Christopher Hanewinckel/US Presswire
"It wasn't getting worse. But the doctors told me it could get worse if we didn't take action."
That's what Jake Peavy told the San Diego Union-Tribune after he was scratched from his scheduled Saturday start and placed on the 15-day disabled list by the team. Fantasy owners were shocked to hear that Peavy might be out for as long as 12 weeks, especially since only last week, manager Bud Black was saying that the ankle was no longer an issue. Black seemed as surprised as anyone with Friday's MRI results, telling the paper, "I just know what he was telling me and Jake said he was getting better."
To me, when I read that the MRI revealed "longitudinal tearing in the posterior tibialis tendon in his right ankle," I might as well be a Peanuts character listening to an off-screen grownup. All I hear is "Wah, wah, wah wah, waaaaah." So I asked my esteemed colleague Stephania Bell to explain what all this means. Here's what she said:
"The tendon, which is fairly lengthy, runs behind the inside of the ankle and attaches to the navicular bone. Its function is so critical because it helps control position of the midfoot, which essentially controls the arch. You also use that muscle during push-off of the foot. As a right-handed thrower (and this is his right foot that is injured), the pain he has been experiencing as weight is transferred through the foot during his pitching motion has no doubt contributed to his less than ace-like performance in the starts since the initial injury. He has been heavily wrapped, but obviously is still struggling, and even the presence of a heavy wrap itself can alter an athlete's function as it limits foot motion."
As for the prognosis, Stephania says it all depends on how well the tendon heals while Peavy is in the solid cast. "The best case scenario is they see evidence of tissue healing when they re-examine him. He progresses to a walking boot (where he can also resume direct therapy), then a normal shoe, then resumes baseball activity gradually; that's the 8-12 weeks (i.e., maybe September). The worst case scenario is if the tendon does not repair itself and ends up requiring some sort of surgical intervention. The time frame would need to be re-evaluated at that point, but it would be clearly season-ending."
So, forget about any no-trade clause in Peavy's contract. The injury pretty much puts the kibosh on any deal right now, and White Sox management is probably breathing a huge sigh of relief. (Sure the injury took place the day after Peavy rejected the trade, while running the bases against the Cubs, but still Ozzie and company will spin this to their advantage, just you wait.)
In the meantime, Padres fans are getting a sneak peek at what life after Peavy will look like, and without the promise of any future prospects acquired in the fire sale. Josh Geer, called on to fill in for Peavy on Saturday, was more like a "deuce" than an "ace." He allowed seven runs on nine hits in only 5 2/3 innings of work. No starter on the staff has a winning record, and Chris Young is the closest to Peavy's 3.97 ERA at 4.76.
It can definitely get a lot worse, and quite frankly, I'm pretty sure it will.
• Roy Oswalt seems to be fine after dealing with a wrist injury that pushed his start back two days to Saturday. Oswalt threw seven innings against the Diamondbacks, allowing only one run. If anything, the Astros are more concerned with Carlos Lee, who needed to leave the game with cramping in his left leg, and is being listed as day-to-day.
• Manny Acta told the Washington Post that he "hasn't heard anything" about an impending firing, despite rampant rumors that he will get the axe on Monday. If the Nationals were interested in rallying behind their skipper, they've got a strange way of showing it. Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist blasted a three-run homer to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over Washington on Saturday.
• Jose Lopez went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs, but was the only Mariners' player who did anything against Jason Marquis and the Rockies. Marquis didn't get the win, as Manny Corpas pulled the old "blow the save, get the win" trick, but the starter did lower his ERA to 3.77 on the year. The Mariners' starter in the game was Brandon Morrow, who was on a pitch count of 60, and blew through those pitches quickly, walking four in three innings, though he allowed only one run.
• Paul Konerko went 2-for-4 and Gordon Beckham drove in two runs with a double as Manny Parra was completely ineffective for the Brewers against the White Sox. After allowing six earned runs in only 1 2/3 innings, Parra was optioned to Triple-A Nashville. In fact, Parra was demoted before the game even ended, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, to ensure that left-handed reliever Chris Narveson could have enough time to make it to the park for Sunday's game.
• Freddy Sanchez hit a grand slam to help give Zach Duke plenty of cushion against Detroit on Saturday. Duke is now 7-4 after holding the Tigers to three earned runs over eight innings. It's been feast or famine for Pittsburgh's offense this season. They've had 19 games where they've scored seven or more runs, winning them all, but have only scored 69 runs in their 33 losses, barely more than two a game.
• Delays can screw up a perfectly good pitcher's duel, as evidenced by what happened in Texas last night. Randy Wolf and Scott Feldman both threw five scoreless innings, but a one-hour, 41-minute delay due to a power outage sent both pitchers to an early shower. The only silver lining is that since both pitchers threw so few pitches, perhaps their next starts can be pushed up a day or two.
Torii Hunter, Angels
It's not often that Albert Pujols gets upstaged, but his two solo home runs weren't enough to claim our top hitter honors. Torii Hunter did Albert one better, hitting three solo home runs in consecutive at-bats to help the Angels to a 9-1 win over the Peavy-less Padres. Hunter is hitting .321 with 16 home runs and 49 RBIs on the season, a stat line that doesn't look too much different from Pujols' .329-22-57. Remind us again why Hunter was drafted about 100 picks after Pujols in most drafts
Jose Contreras, White Sox
Could he be this season's Francisco Liriano? So far it looks that way. After an 0-5 start to the season with an 8.19 ERA, Contreras has come back from a trip to the minor leagues with a vengeance. In his second start back, Contreras blanked the Brewers for eight innings, allowing only two hits and striking out eight. His ERA has already dropped nearly three points and he's definitely looking more the 2005 version of Jose Contreras (15-7) since his return.
Two Astros hitters reached major milestones on Saturday night in dramatic fashion. First, Miguel Tejada tied the game in the top of the sixth with an RBI single, the 2,000th hit of his career. He's only the 29th shortstop to get that many hits. Then, an out later, Lance Berkman gave the Astros the lead with his 300th career home run, only the seventh switch-hitter in major league history to accomplish the feat.
• Remember how we just mentioned the Cubs were shut out? Well, it was Anthony Swarzak who did most of the shutting out, with seven scoreless innings pitched. That wasn't enough though to escape being sent down to Triple-A Rochester by the Twins immediately following the game. With Michael Cuddyer (finger) and Denard Span (dizziness) missing in action, Minnesota needs a bat more than an arm, so they recalled Jose Morales, hitting .273 on the season in the minors.
• Jose Valverde is finally back in an Astros uniform, after missing nearly two months with a calf injury. He faced one batter, getting Eric Byrnes to foul out to end the eighth inning after the Diamondbacks had rallied to within two runs of the lead. LaTroy Hawkins was called on to pitch the ninth, but expect Valverde to get the save chances going forward.
• Jason Isringhausen might not pitch again for the Rays, if at all. The pitcher is headed to the disabled list after experiencing pain in his elbow after a wild pitch on Saturday. You know the pain had to have been bad since that pitch came with two outs in the ninth and two strikes on the hitter. Isringhausen had surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his elbow last September, so there's a lot of concern here. We'll see what the doctors say.
• Just a day after being recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Kyle Kendrick was returned to the minors. The team says it had nothing to do with Kendrick getting the loss against Boston on Friday, but simply the need for fresh arms after playing three extra-inning games in a row. Reliever Sergio Escalona was recalled to duty, and was promptly roughed up for two runs on three hits and two walks in his two innings of work on Saturday.
• Sad news from Seattle, as the day after returning to the lineup, catcher Rob Johnson needed to leave the team as he learned his mother-in-law had been killed in a car accident. Johnson was placed on the bereavement list. Pitcher Roy Corocoran was activated from the 15-day disabled list. Another roster move will be needed once Johnson is able to return to the team.
• And more tragedy, as Washington's Josh Willingham also was placed on the bereavement list Saturday after his younger brother was also killed in a car accident. Recent signing Corey Patterson was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse. Our thoughts go out to both the Willingham and Johnson families.
Stephania Bell: Originally that may have been his timeframe and he feels good but the team is wisely playing this cautiously. He has follow-up CT scans to check the healing process of the bone in his hand that was fractured (scaphoid). It can't be overemphasized how important it is for this to fully heal and not get re-injured. The screw they put in helped and reportedly the surgery went great, but now they want to ensure plenty of time before subjecting the hand to repetitive torque associated primarily with bat swing. So now it appears that it will be after the All-Star Break, but still no definitive timetable. This is not a bad sign at all, just the team being wise.
-- Full chat transcript
James Quintong:Got a few questions about Bruce today. I like the power, but obviously the average needs some help. I don't think he'll stay in the low .200s the rest of the way, but it might not be much better than the mid-.200s. As for being the next Adam Dunn, it's possible, although he needs to walk more if he's going to be like Dunn.
-- Full chat transcript
Monday's fantasy chat schedule:
Christopher Harris, 11 a.m. ET
Matthew Berry, 3 p.m. ET
• Could this be the end of Emilio Bonifacio's stay with the Marlins? Gaby Sanchez is now playing third base for Triple-A New Orleans, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with his bat: he hit his sixth home run of the season on Saturday, in a 2-for-4 game that raised his season average to. 325. Meanwhile, Bonifacio, who recently was dropped to ninth in the Marlins' lineup, was benched Saturday against the Blue Jays in lieu of Wes Helms. The writing is definitely on the wall.
• Chris Carpenter has been showing some cracks as of late with a 2.57 ERA in his past three starts after a perfect first four outings. Plus, his career numbers against the Tribe are not good: 2-2 with a 5.96 ERA. Cliff Lee on the other hand sports a 3.00 ERA and is undefeated against St. Louis.