Monday, May 01, 2006

This week's injury recap

The A's learned on Saturday that ace Rich Harden is expected to miss three to six weeks of action with a strained muscle on his right side. "It's a small, localized point, not a huge tear," trainer Larry Davis said. "It's not a large area that's disrupted. ... I talked to him and he's still very sore, very painful." After placing Harden on the DL, the A's recalled Ron Flores from Triple-A to take Harden's roster spot. Flores will work in middle relief for Oakland.

At this point, it's uncertain who will replace Harden in the starting rotation. Brad Halsey, who has a 1.42 ERA in 12 2/3 innings out of the bullpen this year, is a candidate to slide into the role. He started 26 games for the Diamondbacks last year. Kirk Saarloos is also candidate to replace Harden, but he threw an inning against the Royals on Sunday, which makes him a less likely choice.

Whoever ends up moving into the rotation will start on Tuesday against the Angels.

Going on the DL

The Orioles placed Brian Roberts on the 15-day DL Sunday with a strained groin. They called up Brandon Fahey from Triple-A Ottawa to replace Roberts on the roster. While Roberts is out, Chris Gomez will likely see most of the action at second base.

John Patterson went on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a strained muscle in his forearm. Zach Day, who was claimed off waivers from the Rockies Wednesday, will replace Patterson in the starting rotation. Day started on Sunday against the Cardinals and received the loss, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks in five innings of work.

The Giants placed Ray Durham on the DL Friday with a strained left hamstring. To replace Durham on the roster, the club called up Kevin Frandsen from Triple-A Fresno. Frandsen has been starting at second base and batting second while Durham has been out.

Brian Bannister was placed on the disabled list Friday with a strained hamstring. The Mets recalled Victor Diaz from Triple-A Norfolk to take Bannister's roster spot. Diaz will serve as a back up in left and right field. John Maine, who is currently at Triple-A, is slated to start in Bannister's place on Tuesday. Maine has posted a 2.63 ERA in four Triple-A starts this season.

The Cardinals placed Ricardo Rincon on the disabled list Friday with a shoulder injury. The team recalled John Gall from Triple-A to take Rincon's roster spot. Gall will primarily serve as a pinch-hitter, although he could see a couple of starts in left field.

Jorge Cantu went on the DL Wednesday with a broken bone on top of his left foot. He is expected to miss two to three weeks. With Cantu out, Ty Wigginton and Nick Green will see action at second base. When Wigginton is playing second, Sean Burroughs and Russ Branyan will share time at third base.

The Mariners placed Julio Mateo on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with right shoulder tendinitis. To replace him on the roster, the club called up Sean Green from Triple-A Tacoma. Green will work in middle relief for Seattle.

Julio Santana landed on the disabled list Wednesday with a stomach ailment. The Phillies called up Clay Condrey from Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre to replace Santana in the bullpen. Condrey will be used in middle relief.

The Royals placed Shane Costa on the 15-day DL Saturday after an MRI revealed a strained left hamstring. The team recalled Kerry Robinson from Triple-A Oklahoma to replace Costa on the roster. Since both Costa and David DeJesus are out, Robinson and Esteban German will split time in center field.

The Twins placed Ruben Sierra on the disabled list Sunday with a strained left biceps. To replace Sierra on the roster, the club recalled Dennys Reyes from Triple-A. Reyes will work in middle relief for Minnesota.

Coming off the DL

Ken Griffey Jr., who is recovering from an inflamed tendon behind his right knee, was eligible to come off the DL on Friday, but he doesn't expect to be activated until sometime this week, at the earliest. Once Griffey does return, Ryan Freel, who has been starting in center field, will likely go back to being a super utilityman due to the emergence of Brandon Phillips at second base.

The Rangers activated Mark DeRosa from the DL Sunday. He had been out with an ankle injury. He is expected to see most of the action at second base since Ian Kinsler is still recovering from a dislocated left thumb. Drew Meyer was sent back to Triple-A to make room on the roster for DeRosa.

Julio Lugo, who has been out with an abdominal strain, has been taking batting practice and could return to the Devil Rays on Friday. He's expected to begin a rehab assignment early this week. Tomas Perez's value will take a big hit once Lugo returns.

Aubrey Huff, who has been out with a sprained knee, is expected to begin a rehab assignment early this week and could join the Devil Rays on Friday. When Huff returns to action, Russ Branyan and Sean Burroughs will see significantly less playing time.

The Rockies activated Byung-Hyun Kim from the 15-day disabled list Saturday. He had yet to pitch this year due to a strained left hamstring. The club sent Miguel Asencio to Triple-A Colorado Springs to make room on the roster for Kim. Kim started against the Marlins on Sunday and picked up the victory, allowing one run on five hits and a walk in 6 2/3 innings while striking out nine.

Fernando Cabrera, who had been out with a sprained left heel, was activated from the disabled list Saturday. To make room on the roster for Cabrera, the Indians optioned Fausto Carmona to Triple-A Buffalo. C.C. Sabathia will replace Carmona in the starting rotation when he returns from the DL on Tuesday. Sabathia has been out with a strained abdominal muscle.

Todd Helton, who is on the DL with an intestinal problem, could be activated on Friday, the day he's eligible to be activated. Jason Smith has been seeing the majority of the time at first base since Eli Marrero is ailing, as well. So once Helton returns, most of Smith's playing time will come at second base.

Aaron Small threw on Saturday and could be activated from the DL on Monday. He has been sidelined with a strained hamstring. He will likely be used in middle relief once he returns, and he could also pick up an occasional spot start.

Ryan Doumit, who is recovering from a strained hamstring, could return to the Pirates on Monday. He has been on a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A. Manager Jim Tracy has stated that he is open to the possibility of keeping both Ronny Paulino and Humberto Cota on the roster when Doumit returns.

The Orioles activated Todd Williams from the 15-day disabled list Saturday. He had been out with shoulder inflammation. To make room on the roster for Williams, the club sent Chris Britton to Double-A Bowie.

Jeremy Hermida, who has been out with a strained right hip flexor, could be activated from the DL on Wednesday. He is expected to head out on a minor league rehab assignment on Monday.

Bumps and Bruises

(This section will look at day-to-day type injuries heading into the week)

Jermaine Dye left Sunday's game in the fifth inning with a strained left calf muscle. The severity of the injury isn't known.

Gary Sheffield is day-to-day with a bruised left wrist and right knee. He sustained the injury when he collided with Shea Hillenbrand at first base on Saturday. Sheffield was not in the lineup on Sunday. Bernie Williams replaced him in right field.

Scott Rolen hasn't played since April 24 due to a bout with bronchitis. He is expected to travel with the team on Monday, but he will still likely need a couple of more days to regain his strength. Scott Spiezio has been filling in at third base while Rolen has been out.

Carlos Beltran, who has been dealing with a hamstring injury, returned to action on Saturday. However, he plans to limit his stolen-base attempts for the time being to avoid aggravating the muscle.

Milton Bradley missed his third straight game Sunday because of a sore left knee. Manager Ken Macha said Sunday that Bradley also has some pain in his lower right side. There are no immediate plans to place Bradley on the disabled list. Jay Payton has been playing in right field in Bradley's absence.

Esteban German left Sunday's game against the A's in the sixth inning after getting hit in the face by a misjudged flyball. It's not certain if he'll have to miss any time.

Javy Lopez has missed the last three games with back spasms. He is considered day-to-day.

Kevin Millar was not in the lineup Sunday due to a bruised right hand. In his absence, Jeff Conine started at first base while Nick Markakis started in left field. Millar is day-to-day.

Miguel Tejada is dealing with a sore knee. To allow the knee to heal, he served as the DH on Sunday instead of playing shortstop. Brandon Fahey started at short in place of Tejada.

The A's are hoping that Huston Street, who has been recovering from a pectoral muscle injury, will be 100 percent by Monday. He hasn't pitched since April 18. Justin Duchscherer, who had been filling in for the Street in the closer role, has been unavailable the last couple of games due to tendinitis in his right elbow.

Rosters and Roles

The Blue Jays optioned Jason Frasor to Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday and recalled Dustin McGowan. McGowan will work long relief initially but could end up starting games at some point. He posted a 5.11 ERA in seven relief appearances at Triple-A.

The Rangers announced Saturday that Robinson Tejeda will replace Rick Bauer in the starting rotation. Tejeda is 0-2 with a 5.33 ERA in five Triple-A games, though he worked seven scoreless innings, while striking out seven, in his last outing. He will start on Tuesday against Tampa Bay. Bauer will either be optioned to the minors or will be designated for assignment.

Akinori Otsuka will replace Francisco Cordero as the Rangers closer for the time being. Cordero, who had blown four of his last five save chances, will work in middle relief for now. If Akinori Otsuka pitches well in the role, there is no guarantee that Cordero will reclaim the job, even if he gets back on track.

The Angels called up Howie Kendrick from Triple-A to take the roster spot of the injured Maicer Izturis. Kendrick has started just one game since he joined the team on Monday. He could be sent back to the minors when Juan Rivera returns from the DL.

Juan Cruz will replace Russ Ortiz in the D'Backs starting rotation. Ortiz will head to the bullpen. Juan Cruz pitched five innings against the Giants Saturday, allowing just one earned run on two hits while striking out three. It was his first start since 2003.

The Royals recalled Runelvys Hernandez from Triple-A Omaha Wednesday to slide into the rotation. He had been working in the minors to build up his endurance. The Royals optioned Joe Nelson to Triple-A to make room on the roster for Hernandez.

The Braves activated Macay McBride from the DL Sunday. He has yet to pitch this year due to a sore forearm. McBride will work in a middle relief role for Atlanta. The team optioned Tony Pena to Triple-A Richmond to make room on the roster for McBride.


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