Sunday in an 8-0 loss to Milwaukee. He has reached base safely in a career-best 34 straight games.

Lefty Packy Naughton (0-1, 2.89 ERA) starts for St. Louis against Padres righty Nick Martinez (2-2, 3.86).

WELCOME

Two pitchers who took different paths to the big leagues are set to make their debuts when they face each other at Wrigley Field.

Prized Brewers pitching prospect Ethan Small is expected to start the first game in a day-night doubleheader against the Cubs.

A first-round draft pick from Mississippi State in 2019, the 25-year-old lefty has excelled at Triple-A Nashville this season. He’s 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA in eight starts, striking out 49 in 38 1/3 innings.

“You love when a guy gets the opportunity that he’s earned,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “He’s certainly earned it.”

Matt Swarmer is lined up to start the opener for the Cubs. The 28-year-old righty was a 19th-round pick from Kutztown in the 2016 draft.

Swarmer is 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA for Chicago’s Triple-A Iowa affiliate.

JOB SECURITY

Pete Alonso and the New York Mets have built a comfortable cushion in the NL East by Memorial Day — the largest of any division leader. But it’s still going to be a while before they get injured aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer back. That means third-year lefty David Peterson, shuttled up and down from the minors this season, has a steady spot in the rotation for now.

“He’s kind of graduated to that. He knows there’s an opportunity for him now here. He’s trying to run through the door with it,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s got a chance now to get some consistent reps as a starter. … It’ll be interesting to see how he handles the every fifth day now.”

Peterson, a first-round draft pick in 2017, is 2-0 with a 2.16 ERA in four major league starts and one relief appearance this year. He faces Juan Soto and the last-place Nationals in the opener of a three-game series at Citi Field.

Peterson won last week with six solid innings at San Francisco in his first major league start in three weeks. He is 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA in three career outings against Washington, which sends Erick Fedde (3-3, 3.55) to the mound.

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LEADING OFF: Kapler might return for anthem on Memorial Day