Broxton Nowhere CloseWednesday, August 10, 2011
Not that anyone was exactly holding out great hopes for Jonathan Broxton
in 2011, but Tuesday provided a more definitive update on his relatively bleak outlook for the remainder of the season.
The once-dominant closer threw for a second straight day Tuesday, but manager Don Mattingly explained to MLB.com that Broxton is "kind of [at] the beginning of a process" as he attempts to come back from elbow trouble. Mattingly added that Broxton likely won't be ready for a rehab stint until after the minor league season ends, meaning that we won't be seeing the former closer until sometime in mid-to-late September at the earliest. In other words, if you've held onto Broxton on a DL spot this entire time, it's looking safe to go ahead and cut him loose. After seeing Tommy Hanson get hit for seven earned runs in 3 1/3 innings in his last start (and post an 8.10 ERA in his last five starts), the Braves decided to push back the right-hander from Friday until next Tuesday. Per beat writer David O'Brien, Hanson has also been flown back to Atlanta to have his shoulder examined as the team attempts to make sure that he's not dealing with something more serious. Mike Minor will start against the Cubs on Friday, but is too risky to trust as a spot-starting option outside of NL-Only leagues.
Some high-profile position player injury updates: Alex Rodriguez (knee) ran the bases Tuesday as he continues to target a potential return next week … Justin Morneau (neck) went 3-for-5 at Triple-A and could return as soon as Monday … Though previous indications were that he could be back Friday, Brian McCann (oblique) appears likely to return on Sunday or Monday … Carlos Beltran (wrist) could be back in the lineup as soon as Wednesday … Jack McKeon told MLB.com that it's "getting close" to the point at which the Marlins may have to place Hanley Ramirez (shoulder) on the DL.
The Angels are promoting Garrett Richards from Double-A to replace Joel Pineiro in the rotation and make his major league debut against the Yankees on Wednesday. The 23-year-old right-hander has gone 12-2 with a 3.06 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in the minors, but a 100/40 K/BB ratio in 141 innings at Double-A is an indicator that his value is likely to be limited to AL-Only formats for the time being.
Also being called up to the majors from Double-A (and also worth a look in AL-Only formats): 21-year-old Blue Jays' prospect Henderson Alvarez (2.86 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 66/17 K/BB ratio in 88 innings at Double-A), who will make his major league debut against the A's on Wednesday.
The Twins officially placed Scott Baker on the DL with a flexor muscle strain in his right elbow, recalling Kevin Slowey from Triple-A to take Baker's place in the rotation on Sunday against the Indians. Slowey has yet to make a start in the majors this year, but has posted a 3.55 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 29/5 K/BB ratio at Triple-A, making him a potential spot-start consideration in mixed leagues.
In other Twins pitching news, prospect right-hander Kyle Gibson has been diagnosed with a partial tear of the UCL in his right elbow. He'll avoid Tommy John surgery (instead attempting rehab) for now, but the 23-year-old ends his 2011 campaign having posted a 4.81 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 91/27 K/BB ratio in 95 1/3 ininings at Triple-A.
Huston Street was unavailable for Tuesday's game due to a lat injury, and with Matt Lindstrom (sore arm) headed for the DL, Rafael Betancourt picked up his first save of the year. Street is listed as day-to-day and isn't currently expected to need a trip to the DL, but Betancourt could be worth a short-term add while we make sure that Street's injury doesn't prove to be worse than the Rockies are letting on.
Follow me on Twitter: @MattStroup
Pitcher injury notes: Stephen Strasburg (elbow) will make his next rehab start on Friday with High-A Potomac … Jhoulys Chacin (hand) remains on course to start Thursday against the Reds … Rubby De La Rosa underwent Tommy John surgery Tuesday and is expected to miss most (and potentially all) of the 2012 season … Barry Zito (foot) is slated to make at least one more rehab start and could return to the Giants as an absurdly expensive long reliever … Ross Ohlendorf (shoulder) could be activated to start on Sunday.
Position player injury notes: Manny Acta said Tuesday that Grady Sizemore (knee, sports hernia) could begin some baseball activities this week, but won't be back before the end of August, which is in line with his original timetable … Rickie Weeks (ankle) is reportedly walking without pain, but remains just two weeks into a 2-6 week timetable and doesn't appear to be particularly close to a return … Brandon Phillips (ankle) returned to the starting lineup Tuesday, though he admits his ankle isn't 100 percent … Other notable names returning to action: Corey Hart (hand), Victor Martinez (knee), David Freese (concussion) and Chris Davis (shoulder) … Juan Uribe (abdomen) is approximately a week away from beginning a minor league rehab assignment … Logan Morrison (knee) returned after a one-game absence on Tuesday and got his first major league start at first base with Gaby Sanchez getting the night off, but went 0-for-4.
Position player injury notes (part 2): Aramis Ramirez was scratched due to back spasms … Zack Cozart (elbow) is leaning toward having season-ending surgery … Alexi Casilla (hamstring) remains on course to be activated when eligible on Friday … Justin Smoak (thumb) is targeting a return to the starting lineup on Friday … Brian Roberts (concussion) experienced more headaches on Tuesday as his status for the rest of the season remains in question … Coco Crisp (calf) remained out of the lineup and is still considered day-to-day … Orlando Hudson hit cleanup on Tuesday before leaving with a strained right groin … Dee Gordon (shoulder) left in the eighth inning and could be headed for the DL … Pat Burrell (foot) is headed for an examination on his foot Wednesday … Allen Craig (knee) is expected to be activated Wednesday.
Miscellaneous notes: Phil Hughes will make his next start on Saturday against the Rays ... The Cardinals are skipping Kyle Lohse's next turn after he lasted just three innings in his most recent start … Jason Heyward was out of the lineup as Fredi Gonzalez continues to favor the streaking Jose Constanza (for those following this competition closely, Heyward got picked off after entering the game as a pinch-runner late, but Constanza went 0-for-4 to snap an eight-game hitting streak) … The Reds recalled Travis Wood from Triple-A … Adam Dunn told the Chicago Tribune that he plans to hit more this offseason, a break from his normal routine in which he typically doesn't swing a bat during the winter … Kevin Millwood will make his 2011 (and Rockies) debut on Wednesday in a start against the Reds … The Pirates released Lyle Overbay.
Editor's Note: For exclusive columns, rankings, projections and more, check out Rotoworld's MLB Season Pass.
Notable pitching: James Shields threw his seventh complete game in a six-hit shutout against the Royals … Cliff Lee threw eight shutout innings with 10 strikeouts and hit what proved to be the decisive homer in a 2-1 win … Ted Lilly threw eight innings of two-run ball in the loss … Rich Harden held Toronto to one run in seven innings with eight strikeouts … Madison Bumgarner struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings against Pittsburgh … Brandon Beachy allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts … Brett Cecil allowed three runs over seven innings to give him a 2.70 ERA in his last seven starts … Dontrelle Willis struck out 10 – his most in almost exactly four years – in eight innings of a loss to the Rockies … Chien-Ming Wang allowed just one hit (with one strikeout) in six shutout innings against the Cubs.
Notable hitting: Josh Willingham homered for the sixth time in his last 15 games … Bobby Abreu hit his fifth and sixth homers of the year … Aubrey Huff went 3-for-4 with a homer to raise his average to .249, its highest point since April … Evan Longoria drove in all four Rays' runs and homered for the third time in his last six games.