A week ago, it looked like Ryan Zimmerman’s wonky right shoulder would send him to the disabled list. So, naturally, the third baseman then proceeded to put together his best week of the season.
After receiving a cortisone shot prior to last Sunday’s game, Zimmerman has gone 14-for-37 (.378) with three homers and 13 RBI over the next six games. He’s gone deep three times in the last six contests after managing just one longball over the previous 30 games.
"I’m starting to feel better,” Zimmerman told the Washington Post Sunday after going 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBI. “Feeling a lot healthier."
It’s obvious that the cortisone injection has done wonders for the third baseman, but it’s natural to be curious about how he’ll fare once the shot wears off. Zimmerman has pledged to take as many shots as he needs over the course of the season, but it’s not healthy for him to receive too many. At some point, surgery might eventually be an option, but for now, fantasy owners will be happy to ride his hot streak.
Back to Minors for Matusz
Brian Matusz was pummeled for five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits and three walks over just four innings against the Indians Sunday. As it turns out, it will be his last start in the majors for a while, as the former No. 4 overall pick was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk immediately after the game.
The outing pushed Matusz's ERA up to an ugly 5.42 and his WHIP to a hideous 1.71. Over his last five starts, the left-hander held an 8.44 ERA while failing to go beyond 5 2/3 innings in any outing.
Matusz, of course, is coming off a disastrous 2011 campaign that saw him put together a 10.69 ERA and 2.11 WHIP over 12 starts, so we can’t be totally surprised that he’s fallen flat again. But, after putting together a nice spring and showing improved velocity (according to Fangraphs, his average fastball has come in at 91 mph this season, up from 88 mph in 2011), fantasy owners were hoping for a bounce-back season.
It hasn’t been in the stars to this point, and we have to figure Matusz will be in the minors for a while until he sorts things out. The Orioles have yet to name a replacement for him in the rotation.
Brews Still Hungry like the Wolf
Randy Wolf sure has done his best to get booted from the rotation, but the Brewers aren’t biting. Not yet, anyway.
Wolf was battered for eight runs – seven earned – over just four innings in his last outing, pushing his ERA up to 5.78 and WHIP up to 1.59 for the season. He’s won just two games on the year, with the last one coming on April 30. Yet, manager Ron Roenicke is sticking with the veteran left-hander.
"That's not even on my mind right now," Roenicke said in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "It has been a hard year for him. I'm hoping (Friday) night doesn't set him back because I thought the four previous games were good."
We can’t really blame the manager for sticking with Wolf for the time being, as his options are limited with Chris Narveson out for the season and Shaun Marcum still sidelined by an elbow injury. But, Roenicke will likely have a decision on his hands when Marcum returns, as both Marco Estrada (4.50 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 46/9 K/BB ratio over 42 innings) and Michael Fiers (2.29 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 41/8 K/BB ratio over 39 1/3 innings) have out-pitched Wolf by a wide margin.
National League Quick Hits: Carlos Lee has refused to waive his no-trade clause, killing a potential deal that would have sent him to the Dodgers … Roy Halladay (lat) is aiming to return shortly after the All-Star break. Doc has had no issues to this point throwing from a mound and should be able to start a rehab assignment before long … Andrew McCutchen (wrist) didn’t play Sunday, but his wrist ailment is considered minor and he should be back in the lineup in a day or two … Joey Votto sat out Sunday’s game after leaving Saturday with knee inflammation. He’s considered day-to-day … Ben Sheets has signed a minor league deal with the Braves and could possibly join their rotation in a couple weeks if he fares well in the minors. Mike Minor and Randall Delgado would be on the chopping block … It’s been reported that the Phillies are calling teams to gauge their trade interest in Cole Hamels. The Phils don’t want to admit defeat, but it’s looking like they’ll be deadline sellers … Chris Young didn’t start Sunday for the fourth time in the last seven games. He’ll continue to share time in center field with Gerardo Parra until he develops more consistency … Drew Pomeranz allowed just one unearned run on two hits over six innings in his return to the rotation Sunday. He could develop some mixed league value … Scott Rolen was scratched from Sunday’s game shortly after the first pitch due to back spasms. Even NL-only leaguers have to be desperate to rely on Rolen at this point, anyway, as he’s down to .184/.243/.312 for the season.
American League Quick Hits: Orioles manager Buck Showalter wouldn’t rule out top prospect Dylan Bundy being called up at some point later this season should the club remain in the playoff race. The reality, though, is that probably not likely … David Price (back) threw a pain-free bullpen session Sunday and is on track to make his next scheduled start Wednesday … Chad Qualls was traded from the Phillies to the Yankees in exchange for a player to be named later or cash … Carlos Santana (back, side) sat out a fourth straight game Sunday. He’s improving, though, and has a good shot to play Monday … Lonnie Chisenhall is expected to be sidelined 10-12 weeks following surgery to repair a broken bone in his right forearm. Any setback could result in his season being over … Erasmo Ramirez landed on the disabled list Sunday with a mild right elbow flexor strain. It’s not considered to be a big deal, and he should be ready to return before the end of the month … Adam Jones hasn’t taken batting practice for most of the last two weeks due to nagging soreness in both wrists. It doesn’t seem to be a big deal, and it hasn’t really affected him at the plate.