Matt Wieters missed two games a couple weeks ago with what was called right forearm soreness at the time, but he then went 7-for-14 over the next three days after returning to the lineup. So, no big deal, right?
Well, it turns out that it could be a huge deal.
Wieters underwent an MRI Monday and will have the results examined by Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday in hopes of figuring out why his right elbow is still bothering him. He might not like the news he’s given, as it’s possible he could need Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Orioles manager Buck Showalter has chosen to take a more optimistic stance, saying that he’s hoping he’ll have Wieters available to catch Wednesday. However, another report is suggesting that Wieters is DL-bound even if he gets good news, with Caleb Joseph coming up to replace him on the roster.
It’s interesting to note that Wieters served as the designated hitter Tuesday, one day after getting an MRI. He went 2-for-5 in the game and is hitting .371 (13-for-35) since the elbow issue popped up, so the injury clearly isn’t affecting him at the plate. Would the O’s consider making Wieters a full-time (or maybe just most of the time) DH if the ailment only affects his throwing? It’s something worth pondering, but it’s all speculation until we know the results of Wednesday’s exam.
Until then, Orioles fans and Wieters’ fantasy owners will have their fingers crossed.
KKKKKKKKKershaw Dominant in Return
It had been 45 days since Clayton Kershaw pitched in a major league game when he toed the rubber Tuesday night at Nationals Park. Most pitchers might develop some rust over that time, but not the two-time National League Cy Young winner.
Kershaw struck out nine batters over seven scoreless innings in a win over the Nationals. He gave up nine hits, but not one of them went for extra bases, and he didn’t walk anyone. The left-hander came home in the sixth inning after reaching on an error, so he actually scored more runs than he gave up.
Kershaw’s back injury was obviously worrisome for fantasy owners and wound up costing them a month’s worth of production from the best pitcher in the game. However, the southpaw has put the malady in the rear view mirror and is ready to terrorize the NL again.
Hamilton’s Status Remains in Limbo
Billy Hamilton still hasn’t started a game since having to leave last Thursday’s contest with a sprain of the third and fourth knuckle on his left hand. In listening to him talk Tuesday after he tried swinging bat, it doesn’t sound like we should expect him back in the lineup anytime soon.
"After swinging the bat today, it's very tough," Hamilton told MLB.com. "I did three swings, maybe. I couldn't hold on to the bat. The bat fell out of my hand."
Hamilton did appear in Tuesday’s game as a pinch-hitter, but he was only able to bunt both times he was at the plate. The fact that he was used at all is a good sign, as the Reds undoubtedly would want to backdate a DL stint as far as they could. General manager Walt Jocketty said it’s just a pain tolerance thing with the outfielder at this point.
"It's all about the pain," Jocketty said. "There's nothing, from what I understand, more he can do to damage it. It's just being able to tolerate the pain."
When asked if there were plans to place Hamilton on the DL, Jocketty replied, “not yet.” The speedy outfielder will have to make some major strides soon, otherwise a move becomes a distinct possibility.
Chapman Could Return This Weekend
While the Reds might be without their leadoff hitter for a bit, they should get their closer back soon.
Chapman was touched up for five runs over two-thirds of an inning in a rehab appearance with Triple-A Louisville Tuesday. However, it’s unlikely to affect his timetable to return to the Reds’ bullpen, which could be as soon as this weekend. Chapman had tossed two scoreless innings in his first two rehab appearances, reaching 101 mph on the radar gun.
It’s not clear whether the Reds plan to immediate re-install Chapman as the closer or if they could ease him back into things. His rough appearance Tuesday combined with Jonathan Broxton’s success (unscored upon in eight appearances) might convince them to employ the latter strategy. However, there’s little doubting that the flame-throwing southpaw will be back pitching the ninth inning soon.
National League Quick Hits: Henderson Alvarez spun his second shutout of the season against the Mets Tuesday, lowering his season ERA to 2.62 ... Yasmani Grandal caught on back-to-back days for the first time this season and also hit a homer in his second consecutive game in Tuesday’s loss to the Royals ... Cody Asche went 4-for-4 with a double and a grand slam in Tuesday’s loss to the Blue Jays ... Making his first start in the majors in a year, Gavin Floyd allowed one run on six hits over seven innings but settled for a no-decision against the Cardinals ... Ervin Santana is no longer wearing a wrap on his bruised right thumb, but his status for Saturday's start against the Cubs is up in the air ... Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan has reported that the Pirates recently offered outfield prospect Gregory Polanco a seven-year contract with three club options, an offer he turned down ...
American League Quick Hits: Gordon Beckham went 4-for-5 with a home run and two runs scored in Tuesday’s victory over the Cubs ... Robbie Ray earned the win in his major league debut, allowing one run in 5 1/3 innings Tuesday versus the Astros ... Making his first major league start since July of 2012, Josh Tomlin held the Twins to one run over 6 2/3 innings in a victory Tuesday ... Drew Pomeranz is expected to start the second game of the A’s doubleheader Wednesday ... Jurickson Profar (shoulder) took batting practice Tuesday and will throw from 60 feet Wednesday ... Chris Davis (oblique) took 25 swings and made 30 throws on Tuesday afternoon ... Joe Mauer (back) missed a second straight game Tuesday and is likely a few days away from a return ...