Jason Hammel has been a big bright spot among some questions marks in the Orioles’ rotation this season. Unfortunately, the O’s will now have to get by without him for a while.
Hammel aggravated a nagging right knee injury in Saturday’s start, and he’s decided to undergo surgery Monday to remove a piece of loose cartilage. The operation is expected to sideline him for 3-4 weeks, but manager Buck Showalter isn’t counting on having the big right-hander back until September.
“I think it is smart for me, personally, to plan that way, than if you get your birthday present early … I’d rather look at the worst case,” Showalter said in the Baltimore Sun. “I think I’ll have a better feel for it when Dr. Wilckens gets out of there and (reports) what he found.”
The knee has bothered Hammel for the last two months and he was planning to have it scoped over the offseason, but the pain he felt Saturday convinced him to go ahead and get cut open now. The Orioles want to leave Brian Matusz at Triple-A Norfolk to continue to work on things, so it looks like we’ll see Tommy Hunter taking Hammel’s spot in the rotation Wednesday.
Down Goes Santos
The Blue Jays appeared to get a bargain when they traded for Sergio Santos over the offseason, but so far the transaction has yet to bear fruit.
Santos posted a 9.00 ERA and 2.00 WHIP over six appearances in April before going down with what appeared to be a relatively minor shoulder injury. But, the rehab has dragged on much longer than expected, and after he experienced more pain in a recent throwing session, the right-hander finally decided to have season-ending surgery.
“Initially when we backed him down to address some strengthening issues or take the approach of rehab and strengthening, hopefully that would have been the remedy,” said manager John Farrell in the Toronto Star. “As he got back to his throwing program of flat-ground long toss he felt good in that regard but when he gets on the mound with that increased intensity, that’s when he feels the discomfort.”
The good news is that Santos’ rotator cuff is intact. The labrum, though, needs to be repaired. The Jays anticipate him being ready to roll by spring training next season. While the loss of Santos certainly weakens the Toronto bullpen as a whole, they should be able to survive in the ninth with Casey Janssen. The 30-year-old is a perfect 13-for-13 in save chances this season and boasts a 2.21 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 37/5 K/BB ratio over 36 2/3 innings.
Two ‘Stros Go Down
The Astros aren’t exactly a deep ballclub, and their depth will be tested after they placed a couple key cogs on the disabled list Sunday.
Jed Lowrie suffered a right leg injury when he was involved in a collision at second base Saturday. He was officially placed on the DL with a right ankle sprain, but he also has damage to the peroneal nerve in his leg, and a more in-depth diagnosis will be provided once he’s examined further in Houston Monday.
Lowrie needed crutches to get around after the game Saturday, and the fact that he has nerve damage certainly isn’t promising. Plus, it’s hard not to be pessimistic about a guy who can call the disabled list his second home thus far in his career. As previously mentioned, we will know more later Monday, but it’s an expect-the-worst-and-hope-for-the-best situation.
Another former first-round pick, Jason Castro has also landed on the disabled list due to soreness in his surgically-repaired right knee.
“I’ve been told that this is somewhat normal for coming off the surgery I had,” Castro said in the Houston Chronicle. “Up to this point, I haven’t had swelling or anything like this before, and with the amount of playing time I was having before the All-Star break, it was a fairly common thing to happen.”
While it’s a discouraging development, it doesn’t sound like something that the Astros should be terribly worried about. Marwin Gonzalez will handle most of the shortstop duties while Lowrie is out, while Chris Snyder will be the primary catcher in Castro’s absence.
National League Quick Hits: Roy Halladay (lat) will return from the disabled list to start Tuesday against the Dodgers. He’ll be on a pitch count initially but should be back in fantasy lineups immediately …
Chad Billingsley was scratched from Sunday’s start with an elbow injury and told the media that he has inflammation in his elbow flexor tendon. More will be known after further testing Monday, but a stint on the disabled list seems like a distinct possibility … Ben Sheets was fantastic Sunday in his first major league start since 2010, tossing six shutout innings while allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out five. He certainly won’t be this good regularly, and he’s hardly a safe bet to stay healthy, but Sheets is a worthy gamble in all fantasy leagues while he’s upright … Ian Desmond aggravated his oblique injury Saturday and could miss the next several games. The Nationals don’t think he’ll need a DL stint at this point … Juan Carlos Oviedo had to leave a minor league appearance Saturday due to an elbow injury. He’ll have an MRI … Johnny Cueto was scratched from Sunday’s start due to a blister, but he was able to throw a bullpen session and is fully expected to be ready to start Tuesday.
American League Quick Hits: Dan Haren (back) will make a rehab start Monday and is expected rejoin the Angels’ rotation on Sunday. He’ll be coming back from his first ever stint on the disabled list … Gavin Floyd will have his next scheduled start pushed back due to elbow tightness. An MRI came back clean, and it's possible he could be ready as soon as Wednesday … Torii Hunter is expected to rejoin the Angels’ lineup Monday after missing two games with a groin injury … Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik expects impending free agent Ichiro Suzuki to return to Seattle next season. Suzuki, 38, has had his struggles for the second straight season but evidently isn’t seriously contemplating retirement … Robert Andino left Sunday’s game with a left shoulder injury. An X-ray came back negative, but he still needs an MRI. Already without Brian Roberts (hip), the Orioles used Ryan Flaherty to finish the game at second base … Carlos Villanueva spun six shutout innings while allowing just three hits in Sunday’s win over the Indians. He’s now been unscored upon over 12 frames in his last two starts and is worth scooping up in mixed formats … Coco Crisp will have his ailing left shoulder checked out Monday. It’s possible he’ll need a DL stint.