Patrick Daugherty

Baseball Daily Dose

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Comebacker Mars Comeback

Thursday, June 28, 2012

That’ll spoil the party.

Two hours after CC Sabathia’s out-of-nowhere placement on the disabled list with a groin injury, Andy Pettitte was sailing through his afternoon start against the Indians when a Casey Kotchman comebacker ricocheted off his left ankle.

Despite crumpling to the ground as he attempted to field the ball, Pettitte tried to pitch through the pain. He was yanked after throwing an ugly pitch to Lou Marson, however, and diagnosed with a broken ankle less than an hour later.

Whereas Sabathia is expected to miss only two outings, Pettitte is likely to miss two months. It’s two severe blows for a Yankees rotation that’s fueled the team’s 19-5 June, and means the Bombers must reinsert a decrepit Freddy Garcia into their starting five.

Given Pettitte’s timeline, it could be tempting to drop him in shallower mixed leagues, but giving up on a pitcher who’s managed a 3.22 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 59/15 K/BB ratio through 58 2/3 innings might not seem so shrewd come August.

As for Sabathia, expect to see him on the mound against the Angels when the Yankees return from the All-Star break on July 13. Steer clear of Garcia in all but the deepest of AL-only leagues.  

Daniel Hudson

In the midst of a nightmare season that’s seen him put up a 7.35 ERA through nine starts and 45 1/3 innings, things got much, much worse for Daniel Hudson on Wednesday.

One day after leaving his latest disaster outing against the Braves with “forearm tightness,” Hudson received bad news that seemed somewhat inevitable: his right UCL was torn.

Torn UCLs are, of course, repaired via Tommy John surgery. Tommy John surgery, of course, sidelines players for roughly 12 months. Despite his injury-marred struggles this season, Hudson is worth holding onto in keeper leagues

Chase Utley

Now that’s a comeback. After a 7-for-37 rehab assignment fueled speculation that Utley’s knees had finally wrecked what was once (and still should be) a certain Hall-of-Fame career, he went 3-for-5 with a solo home run in his 2012 debut.

One good game is only one good game, but if Utley is to be believed, his knees feel better than they have in “years.” Looking forward to the second half, Utley is one of fantasy’s biggest wild cards.

Now 33, his persistent patellar tendinitis cost him Philadelphia’s first 46 games in 2011 and first 76 this season. Translation: what his future holds, particularly after he hit “just” .259/.344/.425 last year, is anyone’s guess.

But at a position where the league OPS is .695, Utley still has considerable upside. His days of leading second basemen in every offensive category are long gone, but his days of perhaps being the final piece to your team’s fantasy puzzle are now.       

Stephen Drew

Also making his 2012 debut Wednesday was Stephen Drew, who went 1-for-4 in Arizona’s loss to the Braves.

Despite manager Kirk Gibson’s claim that Drew might be a part-time player for the time being, he comes with fewer risks than Utley. Before his brutal ankle injury, Drew had been a reasonably durable player, averaging 147 games between 2007-10.

He’s also still only 29, and is playing for a new contract. If you can weather some initial struggles and benchings, stashing Drew now could prove to be richly rewarding a month from now.

Ryan Zimmerman

One of this season’s biggest disappointments, Ryan Zimmerman ripped two extra-base hits for the second straight game in Wednesday’s win over the Rockies.

Less than one week after admitting his shoulder might land him back on the disabled list, Zimmerman is now 8 for his past 17 with five extra-base hits and five RBI.

The catch is that, save for one RBI, all the production has come in the thin air of Colorado. That means it’s possible Zimmerman’s renaissance isn’t really a renaissance at all.

The good news is, he’ll get one more crack at Coors Field this afternoon. If his hot hitting carries into this weekend’s series in Atlanta, the long national nightmare for those who spent a second- or third-round pick on Washington’s franchise third baseman might finally be over.  

Game Notes: Tim Lincecum had his best start of the season. The two-time Cy Young award winner has at least proven he can handle the A’s and Dodgers of the world. He’ll get the Nationals in Washington next week. … Chipper Jones and Chris Young both hit their first home runs in a long time. … Robinson Cano homered again. … So did Adam Dunn. … Ike Davis hit one of four Mets bombs in Wednesday’s 17-1 shellacking of the Cubs. Mr. Valley Fever himself has now gone deep four times in his past seven starts. … David Murphy and Daniel Murphy both homered twice. … James McDonald allowed more than three runs for the first time all season. … Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion kept doing their thing.     

National League Short Hops: Andre Ethier was diagnosed with a strained left oblique. He’ll almost certainly be placed on the disabled list today. … Brandon Phillips left Cincinnati’s loss to the Brewers with a head injury, but appears to have avoided a concussion. … Chris Carpenter (shoulder) resumed throwing. He remains without a timetable for facing hitters, however. … Ryan Braun is day-to-day with a minor elbow injury. … Ryan Howard (Achilles) will begin a rehab assignment with Low-A Lakewood this afternoon.    

American League Short Hops: Luke Scott (back) will come off the disabled list this afternoon. … Kevin Millwood aggravated his right groin injury. He’s likely headed to the D.L. … Would-be top Yankees prospect Dellin Betances was demoted to Double-A. … The White Sox and Cubs are among the favorites to sign Cuban prospect Yasel Puig.

Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Patrick Daugherty

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