Thanks to US Airways, there’s no time for an intro, so let’s get right to it. Powered by my network of text-messaging friends keeping me up to date when I’m out of pocket, on to the injuries:

  • When I got off the plane tonight, I passed the ubiquitous sports bar and saw… Ivan Rodriguez at second base? What? Had my flight from Philly landed in a parallel dimension? No, it was a desperate situation caused by a lack of infielders after an injury. Placido Polanco made a great diving play, but paid the price with a shoulder injury. Postgame reports indicated that Polanco had separated his shoulder when trying to catch himself after making the play, but further tests will be done tomorrow. The key will be controlling the swelling inside the joint and making sure that it has stabilized. Remember, a separation implies that the shoulder is now in its proper placement, in contrast to a dislocation. As for Pudge at the keystone, BP’s Dave Metz was at the game and reported that Rodriguez looked lost, but still made the necessary plays. Shades of Craig Biggio…
  • Trot Nixon was taken to an area hospital after an infection developed in his elbow. He’s still on the DL with the biceps strain, so this is an odd development. Much like Alexis Rios, there’s no apparent cut, unless something developed during his rehab work. There’s really no way to tell how this will go, though the various occurrences of MRSA this season and last invite the possibility of some pretty involved worst-case scenarios. Nixon was scheduled to come back sometime next week, but we’ll have to wait and see if this will push that back.
  • Carl Pavano may seem like a lost cause, but the elbow surgery he had this summer seems to have been the cure for all that ailed him. His second rehab start was better than the first, as he exhibited better velocity and command. Granted, it’s just four innings in A-ball, but it’s a lot better than anyone’s seen from the big dollar bust in quite a while. He can erase some of that tag if he can make it back to the Bronx this season and contribute down the stretch. As is, right now the rotation can use anything extra they might get, as they seek to protect Chien-Ming Wang from his success.
  • The Mets have to like what they saw from Brian Bannister in his rehab start. At Triple-A Norfolk, Bannister threw eight efficient innings, making it possible that the Mets could put Pedro Martinez back on the DL as a precaution, affording him the time to heal his strained right calf and assorted other maladies. While I continue to get information suggesting that Martinez’s injury is minor, the move is smart for a team with a lead in the standings and the depth to support it. Martinez isn’t needed in mid-August, especially now that the team is more concerned about mid-October.
  • Dusty Baker scared Cubs fans everywhere when he told the press that Derrek Lee‘s work wasn’t geared to a comeback, but instead to figuring out if he’ll need surgery to correct any lingering wrist problem. Baker’s situation makes any reasonable person question his statement, especially given previous information. It’s not that Lee was going to get the Cubs back into the pennant race, but seeing him back in the lineup post-fracture and post-setback would be a nice step for next year. The Cubs are already focused on their offseason plan; having a healthy Lee will help them focus on acquiring that other Lee (Carlos) and some pitching help.
  • Braves fans don’t want to hear “Andruw Jones” and “patellar tendonitis” in the same sentence for all sorts of reasons. The Braves are still in the Wild Card chase, for what that’s worth, and after that, Jones is likely to be shopped this winter. That makes any small injury a cause for concern. While several Braves sources either didn’t know about the injury or considered it minor, it is worth keeping an eye on.
  • Quick Cuts: Jim Edmonds leaves with dizziness? I have no idea what’s up there, yet… No decision has been made on Roy Oswalt. His hand is sore and a bit swollen, so his response to treatment and pain tolerance will be the deciding factors… Gustavo Chacin will get the ball on Saturday, his first start since landing on the DL on June 10… Melvin Mora left Tuesday’s game against the Yankees with a hand injury. No report on its severity by deadline, but we’re watching it… Keith Foulke back just in time for the Yankees series? That’s interesting.