D.J. Short

Baseball Daily Dose

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Ailing Anderson

Tuesday, June 07, 2011


Some troubling news for the depleted Athletics' starting rotation, as Brett Anderson returned to California on Monday to have his sore left elbow examined by doctors.

Anderson has been knocked around for 14 earned runs on 20 hits over his last two outings, increasing his ERA from 2.84 to 4.00 on the year. The 23-year-old left-hander just hasn't had the usual life on his pitches this season, so the Athletics want to see if an injury is the reason for the noticeable drop in velocity.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle was told by one source that Anderson has expressed concern that he might need Tommy John surgery if the UCL in his elbow is torn. Of course, Anderson gave fantasy owners a pretty good scare last year with two lengthy stints on the disabled list due to elbow and forearm soreness. He still entered the 2011 season as a highly valuable starter following his strong second half, but the health risk has always been there. Let's hope this is nothing more than a false alarm.

While the Athletics cross their fingers, here are some more news and notes from a busy and exciting day around the baseball world.

- There was no obvious No. 1 pick in Monday's First-Year Player Draft, but we knew going in that the Pirates were likely going to take UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole. While the Pirates stuck with the script, the Mariners shocked the room by selecting Virgina left-hander Danny Hultzen with the No. 2 pick when just about everybody expected them to take a position player.

Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon was the favorite to go No. 2, though the Mariners may have been scared away by concerns about his shoulder. He was eventually chosen sixth overall by Washington. And wouldn't you know it, Rendon's agent is Scott Boras. It's a match made in draft day heaven.

You can find analysis of the entire first round by visiting the following links from HardballTalk:

- No. 1 overall pick

- Picks 2-5

- Picks 6-10

- Picks 11-15

- Picks 16-20

- Picks 21-25

- Picks 26-33

- Day One Winners and Losers

Be sure to file these names away, but realize that the great majority aren't going to help your fantasy team in the immediate future.

- While the draft grabbed most of the headlines, Monday was also an exciting day for some of the game's more major league-ready top prospects.

Rafael Furcal was placed on the disabled list with an oblique injury over the weekend, so the Dodgers called up prospect shortstop Dee Gordon from Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday. The 23-year-old doesn't possess much pop in his 150-pound frame, but has ridiculous speed. He'll probably go right back down to the minors once Furcal returns from the disabled list, but he makes for a fine short-term play if you need some speed.

Mark Ellis left Monday's game with a right hamstring injury. And while he was expected to be reevaluated Tuesday, Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com reported last night that prospect second baseman Jemile Weeks was being called up from Triple-A Sacramento. Weeks has had a hard time staying on the field, but was off to a fast start this season. While he doesn't have as much power as his brother Rickie, he still has above average speed and excellent plate discipline, which should make him a top-of-the-order hitter in the big leagues. Ellis is no lock to get his job back once he's healthy, so Weeks should be owned in all AL-only leagues.

Brad Hawpe made his first start of the season in right field Monday, which immediately fueled speculation that the Padres were preparing for Anthony Rizzo's arrival. Marty Caswell of XX1090 in San Diego later heard from a team source that there's a "good chance" that Rizzo will be called up from Triple-A Tucson on Wednesday. Padres general manager Jed Hoyer didn't exactly shoot down the idea following the game, so it would be smart to file him away in NL-only leagues where available. The 21-year-old is an exciting prospect, but PETCO will hurt his chances of mixed league relevancy in his rookie season.

- Ned Yost wasn't kidding when he said that Joakim Soria was only being pulled from the ninth inning on a temporary basis. Soria earned the victory in Monday's extra-inning win against the Blue Jays by tossing two scoreless innings, after which Yost said he had regained the closer role from Aaron Crow.

Soria has pitched five scoreless innings since relinquishing ninth-inning duties early last week. He only struck out one of the seven batters he faced Monday, but the velocity on his fastball was very similar to what we saw last season. It's quite possible he's back, which makes him a serious bargain in leagues where he was dropped.

National League Quick Hits: The Marlins placed Hanley Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a strained left lower back … Cliff Lee struck out 10 over seven shutout innings Monday against the Dodgers … Matt Garza returned from the disabled list Monday and allowed four runs over four innings against the Reds … Pablo Sandoval was held out of the lineup with High-A San Jose Monday after feeling some mild soreness in his wrist and forearm Sunday … Zack Greinke improved to 5-1 on the year by allowing two runs over seven innings Monday against the Marlins … Matt Holliday (quad) is expected to return from the disabled list as soon as he's eligible on June 16… Jimmy Rollins underwent an MRI and X-rays on his right knee Monday and is not expected to need a stint on the disabled list … Scott Rolen was held out of Monday's lineup with a head cold … Brad Lidge will be examined Tuesday in Philadelphia due to soreness in his elbow … Jonathan Broxton (elbow) has begun throwing off a mound at about 90 percent effort … Juan Uribe went 2-for-4 with a single and a double Monday in his return from the disabled list … Mike Morse has two homers and seven RBI over his last two games ... The Rockies are expected to place Dexter Fowler on the disabled list with a strained left abdominal muscle and call up Charlie Blackmon from Triple-A Colorado Springs … Jordan Lyles, who gave up four runs over four innings against the Padres on Sunday, will likely be sent back to Triple-A Oklahoma City when Wandy Rodriguez (elbow) returns from the disabled list … Wandy Rodriguez was knocked around for six runs over four innings by the Brewers on Monday … Orlando Hudson (groin) is expected to resume baseball activities Tuesday … Mike Minor is expected to be called up from the minors to start Saturday against the Astros … Brandon Lyon (rotator cuff) threw a scoreless inning Sunday in a minor league rehab appearance with Triple-A Oklahoma City … Hong-Chih Kuo (anxiety) is close to going on out a minor league rehab assignment … The Dodgers designated Jay Gibbons for assignment …

American League Quick Hits: The Twins activated Francisco Liriano from the disabled list, who is expected to start Tuesday against the Indians … Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton were both held out of the lineup Monday with the stomach flu … Jake Peavy was diagnosed with a mild right groin strain and is considered day-to-day … Max Scherzer yielded five runs over five innings Monday and now has a 4.68 ERA on the season … Nelson Cruz slugged a pair of two-run homers in Monday's loss to the Tigers … The struggling Alex Rios was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight day Monday …Brandon Morrow tossed six innings of one-run ball Monday in a tough-luck no-decision against the Royals … Colby Lewis was smoked for nine runs over 3 1/3 innings Monday against the Tigers and leads the majors with 17 home runs allowed over 78 1/3 innings … John Danks finally found his way into the win column Monday by allowing just one unearned run over 7 1/3 innings against the Mariners … Denard Span batted out of the No. 3 spot for the first time in his career Monday and went 0-for-4 … Josh Willingham (Achilles) went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in his return to the lineup Monday … Matt Harrison (kidney stone) still wants to make his scheduled start Tuesday against the Tigers … Brennan Boesch went 5-for-6 with two homers and five RBI Monday against the Rangers … The Athletics optioned Kevin Kouzmanoff to the minors Monday and called up Scott Sizemore from Triple-A Sacramento ... Josh Tomlin has allowed 16 runs over his last three starts … Marco Scutaro (oblique) is expected to rejoin the Red Sox on Tuesday for the series opener against the Yankees … Eric Hosmer delivered a walkoff single in Monday's 11-inning win over the Blue Jays … Kevin Millwood allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings Monday in his second start with Triple-A Pawtucket … Adam Rosales hit a two-run homer Monday in his return from the disabled list ...


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