by Brian Dorsey
Goodness gracious, the summer heat is wearing me down like I’m Josh Hamilton! With temperatures rising around the country, some players are dropping like flies. Elsewhere, in air-conditioned rehabilitation rooms, some players are working their way back to the field. Here’s a look at who’s coming and who’s falling to pieces.
The Seattle Mariners have been without their prized closer, David Aardsma, the entire season, but it hasn’t really mattered because Brandon League has been phenomenal. And it’s a good thing, too; Aardsma is set to have Tommy John surgery, a right of passage for pitchers in this modern era.
The Phillies’ closer situation can be likened to a four month long game of musical chairs. With Brad Lidge on the DL all year, Jose Contreras, Ryan Madson, and Antonio Bastardo have all sat in the closer seat. Lidge, who should be coming off the DL by July 22, isn’t going to land in the 9th inning, at least not right away. Madson also just came off the DL, but look for him to overtake Bastardo in the coming weeks.
Zack Greinke started seeing dead people on the mound this past month. Normally this would’ve landed him on the DL, but he’s pitched through it, much to the dismay of fantasy owners.
The Mets! Would it be a baseball season if the Mets didn’t lose half their team to the injury bug? First the good news: Jose Reyes’ legs are healthy and he’s back in the lineup, David Wright is nearing return, and Carlos Beltran’s surgically repaired knees are good enough to consider him trade bait. Here’s the bad: youngster Ike Davis is likely done for the year and “ace” Johan Santana has been able to (cough) throw multiple times in one week (as if that’s encouraging).
This just in: Buster Posey is out for the year.
The BoSox’s biggest acquisition this past offseason, not named Adrian Gonzalez, has been a huge disappointment. Carl Crawford hasn’t been able to hit. He hasn’t been stealing. And for the past month he’s been hurt. But he’s back in the lineup! If you own him, you probably have little choice but to play him, even if you’re not happy about it. The interesting thing about Crawford is most of his steals over his career have come before August when his legs are still fresh. Since he hasn’t been running much at all this season, will he turn the burners on in the second half?
Josh Johnson owners collectively sighed in relief when they found out he should return sometime this season. His timetable is…he has no timetable…because he hasn’t thrown a baseball since May 16th. My guess is September at the earliest.
Grady Sizemore went to the DL for what seems like the eighth time this year. I’m not sure if this is newsworthy, because I’m not sure anyone owns Sizemore.
Derek Jeter told Minka Kelly they won’t be getting married because he’s exhausted.
Stephen Strasburg hit 95 on the radar gun this week. He’s been out since late last season after having Tommy John surgery, but his GM says he’s in “mid-spring training” mode. That would constitute a mid-August return, though something tells me that’s a bit optimistic. He’ll be back this year, and it’s looking like it will be a fun Septemburg (See what I did there? I put…those two words…I’m so clever).
Adam Wainwright update: he’s still out.
Jose Bautista, cleverly nicknamed Joey Bats, returned the Blue Jays’ lineup this week after having ankle issues. He’s on pace for 347 home runs this season, but I’m sure he’s not on steroids. I’m sure of it!