Tuesday has been yet another day of injury reports, sprinkled with a bit of info about player performance. In what follows, my analysis will fall along those lines as well.
Jose Contreras has hurled 15 scoreless innings at Triple-A since he was sent down to work on things. Just goes to show you how large the gap is between the majors and the minors cause I really don’t think he has turned back the clock 10 years in a mere two weeks.
Mike Fontenot is 1-for-29 of late to drop his average down to .204. So much for him building on a 2008 that included a .304 average, nine home runs and 40 RBI in just 243 ABs. In fact, Fontenot has been out-produced by lightweight Ryan Theriot who has gone deep as many times as Fontenot, five, while producing one more RBI (18) while hitting .294. That’s why they play the game folks, and the bottom line is that even when you have all your ducks in a row, it doesn’t always work out like you would expect it to (Theriot entered the year with seven home runs in 1,264 at-bats).
Vladimir Guerrero is hopeful of returning from his injured pectoral muscle soon, perhaps as early as next Monday. When he returns he will likely be limited to the DH spot, that is if his rehab work goes well this weekend. As for the team’s pitching staff who recently got back John Lackey and Ervin Santana, there is potentially more good news on the way as Kelvim Escobar(shoulder) is nearing his first rehab appearance of the year next week. He hopes to be able to throw upwards of 60 pitches in the outing. He is hoping to return as a starter, but even if the club eventually decides to slot him as a reliever, his return would not only provide an emotional lift to the club, his right arm could also present favorable returns if he can return to unleashing the filthy stuff that has been his calling card.
Noah Lowry will have another surgery, this one ending his 2009 season. Apparently he will have a rib removed in the same type of procedure that Jeremy Bonderman underwent last season (thoracic outlet syndrome). According to Lowry’s agent this condition has essentially gone undiagnosed for about two years, and this procedure should finally fix what ails the lefty hurler after years of failed attempts including other medical procedures. I wish him all the luck in the world, but it remains to be seen if we will ever see him on the field in the majors ever again, the same situation that may have befallen A’s third baseman Eric Chavez who might have to end his career because of a herniated disc in his back as there is concern that any further baseball related damage could hinder his quality off life moving forward.
Carlos Quentin missed a third straight game because of his heel injury on Tuesday. With Brian Anderson back off the DL, could Quentin be headed to it soon?
Joakim Soria threw on Tuesday for the first time since hitting the DL on May 7th. Obviously that means he will not be ready to go when eligible on Saturday as he only threw off of flat ground. Reports are positive and this news still means that he will likely be back by next week, but continue to look for Juan Cruz to be the man they turn to in the ninth inning for the rest of the week. Speaking of Cruz, his 13 to 10 K/BB ratio is awful and well below his normal 1.99 K/BB rate. Why? The main reason is that his K-rate has plummeted from over 12 per nine the past two years to 6.27 this season. He is still throwing as hard as ever (94.1 mph is his average fastball speed), so expect his K-rate to rise no matter what role he fills moving forward.
I said it on the podcast his morning, and I’m feeling even more secure in the statement I made. Joey Votto’s dizziness continues on without an explanation, and it’s looking more and more like a DL stint is coming. He might avoid it, he last played on May 16th, but even if he doesn’t end up on the DL it looks like this week is pretty much shot, not to mention it remains to be seen how he will fair once he returns because it’s not like you can hit a baseball when you are even slightly dizzy.