Let’s get right to this today. Powered by Muse’s “Revelations and Black Holes,” on to the injuries:
- Mets fans like to see Pedro Martinez on the mound, even if it’s just a side session. Despite his problematic hip and a severe case of what the team thinks was food poisoning, Martinez’s results on the mound were great on Sunday. He’s expected to have another session Tuesday in Cincinnati and, if that goes well, he’ll likely make his next start sometime over the weekend or early next week. This all depends on how Willie Randolph and Rick Peterson plot out the rotation. The Mets also expect to have Jose Reyes back in the lineup on Tuesday. His lacerated left pinky is now healed.
- As quickly as Marcus Giles looked healthy, he once again looks hurt. An x-ray helped Giles grab a bat on Monday, after hearing that there was no fracture. However, the pain returned quickly, ending the BP session after just a few swings. Giles is able to play the field, but it’s unlikely we’ll see him doing that anytime soon. Braves sources think that the team will take its time before pushing Giles towards the DL. Wilson Betemit is a more-than-adequate fill-in, especially given his Monday performance.
- The Nationals had been discussing Jose Vidro with a couple teams, though sources indicate that these talks weren’t too serious. Leaving Monday’s game with a hamstring strain won’t up his value any. Vidro’s latest in a long and increasing line of injuries is making him expendable, so expect the team to be very cautious with his return. The injury to his left hamstring is thought to be related to his chronic right knee problem, though there is no way to definitively call this a cascade. Vidro is only expected to miss a game or two. The team was happy, despite the loss, with Tony Armas Jr.. His performance on Monday increased his trade value and took some pressure off the rotation. The team is hoping to see a longer outing from him next time.
- David Wells is getting closer. He’ll throw a simulated game on Wednesday and the results will determine if he’ll head to the minors for a rehab start or if he’ll jump right into the rotation. Given the chronic nature of his knee problems, there’s really no time to waste. Adding in the closeness of the AL East and the solutions that the Red Sox have had for the back of their rotation, tossing Wells out there makes more sense here than it would in almost any other situation. Wells knows how to pitch and his arm has never been the problem. Don’t be surprised to see him on the mound early next week.
- The Orioles know that Javy Lopez has a chronic back problem, so when he came limping in to the clubhouse this weekend, no one was surprised. Lopez continues to have intermittent episodes of back pain, despite a treatment regimen aggressively maintained to prevent or at least reduce pain and spasms. It’s unlikely that Lopez will catch much, if at all, for the rest of the season, despite the fact that Lopez has grumbled about not catching. The 35 year old former All Star appears to be heading down a well-worn path for older catchers.
- The word from Dr. Lewis Yocum is that the second opinion is same as the first. Rich Harden won’t need surgery on his elbow at this point. The news is cloudier on his return date, though, since Yocum recommended he take more time before beginning a throwing program. That could push his return back to late August or September, a point where things get a bit more difficult as there might not be minor league games to rehab in. The A’s are also watching Mark Kotsay closely. The CF has bad knees and a bad back, a chicken and egg problem–are the knees taxing his chronic back problem or did the back problem put more stress on his knees? It’s not considered serious–a few days rest, as Kotsay will need from time to time, should get him back to function.
- Troy Glaus has been dealing with knee problems for a while. An eagle-eyed reader pointed out that Glaus has been wearing a patellar strap since the beginning of the season. It was easy to pick out the black strap beneath his white home pants in video from April. This problem appears to be chronic, and the cortisone injection he received Monday gives us a lot of information. How well the strap controls the knee will be the subject of constant attention from the club’s medical staff. Something irritated the condition, causing the flareup, which now requires more aggressive treatment and rest. I expect him to be back on the field by the end of the week, though he’ll likely need more rest down the stretch, perhaps DHing more than he has in the past.
- An MRI on Morgan Ensberg, currently on the DL, showed no significant damage. That leaves the Astros guessing and hoping in regards to his return. Ensberg’s chronic pain in that shoulder is certainly something that many would point to in explaining his disappointing performance. Getting him back to effective would be the equivalent of acquiring a bat. Ensberg is currently performing in the range of his 25th PECOTA percentile, so returning to his weighted mean, well within the realm of possibility for a healthy Ensberg, would be worth about two wins, a big deal in the tight NL Central.
- Quick Cuts: Alex Rodriguez had x-rays on his toe after fouling a ball off of it. No word at deadline on the results … The Twins were whispering yesterday that Shannon Stewart was done for the season, so it was no surprise that he hinted at this on Monday. The Twins were hoping that they could swing a deal for an OF before the news leaked … Frank Thomas blamed his dizzy spell this weekend on “a couple shots of espresso.” Guess we know how teams have adjusted to the amphetamine ban … Mark Prior was due to have a side session on Monday. He’s eligible to come off the DL on Thursday, though the results of the session will have the final say on that … Expect J.J. Hardy to undergo surgery on his ankle. This would end his 2006 … Darin Erstad will meet with at least two more doctors before making a final decision about surgery.