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July 19, 2005

Under The Knife

The Heat Is On

by Will Carroll

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During trade season, there's no time for intros. Powered by the hope that they'll start selling the cell phone battery that Jack Bauer uses, on to the injuries ...

  • Adam Eaton isn't getting significantly better. That's a real problem for the Padres, since they were counting on having Eaton back in the #2 slot soon. A second cortisone shot hasn't taken effect yet, though if it does, it shouldn't take much time for Eaton to find his breaking ball. Bruce Bochy was quoted as saying that Eaton's return will be more about pain management than anything else. The Pads are looking at short-term pitchers just in case Eaton isn't able to return effectively.

  • Mark Bellhorn heads to the DL with a sprained thumb; replacing him is getting complicated. Normally, Bill Mueller would slide across and Kevin Youkilis, who barely got to see Pawtucket after his latest demotion, would come up to play third base. Unfortunately, Mueller is fighting some lower back pain. Option two would be Dustin Pedroia, but the Triple-A prospect is dealing with a minor wrist injury. Option three is apparently seeing how Hanley Ramirez does at second. He played a couple games there over the weekend and early results are encouraging. Bellhorn shouldn't miss much more than the minimum, so all the shuffling will be short-term.

  • Last month, Joe Sheehan made a great case that the Dodgers missed Milton Bradley more than any of the other 30 or 40 players they've lost to the DL this year. We'll soon see if he was right, because Bradley is hitting well--if one-sided--at Triple-A Las Vegas. Bradley's strange injury is usually seen in mountain climbers, and some Colorado orthos who have seen these types of injuries seem to think it could linger. As I said, we'll see. The Dodgers are fast becoming this year's test case for Tom Gorman's Injury Accounting system, a new tool that's progressing nicely.

  • Roy Oswalt is likely to try and pitch through the injury, no matter what it is. Back? Groin? He'll just head out and pitch. He took a batted ball off his glove hand and has some swelling, but this is the least likely injury, of the ones he's had, to force him off the mound. You'll remember Kenny Rogers missed a start after hitting a water cooler with his glove hand, so there's precedent. Oswalt is different, something of a mirror image to "injury-prone," not so much durable as able to deal with the pain and remain effective.

  • The Diamondbacks have had a fluid but functional back end of the bullpen. Greg Aquino and Brandon Lyon went down, leaving Brian Bruney to hold down the fort. The D'backs have been looking for bullpen help on the market, considering the DFA'd Shingo Takatsu and the outrageous demands for Danys Baez. Lyon may be close to helping as well, making progress towards a return. He's throwing off a mound and prepping for a rehab assignment. Expect him back in early August, unless there are more setbacks.

  • Oliver Perez is hoping that the laundry cart doesn't want a rematch. He's making good progress and could start throwing later this week. Given the problems that Perez has had keeping his mechanics in sync this season, don't expect him to be ideal on return, though the side work he's been limited to might be what he needs to get himself together. The Pirates keep hoping that they can remake their rotation by using trades and promoting prospects like Zach Duke and Tom Gorzelanny, but they know that having Perez live up to his ace potential is the linchpin of a winning staff.

  • The Skychiefs are in Indy, giving me a chance for a few words with Corey Koskie. Koskie is just beginning a rehab assignment and feels like his thumb is "back to normal." Koskie is expected to play a couple games at Triple-A before returning to the Jays. Thumb injuries are power sappers, so watch the results that Koskie is able to put up in the International League.

  • Quick Cuts: Travis Hafner should be back in the lineup on Tuesday. The Indians plan on being conservative with his return Here's a tip: when getting arrested for assaulting a cameraman, it's best not to, you know, get in the face of another one ... Juan Gonzalez is done for the season, collecting better than a half-million bucks for one at-bat and some organizational headaches. That's better than a scratch-off ticket Jody Gerut? I can see Jim Hendry now--"Blogger? I said I wanted a slugger!" Ten days of rest haven't helped Denny Bautista. Expect more tests on his aching shoulder.

Back tomorrow.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Prospectus Matchups: W... (07/19)
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