Johnson Down, Cowgill ArrivesWednesday, July 27, 2011
More on the arrivals of Collin Cowgill
and Yonder Alonso
(plus the injury to Brian McCann
) in a minute, but first, a couple of bleak updates on the status of Josh Johnson
First, the more negative (and more direct): SI.com's Jon Heyman reports that Johnson isn't expected to pitch again this season. Slightly more optimistic is Marlins beat writer Joe Frisaro, who reports that if Johnson is able to begin a throwing program later this week or early next week, he has a "realistic" shot to return, potentially in early September. However, Frisaro also adds that Johnson "repeatedly says he hopes to pitch in a game before the season ends, even if it is in relief for a game or two." In other words, even in a best-case scenario, fantasy owners shouldn't be expecting much (if anything) from the Marlins ace over the final two months of the year. Brian McCann will be placed on the DL Wednesday after leaving Tuesday's bizarre 19-inning game in the 10th with a strained left oblique. David Ross is is a respectable waiver wire replacement for McCann's fantasy owners, but it's little consolation given that oblique injuries often take more than two weeks to heal. No official word yet on how long McCann might be out.
Meanwhile, two notable prospects joined the big leagues on Tuesday. Neither is a must-add in mixed leagues, but we'll look first at the one who's likely to get more immediate playing time: Diamondbacks outfielder Collin Cowgill. The diminutive 25-year-old (listed at 5-foot-9, looks like he could be even shorter) had a .354 average, 13 homers, 70 RBI and 30 steals at Triple-A, but hit eighth (and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts) in his big league debut. Obviously, he's going to have to move up in the order if he has any hope of establishing legitimate value outside of NL-Only leagues.
With Jonny Gomes getting dealt to Washington Tuesday, Yonder Alonso (who had an 860 OPS and 12 homers at Triple-A) got the call to take his place. Alonso certainly has name recognition, but enthusiasm needs to be tempered here, as Reds GM Walt Jocketty indicated to the Cincinnati Enquirer that the former first-round pick will share playing time in left field and see the occasional start at first base. With Chris Heisey and Fred Lewis also in the left field picture, the 24-year-old looks unlikely to immediately break through with mixed league value.
The Indians made an offer for Carlos Beltran on Tuesday, but those efforts reportedly fell through due to the fact that Beltran hasn't approved (and doesn't appear likely to approve) a trade to Cleveland. Meanwhile, the frontrunners for the outfielder's services are believed to be the Rangers, Braves, Giants, Phillies and Brewers.
As Ubaldo Jimenez trade chatter continues to escalate, Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reports that the Yankees have the best chance to land the right-hander (assuming that the Rockies actually intend to deal him). Other teams in the mix include the Red Sox, Rangers, Tigers, Indians and Reds, with Knobler labeling the Blue Jays a "longshot."
More trade talk, with some ellipses: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies are the "most aggressive" pursuer of Hunter Pence … Meanwhile, per USA Today's Bob Nightengale, Philadelphia has been scouting Carlos Quentin … B.J. Upton has been linked to the Giants, Pirates, Brewers, Royals and Indians … Rosenthal reports that the Marlins are "unlikely" to trade Leo Nunez … And the aforementioned Danny Knobler writes that the Cardinals appear to be shopping Colby Rasmus "widely."
Jose Bautista got a scare after getting beaned in the helmet and leaving Tuesday's game early, but he appears to have avoided a concussion. The Jays may opt to play it cautious, but early indications are that Bautista is aiming to play on Wednesday.
In other injury news, Lance Berkman (rotator cuff) returned to action Tuesday, but left in the fifth inning after aggravating his shoulder, telling MLB.com that "When you go to accelerate, it's just there. it's like any kind of a strain. It doesn't feel good." He could receive an anti-inflammatory shot on Wednesday, which would reportedly sideline him for two or three games.
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Pitcher injury notes: Tim Lincecum was scratched due to an illness … The Diamondbacks activated J.J. Putz (elbow) … Johan Santana (shoulder) will make his first rehab start Thursday as he continues to target a late-August return … The Red Sox are hoping that Clay Buchholz (back) can throw another bullpen Wednesday … Jake Arrieta picked up his 10th win, but left after five innings with a right foot contusion (X-rays were negative) … Jose Contreras (forearm) was slated to get another platelet-rich plasma injection Tuesday, but there's no clear timetable for his return … Joe Blanton (elbow) is reportedly dealing with nerve damage and is unlikely to return this season.
Position player injury notes: Alex Rodriguez (knee) has a chance to return in mid-August in a best-case scenario … Matt Holliday (illness) didn't play Tuesday … Chipper Jones (quad) is expected to be limited to pinch-hitting for at least the next couple of days … Cameron Maybin (hip) returned to the lineup, going 0-for-4 … Jason Giambi (quad) hit the DL, likely delaying his involvement in any trades until after the deadline … Kevin Youkilis (hamstring) sat out, but Terry Francona hopes to have him back Wednesday … Jose Tabata (quad) is aiming to resume his rehab assignment this weekend … Placido Polanco (back) is targeting a weekend return … Angel Pagan (dehydration) had a pinch-hit RBI single and should start Wednesday … Gaby Sanchez was scratched due to a tight hamstring.
Position player injury notes (part 2): Vladimir Guerrero returned from the DL … Chris Heisey (shoulder) got the start in left and went 2-for-4 … Jordan Schafer (finger) was scratched from Tuesday's lineup, but entered the 19-inning game against the Pirates off the bench and went 2-for-4 … Allen Craig (knee) has begun a minor league rehab assignment and is expected to need a week or more before he can return … Ryan Doumit (ankle) is targeting an early August return … Eric Chavez (foot) returned from the 60-day DL and started at third base … Daric Barton has been diagnosed with a torn labrum and is headed for a visit with Dr. James Andrews Wednesday.
Miscellaneous notes: Despite the fact that Brett Lawrie is hitting .364 (12-for-33) since returning to the Triple-A lineup after a hand injury, Jays manager John Farrell told MLB.com that "We still don't have a date in the near future when he would be arriving here" …. The Diamondbacks reportedly could promote No. 3 overall pick Trevor Bauer to contribute out of the bullpen this year … The Tigers sent Brandon Inge to Triple-A … Braves pitching prospect Arodys Vizcaino is headed for Triple-A, and could reach the majors as a reliever this season … Tony La Russa told MLB.com that Daniel Descalso is likely to see more starts at shortstop against right-handers in relief of the struggling Ryan Theriot … As expected, Zach Britton will start on Saturday against the Yankees in his return from the minors.
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Notable pitching: C.C. Sabathia allowed just one hit in seven innings with a career-high 14 strikeouts en route to his 15th win (albeit against Seattle) … Tim Byrdak picked up a save, but only because Jason Isringhausen and Bobby Parnell were getting the night off … Kenley Jansen also recorded a save, but only due to the fact that Javy Guerra had pitched on three consecutive days … Josh Tomlin held the Angels to two runs in eight innings in a 2-1 loss … Vance Worley limited the Astros to two runs on just three hits in his first career complete-game … Joe Saunders threw a complete-game six-hitter in a 6-1 win over the Padres to lower his ERA to 3.63 … Brandon McCarthy threw eight innings of one-run ball in a win over the Rays.
Notable hitting: Derrek Lee had a homer and five RBI, giving him five homers and 17 RBI in July … J.J. Hardy homered twice and drove in four … David Ortiz went 4-for-5 with five RBI to raise his OPS to 957 … Dustin Pedroia went 4-for-5 to push his average over .300 (.304) for the first time since April … Adam Dunn homered for the 10th time this season (and first time since July 8), but struck out in his other three at-bats to give him 130 K's (and a .161 average) on the year … Emilio Bonifacio extended his hitting streak to 24 games … Joey Votto homered for the first time since July 14.