D.J. Short

Baseball Daily Dose

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Bye Bye Buchholz?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


- The Red Sox are a veritable lock for the postseason, but they may have to go the rest of the way without one of their most important starters. CSNNE.com reported early Monday that Clay Buchholz was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his lower back and is unlikely to pitch again this season.

Buchholz went to see back specialist Dr. Thomas Watkins in Los Angeles on Monday for a second opinion and the Red Sox are expected to provide an official update on his status Tuesday. The young right-hander was originally placed on the disabled list on June 17 with what was termed a lower back strain.

Mets' third baseman David Wright recently returned from the disabled list after missing two months with a stress fracture in his lower back. There's no way to say for sure how long Buchholz will be sidelined, but the timeline isn't exactly working in his favor.

Red Sox manager Theo Epstein did his best to secure some last-minute insurance for Buchholz before the deadline, so after a deal for Rich Harden was nixed, he picked up Erik Bedard from the Mariners. Bedard was shaky in his return from a knee injury last Friday, giving up five runs over just 1 1/3 innings, but the veteran left-hander has a 3.45 ERA and 87/30 K/BB ratio over 16 starts this season.

Leaving Safeco Field for Fenway Park won't exactly help Bedard from a fantasy perspective, but he's at least a pretty good bet to receive more run support than he was getting in Seattle. Bedard has a reputation for being prickly with the media, which will be something to monitor now that he'll be under intense scrutiny in Boston, but his constant inability to stay healthy should be of greater concern.

- Terrible news for one of the few bright spots for the Dodgers this season. Rubby De La Rosa was placed on the the disabled list Monday with what was termed right elbow inflammation, but the Dodgers later announced that the young right-hander was diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament. This almost certainly means that De La Rosa is done for the season and if he needs Tommy John surgery, he would likely be sidelined for all or most of the 2012 season, as well.

De La Rosa labored through his most recent start against the Diamondbacks on Sunday, giving up four runs on five hits (including two homers) and four walks over four innings. The 22-year-old right-hander has a 3.71 ERA and 60/31 K/BB ratio over 60 2/3 innings this season. He has averaged 96 mph on his fastball, which is tops among major-league starters.

- The Yankees didn't make any additions at the trade deadline, but we could see a new name in their lineup very soon. John Nalbone of the Trenton Times was told by sources close to the organization that top prospect Jesus Montero is expected to be promoted to the major league roster "in the very near future." Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was vague when asked about the possibility on Monday, saying that "anybody could get promoted in the very near future," but the situation is obviously worth monitoring in fantasy leagues.

Montero, 21, has regressed in his second season at Triple-A, seeing an increase in his strikeout rate while posting an underwhelming .769 OPS over 85 games, but he is coming off his most productive month of the season, slugging four homers to go along with an .860 OPS. The Yankees would likely have him get his feet wet at designated hitter, but he could he could provide value due to his eligibility behind the plate.

- Tick, tick, tick. Enjoy Jordan Zimmermann will you still can. The young right-hander will be limited to just four more starts this season as the Nationals plan to cap him at 160 innings in his first full year back from Tommy John surgery. We have known about this possibility for a while now, so hopefully you were able to sell-high and get something of value in single-season leagues.

Ironically enough, Zimmermann's planned exit coincides with the pending return of Stephen Strasburg, who is tentatively scheduled to make his first minor league rehab start in the next 7-10 days. If all goes well, he could take Zimmermann's place in the starting rotation by the end of August. Strasburg is obviously worth stashing if you have the room on your disabled list, but remember that command is one of the last things to return following Tommy John surgery. As great as he was last season, it would be unfair to expect him to be a lifesaver in September.

NL Quick Hits: Carlos Gonzalez (wrist) felt good after taking batting practice Monday and hopes to return from the disabled list this weekend … Clayton Kershaw allowed two runs and struck out four in a complete game victory over the Padres on Monday night … Josh Johnson (shoulder) will attempt to resume his throwing program Tuesday … Roy Oswalt allowed two runs over six innings Monday in his second minor league rehab start with Triple-A Lehigh Valley and is expected to rejoin the Phillies this weekend … Aramis Ramirez is day-to-day after being held out of Monday's lineup with quad tightness … Heath Bell said Monday that he would accept arbitration from the Padres if the two sides are unable to work out a contract extension … Dan Uggla slammed a pair of homers in Monday's loss to the Nationals … Jonathan Sanchez was activated from the disabled list and is expected to start Friday against the Phillies … Bud Norris left Monday's start due to a blister on his right index finger, but expects to make his next start … Mike Stanton hit a go-ahead grand slam as the Marlins defeated the Mets in 10 innings on Monday night … Johan Santana (shoulder) will not make his next minor league rehab start until Thursday … Rafael Furcal went 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored Monday in his first start with the Cardinals … The Mets plan to decide by the end of the week whether Ike Davis (ankle) will need surgery … In his Pirates' debut Monday, Derrek Lee slugged a pair of homers in a loss to the Cubs … Pirates manager Clint Hurdle indicated Monday that Jose Tabata (quad) could resume a minor league rehab assignment soon … Paul Goldschmidt went 1-for-4 with a single and a strikeout in his major league debut Monday … Freddy Sanchez will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery Tuesday … The Diamondbacks will skip Josh Collmenter in the starting rotation this week … Nick Hundley (hamstring) is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with Double-A San Antonio… Barry Zito was placed on the disabled list with a right foot strain … The Nationals released Matt Stairs ... The Pirates designated Lyle Overbay for assignment … The Phillies released Danys Baez

AL Quick Hits: Alex Rodriguez (knee) is scheduled to begin baseball activities Thursday … Asdrubal Cabrera hit a pair of homers and drove in four runs in Monday's win over the Red Sox … Paul Konerko (calf, knee) is not expected to return to the White Sox lineup Tuesday … Shin-Soo Choo (thumb) will likely take batting practice this week … Ubaldo Jimenez will make his Indians' debut Friday against the Rangers … Derek Jeter (finger) expects to return to the Yankees' lineup Tuesday … Nelson Cruz (quad) and Elvis Andrus (knee) are expected to return to the Rangers' lineup Tuesday night … Dustin Ackley went 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBI in Monday's win over the A's and now has a .929 OPS … The Mariners will skip rookie right-hander Michael Pineda in the starting rotation this week ... Carlos Carrasco has appealed a six-game suspension levied for throwing at Billy Butler's head on Friday night … Indians rookie second baseman Jason Kipnis was 3-for-5 with a home run and three runs scored in a win over the Red Sox on Monday … Marco Scutaro left Monday's game against the Indians with dizziness … Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered and doubled in Monday's loss to the Indians … Cliff Pennington was diagnosed with Bell's palsy after leaving Monday's game and is currently listed as day-to-day … Ivan Nova will start Thursday against the White Sox as the Yankees use a six-man rotation this week … David DeJesus (thumb) swung off a tele Monday and could return to the lineup as soon as Wednesday … Jed Lowrie (shoulder) was hitless in two at-bats Monday in his first minor league rehab game with Triple-A Pawtucket … The newly-acquired Charlie Furbush will take Erik Bedard's spot in the Mariners' starting rotation Wednesday against the Athletics … Chone Figgins is day-to-day with a right hip flexor … The Angels sent top prospect Mike Trout back to Double-A Arkansas … Red Sox prospect outfielder Ryan Westmoreland (brain surgery) will begin facing live pitching soon …


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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