Matt Stroup

Baseball Daily Dose

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Aardsma Says Aargh

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

After a few days of silence following his precautionary MRI on Friday, Tuesday did not provide a happy update with regard to David Aardsma. The would-be Seattle closer has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 strain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and will pay a visit to Dr. Lewis Yocum, meaning that he could unfortunately be penciling the words "Tommy John" onto his calendar sooner rather than later.

Arm surgery still isn't guaranteed, but the ominous mention of the UCL certainly bodes well for Brandon League, who could use some good news after blowing his first save and taking an ugly loss on Tuesday (though he was victimized by some shaky defense at second base by Jack Wilson). Given the rising concern surrounding Aardsma – and despite the struggles of his replacement on Tuesday – it's beginning to look more and more like League could remain Seattle's closer all year.

  • Jason Heyward (0-for-3 with two strikeouts) is headed for an MRI on Wednesday due to a troublesome shoulder, which he admitted has been bothering him since spring training. Now hitting .220 after a 3-for-32 slump and admitting that he has felt numbness in his forearm, Heyward is legitimately looking like a player who could benefit from two weeks on the DL (though the MRI results will probably dictate whether or not the Braves go that route).

  • The struggling Rangers shook up their lineup Tuesday, moving Julio Borbon to the leadoff spot for the first time this season and dropping Ian Kinsler to third, Michael Young to fourth and Adrian Beltre to fifth. Borbon went 1-for-5, but Beltre homered and Young had three hits as Texas scored seven runs, so the arrangement could stick for now. With a .367 average and four steals so far this month, Borbon is worth a close look in mixed leagues.

  • Chase Utley (knee) began a minor league rehab assignment at Single-A, finishing 1-for-4 with a single. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer that his knee "felt good," but admitted that "I didn't get to do a whole lot of activity." He could spend as many as 20 days in the minors, but that could obviously get accelerated if he stays productive.

  • Some conflicting info surfaced on Adam Lind (back) Tuesday, with initial reports indicating that he underwent an MRI, which later proved not to be the case. Lind said his back is improved and he's hoping to avoid a stint on the DL, but he still isn't taking part in baseball activities at the moment.

  • Homer Bailey was excellent for a second straight start, holding the Astros to five hits with no walks and five strikeouts in seven scoreless innings. The 25-year-old now has a 0.69 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 12/1 K/BB ratio in his first 13 innings, and with the caveat that both of his starts have come against the weak-hitting Astros, he's well worth consideration in mixed leagues.

  • Ike Davis was spotted in a protective boot after leaving Tuesday's game early. He's scheduled to be reevaluated Wednesday morning, but he could be headed for a trip to the DL. Daniel Murphy would take over at first base, with Justin Turner manning second (which would warrant some consideration in NL-Only leagues).

  • In a disappointing follow up to his not-all-that-great no-hitter, Francisco Liriano gave up four runs in three innings with three walks and just one strikeout before leaving early due to an illness. With a dreadful 9/18 K/BB ratio in his last four starts, Liriano is still looking like a shaky play in mixed leagues going forward.

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    NL Quick Hits (pitchers): Roy Oswalt (back) threw a bullpen session and could return Tuesday if all goes well with a Thursday rehab start … Roy Halladay took a loss and Josh Johnson got a no decision, but both aces were outstanding in a 2-1 Marlins win … Tim Lincecum and Ian Kennedy both threw eight scoreless innings in an eventual 1-0 Giants win … Brandon Lyon (rotator cuff) is not planning to return when eligible … The struggling Aroldis Chapman surrendered three walks and three earned runs without recording an out … Speaking of struggling, Brett Myers has a 7.88 ERA and 1.88 WHIP in his last four starts … Clayton Richard surrendered seven earned runs in 3 1/3 innings as his ERA and WHIP rose to 4.79 and 1.50, respectively … Chris Carpenter allowed 10 or more hits for a third straight start (13 in seven innings, to be precise), but still picked up a win over the Cubs … Joe Blanton's availability for a Saturday start will become more clear after a bullpen session Wednesday.

    NL Quick Hits (position players): Dexter Fowler departed early after fouling a ball off his left knee and couldn't put any weight on his leg as he hobbled back to the dugout … Geovany Soto (groin) is slated for an MRI Wednesday … The Giants activated Andres Torres (Achilles) and Mark DeRosa (wrist) … Pedro Alvarez (quad) was limited to pinch-hitting … Carlos Gonzalez hit his third homer of the season, and first at Coors Field … Domonic Brown is hitting .367 with four homers between Single-A and Triple-A … Carlos Ruiz (back) is on track to return Friday … Andrew McCutchen hit a pair of solo homers … Stephen Drew (groin) returned to the lineup, going 1-for-3 … Ty Wigginton (oblique) will begin a minor league rehab assignment Wednesday … Willie Bloomquist (hamstring) is still rehabbing in extended spring training … Orlando Hudson (hamstring) is expected to be ready the first day he's eligible next week … Jim Riggleman told the Washington Post that "We really want [Roger Bernadina hitting leadoff] to work," meaning that the outfielder needs to be owned in all NL-Only leagues … Starlin Castro was demoted to seventh in the midst of a 7-for-51 slump and responded by going 2-for-4 with an RBI … Jay Bruce homered for the sixth time in his last 14 games.

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    AL Quick Hits (pitchers): Rafael Soriano is headed for what's being called a precautionary MRI on his right elbow … Bruce Chen hit the DL with a strained left lat … Andrew Bailey will throw another simulated game before beginning a rehab assignment … Daisuke Matsuzaka will have his start skipped this weekend … Colby Lewis allowed just one run in 7 1/3 innings, but oddly didn't strike out a single batter in a win over the A's … Joel Pineiro moved to 2-0 while allowing two runs in 7 2/3 innings … John Danks dropped to 0-6 while allowing six runs in five innings … Rick Porcello held the Twins to one run in five innings before leaving early due to rain … Kevin Gregg blew his second save, but had previously converted five straight chances … Frank Francisco blew his first save while surrendering one of Adrian Gonzalez's two homers on the night, but went on to strike out the side in the ninth … Tommy Hunter (right groin strain) reportedly won't be able to throw off a mound for 2-3 weeks … Phil Hughes is expected to begin a throwing program on Thursday, but should still miss another 6-8 weeks.

    AL Quick Hits (position players): J.J. Hardy (groin) went 4-for-5 with a homer in his first game back from the DL … Yunel Escobar will be reevaluated Wednesday after leaving Tuesday's game with a lower left leg contusion … Justin Morneau (0-for-4 Tuesday) is now 5-for-32 in May … An MRI confirmed a right groin strain for Vernon Wells, whose absence surprisingly landed Howie Kendrick in left field Tuesday … Delmon Young (oblique) should be activated Friday … The Rangers assigned Leonys Martin to Double-A … Buck Showalter said that the tear in Luke Scott's labrum won't affect how much he starts in left field … B.J. Upton will serve his two-game suspension on Thursday and Friday.

  • Matt Stroup covers basketball, baseball and football for You can find him on Twitter here .
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