Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez was his typical ultra-productive self this season when not on the disabled list, batting .302 with a .958 OPS, 26 home runs and 70 RBI in 109 games played. But he has been battling a lingering right middle finger injury for months and the Rockies decreed this weekend that he won’t swing another bat this calendar year.
Now there’s some concern that what’s plaguing the finger might have to be corrected with a surgical procedure and that the subsequent rehabilitation process could seep into mid-2014. There’s also a worry that the flexibility of CarGo’s middle finger may never fully return.
Gonzalez has averaged 27 home runs, 22 stolen bases, 91 runs scored and 91 RBI per season since the beginning of the 2010 campaign but his future is now obviously a little cloudy. This comes from Troy Renck of the Denver Post:
“Carlos Gonzalez talked to me Sunday, and he’s leaning heavily toward having surgery on his annoying right middle finger. It isn’t getting better. He will see a specialist in Cleveland on Thursday. The AZ specialist recommended surgery on Sunday. He’s the same doctor who saw CarGo the day he first suffered the injury so he had a good frame of reference on his recovery. Surgery is always a last option. But if he waits and it doesn’t heal, then next spring and the early part of the year are jeopardized. This isn’t a common surgery. He will have to do aggressive rehab to make sure the flexibility returns. And it will probably never be 100 percent of what it was.”
Save Me, Semien
When the White Sox called up infield prospect Marcus Semien from Triple-A Charlotte earlier this month, it sort of flew under the radar. Semien did not crack many prospect watch lists this offseason and seemed like a longshot to make a big splash down the stretch at the major league level this summer. But the dude can play.
Semien, a 23-year-old out of Cal-Berkeley, was hitting .284/.401/.479 with 19 home runs, 24 stolen bases and 110 runs scored in 137 games between Double-A and Triple-A at the time of his September 2 promotion and has been able to maintain some of that hotness so far in the bigs. He started at third base on Sunday against the Indians and went 2-for-3. It was his third multi-hit performance in four games and gives him a .346 batting average through his first 27 MLB plate appearances.
Chicago has nothing to play for at this point, so Semien should continue to get regular playing time. He’s worth a shot in some deeper mixed leagues.
Bucs Making Do With Melancon
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told reporters when Jason Grilli returned from the disabled list on September 3 that the veteran right-hander would eventually take back his old ninth-inning role. But that should no longer be the expectation.
Grilli, who missed six weeks with a strained right forearm, has surrendered six hits, two walks and four earned runs in three innings since his activation. Mark Melancon, meanwhile, boasts a 1.07 ERA in 67-plus frames this season and has converted nine consecutive saves.
The job is Melancon’s, and next in line behind him is Kyle Farnsworth. That won’t change in the next two weeks.
National League Quick Hits: Giants outfielder Hunter Pence slugged two homers in Sunday’s win over the Dodgers … Paul Goldschmidt finished 4-for-4 with a homer, a double and five RBI in the Diamondbacks’ rout of the Rockies … Brewers shortstop Jean Segura tripled and scored two runs in Sunday’s win over the Reds … Bryce Harper was 3-for-5 with a double, a stolen base and three runs scored in the Nationals’ blowout win over the Phillies on Sunday … Collin McHugh is starting for the Rockies on Monday night against the Cardinals … Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos went 4-for-4 with a homer and five RBI on Sunday against the Phillies … Travis d’Arnaud hit a game-winning RBI single in the Mets’ win over the Marlins on Sunday … Padres right-hander Burch Smith struck out 10 batters in seven scoreless innings Sunday in a defeat of the Braves … Dexter Fowler (knee) could return to the Rockies’ starting lineup Monday versus the Cardinals … Giants closer Sergio Romo earned his 35th save of the season in Sunday’s defeat of the Dodgers … Chase Headley homered for a third straight game as the Padres beat the Braves on Sunday … Diamondbacks prospect Matt Davidson hit his first career major league home run in Sunday’s stomping of the Rockies … Jhoulys Chacin was blasted for six runs -- four earned -- over just four innings Sunday in a loss to the Diamondbacks … Todd Frazier singled and homered in the Reds’ loss to the Brewers on Sunday afternoon … Padres closer Huston Street will miss two games following the death of his grandmother … Dillon Gee tossed 7 1/3 shutout innings in the Mets’ win over the Marlins on Sunday … Matt Kemp (ankle) could be activated from the disabled list Monday.
American League Quick Hits: White Sox ace Chris Sale allowed six runs in 5 2/3 innings Sunday in a loss to the Indians … Clay Buchholz surrendered just one (unearned) run over six innings on Sunday, moving to 11-0 with a 1.51 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in 14 total starts this year … Alex Rodriguez is day-to-day with calf tightness … Twins catcher Josmil Pinto slugged a three-run homer in Sunday’s defeat of the Rays and is now batting .405/.463/.703 in 11 games since his promotion to the major leagues … A’s right-hander Jarrod Parker could start Monday’s series opener against the Angels after being scratched from his scheduled Sunday start against the Rangers with an illness … Indians outfielder Matt Carson slugged his first home run in the Indians’ defeat of the White Sox on Sunday … Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles in Sunday night’s defeat of the Yankees … A’s shortstop Jed Lowrie is day-to-day with hamstring tightness … Angels closer Ernesto Frieri tallied his 34th save of the season in Sunday’s win over the Astros … Yoenis Cespedes is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his sore shoulder Monday … Angels starter Jerome Williams tossed seven innings of one-run ball Sunday against the Astros … Tommy Milone surrendered just one run over five innings in a spot start Sunday versus the Rangers … Glen Perkins collected his 35th save of 2013 as the Twins beat the Rays on Sunday … Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks was held out Sunday due to the flu … Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez left his start Sunday against the Blue Jays with a Grade 1 groin strain.