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I hope everyone caught “Outside The Lines” last night. It was a great piece of work, as usual. Peter Keating’s article, “Insurance Run,” is definitely worth a read. It’s great to see the focus placed on injuries and prevention, where it belongs.

On to the injuries…

  • Oftentimes injuries take a bit of time to affect a team. Statistics like MLVr and DLDL (dollars lost to disabled list) tell a part of the tale, but the Cubs/Cards game Tuesday night summed things up in a way that only a baseball play can. Ray Lankford ran a good route, as fast as he could, towards the ball that Aramis Ramirez dropped in for a double. The winning runs came racing home while Jim Edmonds watched from the bench. A groin strain kept Edmonds out of the lineup and away from a ball that he likely would have reached without drama. To further rub salt in the Cardinals’ wound, Edmonds popped out to end the game. The groin strain isn’t considered serious, but he will be limited for the next few games. It will be treated much like Albert Pujols‘ hamstring strain, buying the center fielder rest as a DH when they head across Missouri this weekend.

  • The Marlins will push Josh Beckett back in the rotation to give his back a bit more time to heal. His normal side session was halted due to pain, but sources say that Beckett insisted that he stay on schedule with his throwing program. Cooler heads prevailed and he’s now scheduled to start Saturday. That start is in doubt, however. Beckett will need to prove he’s healthy in a side session Thursday or Jack McKeon is making noises that Beckett will go back to the DL. Beckett is remaining quieter this time around, but clubhouse sources say he’s growing more frustrated with the way he’s being handled by McKeon.

  • The diagnosis is now a bone bruise. For Vicente Padilla this may not seem like much, but for those who follow pitching, it’s very troublesome. Dr. Mike Marshall often talks about the collision of the olecranon process as something that occurs with poor mechanics, but it’s usually in immature pitchers. Padilla’s mechanics are troublesome and violent, but if this is merely a bruise or bursitis situation, he’s getting off easy–for now.

  • Jose Reyes is limping. Before Mets fans start looking for high ledges, consider that Reyes is struggling to stick with a new running style. It’s an extremely hard transition and one that Reyes will need consistent training and feedback on to stay on track. If he can, everything should be fine. If he can’t, he’ll be on the DL once more, tantalizing us with what might have been. The limp, on it’s own, doesn’t tell us much. His performance over the next two weeks will tell us much more.

  • Reports from multiple sources put Troy Percival about a week ahead of schedule in his return from forearm problems. The previous goal was July 4, so a return early next week is possible. Percival will go right back into the closer role despite a good performance from Francisco Rodriguez. His performance will affect next year more than it will this year. With Brendan Donnelly back, the Angels are starting to look scarier in the tightly bunched AL West.

  • A final decision on Kip Wells next start will be made Wednesday. A bullpen session on Tuesday was certainly encouraging as Wells threw 60+ pitches without incident. It remains to be seen how Wells’ finger will react the next day, but assuming the medication is working, Wells should be on the mound Thursday. There’s an outside chance that the Pirates will elect to push Wells back one day, starting Sean Burnett on Thursday. If you liked Wells before, now’s a good time to try and steal him off someone’s roster.

  • With Jung Bong headed back to Louisville, the path is clear for Aaron Harang to return. His successful side session on Tuesday points to a slot sometime this weekend for the Reds starter. Harang had one poor rehab start in his return from a strained elbow ligament, so don’t expect much in his first few starts. The Reds would settle for six innings of decent ball from any of their starters, so expect him to be lifted even earlier.

  • Quick Cuts: Bill Mueller is starting to get back into baseball activities. He’s on track for a just-before-the-break return. As he gets closer, Kevin Youkilis will get mentioned in more trade rumors…Fernando Vina‘s move to the 60-day DL is a paperwork move, not a setback. He’s still at least a month from a return…Curt Schilling looked fine to me on Tuesday. The sources I have in Boston never thought he wouldn’t make this start, and after tonight they expect him to make the next start as well…Here’s hoping that Jose Contreras life is better now that his family has joined him in America. There have been some harrowing rumors about things Contreras has been told. If they’re only half true, I can’t imagine how he could pitch at all, let alone effectively.