Found June 24, 2013 on
MLB Injury News:
Toronto Blue Jays
San Francisco Giants
Boston Red Sox
Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Mets
Los Angeles Angels
Welcome back to MLB Injury Express. In this edition, the surging Blue Jays get their shortstop back, the struggling Giants welcome the return of Panda and the Rockies have the best kind of problem in relief.
Jose Reyes (SS, Toronto Blue Jays) - severe ankle sprain
Status: scheduled to come off DL and play Thursday @ Boston Red Sox
Outlook: Reyes has been out for more than two months after severely spraining his ankle on April 12th while sliding into second. GM Alex Anthopoulos said back in April that he didn't expect Reyes back until the start of July so the shortstop is barely beating that estimate. Reyes went out on a rehab assignment with Class-A Dunedin last Monday and stepped that up to Triple A over the weekend. On Sunday, the Jays finally announced that Reyes would be activated for the start of the series with the division-leading Red Sox. While on rehab, Reyes has accumulated ten hits over 25 plate appearances, stealing two bases and scoring six runs, so he has had plenty of time on the basepaths and no problems have been reported. Given Anthopoulos' comments, Toronto wouldn't be sending Reyes back out there if he wasn't fully healthy, so expect him to be their full-time shortstop and leadoff hitter as soon as he's back on the roster.
Losing time: Munenori Kawasaki. The 32-year-old Japanese shortstop has really become popular amongst the fans while Reyes has been out, with his enthusiasm and team spirit striking a chord around baseball. Nevertheless, Kawasaki has not been impressive at the plate, with just an 85 OPS+ and his first home run not coming until Friday night, his 57th game of the season. His defence hasn't been that impressive either, with 5 errors on the season. With Emilio Bonifacio, Maicer Izturis and Mark DeRosa all getting time at second base thus far, there's too much of a crowd in the Jays infield for Kawasaki to be more than a spot-starter and bench player, if they even keep him on the roster.
Pablo Sandoval (3B, San Francisco Giants) - foot strain
Status: activated Monday, expected to be in lineup @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Outlook: Sandoval went on the DL after aggravating a foot injury on June 9th. Although it was suggested he could be out for a month, Sandoval recovered quickly enough to go on a rehab assignment last week and the Giants announced on Sunday that Sandoval would be activated today. The third baseman only played two games on his rehab assignment but picked up four hits in six plate appearances, two of them home runs. Although his weight will continue to be a concern when it comes to injury issues, Sandoval is normally a productive player when healthy and the Giants really need him to lift the team: they went 5-8 with Sandoval out and have slipped three games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks. He will play third every day with Joaquin Arias giving him the occasional break.
Back to the minors: Nick Noonan. The part-time infielder has played both second and third this season but did not distinguish himself at the plate, posting a .491 OPS in 90 PA. Switch-hitter Tony Abreu will be the infield bench option for the Giants right now. Arias also figures to lose time with Sandoval back, as he has gained the majority of the starts at third with Sandoval out.
Rafael Betancourt (RP, Colorado Rockies) - groin strain
Status: due to be activated Thursday for home series vs New York Mets
Outlook: Betancourt's groin injury was actually sustained over a month ago but initially the Rockies said a DL stint wouldn't be required. After a week of apparently pitching through pain, Betancourt was finally placed on the DL at the start of June. The strain now seems to have healed as the closer pitched to teammates on Friday with no problems and plans to return this week when the Rockies come home to face the Mets. Betancourt has been an excellent reliever in his eleven-year career, with a 3.15 ERA and 4.53 strikeout-walk ratio.
No longer closing: Rex Brothers. Despite the fact that Brothers is doing his very best to force the issue of who will be the Rockies closer (0.28 ERA with a strikeout per inning), Betancourt is surely too established for manager Walt Weiss to make a change and regression is bound to come for Brothers. At best, Colorado could ease Betancourt back into the majors with a low-leverage situation in his first appearance but Brothers should be back pitching the eighth before long.
None of last week's players have even been able to get back on a major league field yet. Here's how they're progressing:
Aaron Hill (2B, Arizona Diamondbacks) - broken hand
Return: now activated, expected to start Tuesday, @ Washington NationalsResults: The Diamondbacks decided to keep Hill on his rehab assignment over the weekend, from which he has now accumulated nine hits over 24 at-bats. He is ready to go against the Nationals on Tuesday. Didi Gregorius' offensive output has continued to decline - his OPS is now at .793 after being over .900 at the start of June - but he has remained their full-time shortstop for the better part of two months and figures to see the most at-bats at the position. Cliff Pennington and Willie Bloomquist will alternate with Hill and Gregorius when either gets a day off.
Brandon Beachy (SP, Atlanta Braves) - Tommy John surgeryReturn: none scheduled after previous setback
Results: The Braves are clearly taking it slow with Beachy, waiting until Sunday before even letting him play catch, well over a week after his elbow soreness after a minor league outing. If the Braves want to get Beachy another rehab start or two, it could be another couple of weeks before they try to slot him back into the rotation. The question of who drops out of the rotation will therefore be postponed for a little while yet. Anibal Sanchez (SP, Detroit Tigers) - shoulder strain
Return: aiming for the start of JulyResults: Sanchez is eligible to come off the DL on July 1st and recent reports suggest he's doing well enough to be ready for that date. A bullpen session on Tuesday will determine how the Tigers proceed over the next week, so watch closely for the results. Jose Alvarez only went five innings against the Red Sox last week but did hold them to 2 runs on 5 hits. He will go up against the Los Angeles Angels' Tommy Hanson on Wednesday night and is still scheduled to face the Blue Jays on Monday, but Sanchez could come off the DL to make that start.
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