D.J. Short

Baseball Daily Dose

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Well, Well, Wells

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


It's quite an understatement to say that Vernon Wells isn't off to a great start as an Angel, but things took a turn for the worse Monday night.

Wells was placed on the disabled list after leaving Monday's game against the White Sox with a strained right groin. Wells, who was acquired from the Blue Jays in exchange for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera in January, is batting just .183/.224/.303 with four homers and 13 RBI over his first 152 plate appearances this season. While he has hit three homers in nine games this month, his batting average hasn't been over .200 since the second game of the season.

It was utterly shocking to see the Angels absorb the remainder of Wells' contract, so there won't be a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking here, but even we don't think he can possibly be this bad for the entire season. Maybe the injury is the best thing that could have happened to him, as he can now take several days off to regroup mentally before getting back into the swing of things with a minor league rehab assignment.

The Angels are hurting for help in the outfield right now, but don't look for any Mike Trout sightings. Angels manager Mike Scioscia indicated after the game that Reggie Willits or Chris Pettit would likely get the call from the minors while Bobby Abreu logs more time in the outfield and Maicer Izturis sees some at-bats from the DH spot.

While Wells hopes for better luck moving forward, here are some more news and notes from a busy Monday in the baseball world.

- The Mariners finally admitted defeat Monday by designating Milton Bradley for assignment. Yes, he is a malcontent, but the decision would have been more difficult if he was actually producing. The fact is he's done little to justify his presence on a major league roster by batting just .209/.298/.351 with a .649 OPS since joining the Mariners in 2010. He was ejected twice in the past week and was batting just .158 (6-for-38) over his last 12 games, so this was an appropriate time to pull the plug.

Bradley is still owed $12 million this season, so he should pass through waivers with relative ease, but it will be interesting to see whether any team takes a chance on him once he can be signed for the major league minimum. Trouble seems to follow him everywhere he goes, so with his struggles at the plate and in the field, the 33-year-old is no lock to find another opportunity in the big leagues.

- In the least shocking news you'll hear this week, the Mets announced Monday that Chris Young has been diagnosed with a torn anterior capsule in his right shoulder. Young rehabbed the very same injury last year and was able to make three starts in September, but he hasn't yet decided whether he will opt for surgery this time around. Either way, it's unlikely he'll pitch again for the Mets again this season.

Dillon Gee, who subbed for Young at the last minute on Saturday night, will continue to take his place in the starting rotation. The 25-year-old right-hander isn't overpowering, but has a 2.34 ERA over his first eight major league starts dating back to last September. Don't look for many strikeouts, but he should be a solid option in NL-only leagues going forward. The Mets don't have many other options in the pipeline since Jenrry Mejia and Boof Bonser are out for the year, so his spot in the starting rotation should be safe.

- Trevor Cahill continues to make "fantasy experts" look positively silly. He entered the season as an obvious regression candidate after posting a 2.97 ERA last year, but you wouldn't know it by what we've seen so far. After tossing seven innings of one-run ball against the Rangers on Monday night, the 23-year-old right-hander is now 6-0 with a 1.72 ERA over his first eight starts.

Cahill is enjoying success again this season, but he's getting there in a very different way. He already has 45 strikeouts over 52 1/3 innings (7.54 K/9) after fanning just 118 over 196 2/3 innings (5.40 K/9) last season. He has already struck out seven batters or more four times this season after doing so just three times for the entire 2010 season. I'm skeptical about whether he can maintain this pace, but he's still a ground ball pitcher with solid command in an excellent pitchers' park. He should be a top-25 starting pitcher the rest of the way.

National League Quick Hits: Roy Oswalt (back) is scheduled to make a minor league rehab start Thursday with an eye on returning from the disabled list next Tuesday … Chase Utley (knee) went 1-for-7 with an infield single Monday in his second extended spring training game … Zack Greinke earned his first win over the season Monday by allowing two runs over six innings in his home debut against the Padres … Joe Blanton gave up three runs over five innings in his return from the disabled list Monday, but Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said the right-hander's elbow is still "a little cranky" … Mat Latos dropped to 0-5 with a 4.86 ERA on the year after giving up four runs over 5 2/3 innings in Monday's loss to the Brewers … Pedro Alvarez (quad) went 0-for-3 with a walk in his return to the lineup Monday and made a brilliant defensive play to end the game … Javier Vazquez was blasted for six runs -- five earned -- over 4 1/3 innings in Monday's loss to the Phillies and now has a 6.88 ERA and 16/22 K/BB ratio over his first seven starts … Dodgers manager Don Mattingly indicated Monday that Rafael Furcal (thumb) likely won't go out on a minor league rehab assignment until later this week … Astros manager Brad Mills said Monday that he hasn't anointed Mark Melancon as his full-time closer … Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Monday that Jonathan Broxton (elbow) could be sidelined for another six weeks … Gaby Sanchez, who was named the NL Player of the Week on Monday, went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI in a loss to the Phillies … Ian Stewart went 0-for-3 with a strikeout Monday against the Mets and is now batting just .068 (3-for-44) with 18 strikeouts so far this season … Ty Wigginton (oblique) could go out on a minor league rehab assignment later this week … Scott Rolen (shoulder) took batting practice Monday … Jose Contreras (elbow) could throw off a mound this week … The Phillies expect Carlos Ruiz (back) to return from the disabled list when he's eligible Friday … Mets prospect right-hander Jenrry Mejia will undergo Tommy John surgery … Bobby Parnell (finger) tossed a scoreless inning Monday with High-A St. Lucie and could be back with the Mets this weekend … Jeff Keppinger (foot) could begin a minor league rehab assignment as soon as Thursday … J.R. Towles went 0-for-4 on Monday in his first career start out of the No. 2 spot in the lineup … Evan Meek (shoulder) threw off flat ground from 150 feet on Monday … The Astros designated Nelson Figueroa for assignment …

American League Quick Hits: White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen confirmed Monday that Jake Peavy (shoulder) will return from the disabled list to start Wednesday's game against the Angels … Max Scherzer moved to 6-0 on the year by yielding two runs over five innings against the Blue Jays … Adam Lind (back) was out of the lineup again Monday and might require a stint on the disabled list … Gavin Floyd is confident he will be able to make his next scheduled start Saturday after X-rays on his right foot came back negative … Josh Hamilton (fractured right humerus) could take batting practice Friday … Brandon Morrow struggled Monday in his second start back from the disabled list, allowing five runs on three hits and three walks over 3 1/3 innings … Twins trainer Dave Pruemer said Monday that Joe Mauer is still trying to regain strength in his legs … The Orioles will activate J.J. Hardy from the disabled list Tuesday … Luke Scott has a partial tear of the labrum in his right shoulder, but intends to play through the pain … Carl Crawford delivered his second walk-off hit of the month in Monday's extra-inning win over the Twins … Josh Willingham appealed a one-game suspension Monday and went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI in a win over the Rangers … Josh Beckett delivered seven scoreless innings Monday against the Twins, but was handed a no-decision … Delmon Young (oblique) is slated to play his first extended spring training game Tuesday … Carlos Carrasco (elbow) is expected to be activated from the disabled list to start Wednesday against the Rays … Mariners manager Eric Wedge said Monday that he hopes to have Franklin Gutierrez (stomach) back in the lineup within the next week to 10 days … Gordon Beckham hit his first home run since April 10 in Monday's win over the Angels … Jim Thome (back) traveled to Florida on Monday and is expected to play in some extended spring training games later this week … Tommy Hunter is set for an MRI on Tuesday after leaving Monday's game with soreness in his injured groin … The Red Sox could skip Daisuke Matsuzaka in the starting rotation this weekend against the Yankees … Brandon Webb (shoulder) is set to pitch in an extended spring training game Thursday … Trevor Plouffe (hamstring) is slated to undergo an MRI Tuesday … Scott Feldman (knee) could begin a minor league rehab assignment this weekend … Justin Duchscherer (hip) will throw a two-inning simulated game earlier this week … The Mariners designated Ryan Langerhans for assignment … J.P. Howell (shoulder) is expected to return from the disabled list around May 15 …


D.J. Short is a Rotoworld baseball editor and contributes to NBCSports.com's Hardball Talk blog. You can also find him on Twitter.
Email :D.J. Short



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