Daily Dose: Ibanez blogged down by injury

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Call it the Jerod Morris hex
or merely a coincidence, but Raul Ibanez was put on the disabled list
Thursday for the first time since 2004. Ibanez has been in a funk since
taking Morris to task last week over a blog entry,
going 5-for-27 (.185) with 11 strikeouts while receiving more media
attention than ever before. After seeing him struggle to run out
grounders, the Phillies shut him down for a couple weeks.

John Mayberry Jr. is back for his second stint in the majors after
being called up from Triple-A to replace Ibanez and went 2-for-5 with a
homer while throwing out a runner at the plate from right field
Thursday. He stands 6-foot-6 and has lots of power with 24 homers and
75 total extra-base hits in 166 games at Triple-A, but Mayberry also
hit just .261 with a lowly .323 OBP and 141/51 K/BB ratio there.

While the Phillies give the 25-year-old Mayberry a shot at regular
playing time for the rest of the month, here are some other notes from
around baseball …

* Jim Leyland avoided calling it a benching, but did say Thursday
that he’s going to get Magglio Ordonez “away from it … indefinitely”
amid a 38-game homerless streak. Ordonez is batting just .273/.347/.343
with two homers and 22 RBIs in 57 games overall after hitting
.323/.383/.510 in four previous seasons in Detroit, but the problem is
that fill-in Ryan Raburn’s career .251/.310/.411 line is just as bad.

* Frank Francisco tossed a perfect inning in a rehab appearance
Thursday night at Double-A, setting him up to return from the disabled
list Friday. Francisco has been out for over two weeks with shoulder
tendinitis, so the Rangers have talked about slowly easing him back
into the closer role. That means C.J. Wilson could get another save
chance or two before dropping back down into a setup role.

* Brandon Webb was scheduled to take the next step on his road back
from right shoulder soreness with a mound session Friday, but instead
has been shut down indefinitely after suffering a setback. He felt pain
after throwing from flat ground earlier this week and seems highly
unlikely to make it back by the All-Star break as previously hoped.

* Chien-Ming Wang was shaky while lasting five innings in his
Wednesday outing and is now 0-5 with a 12.65 ERA, but manager Joe
Girardi announced Thursday that he’ll remain in the Yankees’ rotation.
Girardi suggested that Wang “threw the ball pretty well” while allowing
three runs Wednesday, so Phil Hughes will remain in the bullpen where
he’s given up two runs while striking out 10 in 7.2 innings.

AL Quick Hits: Gavin Floyd turned in another strong start
Thursday, allowing one run in seven innings before the bullpen coughed
up his win … After watching him go 1-4 with a 7.49 ERA in seven starts
the Tigers returned Dontrelle Willis to the disabled list Thursday with
the same “anxiety disorder” … Franklin Gutierrez had a pair of homers
Thursday after coming into the game with four long balls in 189 at-bats
… Brandon Morrow made his second start Thursday, giving up two runs
with six strikeouts and just one walk in four innings … Jeremy Accardo
picked up a save Thursday in his first appearance since last May, but
don’t expect him to be the Blue Jays’ primary closer … Vince Mazzaro
hurled his fourth Quality Start in as many tries Thursday … Brett
Gardner left Thursday’s game with a bloody face after running into the
outfield wall chasing a fly ball … Derek Jeter’s ankle is healthy
enough for him to ground out as a pinch-hitter Thursday.

NL Quick Hits: Brad Lidge (knee) threw a bullpen session
Thursday and is set to begin a rehab assignment at Double-A … Craig
Stammen and four relievers shut out the Yankees on Thursday as the
Nationals won a series in New York … Joel Pineiro fell to 1-8 in his
last nine starts despite allowing one earned run in seven innings
Thursday and was helped off the field after cramping up … Khalil Greene
returned from the disabled list Thursday and whiffed off the bench …
Jonathan Broxton (toe) was unavailable again Thursday after getting a
cortisone shot, so Ramon Troncoso picked up a save … Tommy Hanson
tossed six shutout innings Thursday for his second victory … Livan
Hernandez gave up two runs in seven innings Thursday, but missed a win
when Francisco Rodriguez blew his second save … Kevin Youkilis’ solo
homer Thursday was the only hit allowed by Ricky Nolasco in a
rain-shortened complete-game win.

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Astros 16, Twins 8: Most of the time, if you take an 8-2 lead into the eighth inning, you’re gonna win that game. But just most of the time. Some of the time your bullpen is gonna give up 14 runs in the final two innings like Minnesota’s did here. Eleven of those runs came in the eighth, thanks to eight hits, two walks, a hit batter and a balk. Two of those eighth inning hits were from Carlos Beltran who singled and later hit a three-run homer. The Twins played a 15-inning game on Sunday so that pen was taxed already, but this was kinda ridiculous. Houston has won five in a row and has the best record in baseball.

Nationals 3, Giants 0: Fisticuffsmanship! As you’ve seen by now, Bryce Harper charged the mound and tussled with Giants reliever Hunter Strickland after getting hit by a pitch in the eighth inning and both were ejected. What you may not have seen is just how “nah, not my problem” Buster Posey and Strickland’s teammates were about it all when Harper went after their man:

After the game Posey said he wasn’t going to get into the middle of a bunch of big guys tumbling around, but you have to figure that part of it was disapproval of Strickland plunking Harper over what seems to be a three-year old grudge over Harper hitting a couple of homers off of him him in the playoffs. Which is about as immature as it gets. A close second on the immaturity scale: Strickland having to be dragged off the field by his teammates like he was:

You have to figure that a lot of Giants vets are not too pleased with Hunter Strickland this morning.

White Sox 5, Red Sox 4: Melky Cabrera hit a three-run homer and knocked in a fourth run — the go-ahead run — with an infield single in the seventh. For Boston, David Price made his season debut and was meh, allowing three runs in five innings. Dustin Pedroia sprained his wrist and is heading back to Boston for tests. In other news, while I am aware that David Price and Dustin Pedroia are big stars and the events surrounding them in this game is news, it is rather odd to read a game story about a White Sox win in which a White Sox player drives in four runs and not have a single mention of the White Sox until the seventh paragraph. 

Dodgers 5, Cardinals 1: Rich Hill made his second straight start against the Cardinals. This one went better than the last one, in which he gave up five runs in four innings. Here he allowed only one run on two hits over five. He’s still not super efficient as he’s trying to adjust his mechanics to accommodate his blister issues, but he was effective. In other news, I was watching this one with my wife. Chase Utley comes to the plate and we talk about him some. I say something to the effect of “he’s been heating up lately, but I think he’s kind of toast at this point.” Literally four seconds after I finish the thought Utley hit a homer. Cody Bellinger and Logan Forsythe homered too, but their timing wasn’t as good.

Mariners 6, Rockies 5: It’s not often that you use seven pitchers in a game and still win it, but that’s what Seattle did with rookie Sam Gaviglio and six of his friends getting it done, more or less. They had help from Danny Valencia, who had three hits and Kyle Seager who knocked in two with a double.

Orioles 3, Yankees 2: The O’s snap a seven-game slide thanks to seven strong innings from Dylan Bundy and a couple of runs knocked in by Jonathan Schoop.

Pirates 4, Diamondbacks 3Chris Iannetta of the Dbacks tied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-run homer to left off Pirates closer Tony Watson, but then Andrew McCutchen led off the bottom of the ninth with a walkoff homer. From deflating to elating in the space of mere minutes.

Indians 5, Athletics 3: Carlos Carrasco took a shutout into the seventh and ended up allowing two runs while striking out seven over seven. The Tribe got homers from Austin Jackson, Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnacion. Encarnacion is hitting .348 and has three homers in the past week, so people freaking out about that signing being a bust can relax some.

Mets 4, Brewers 2: Robert Gsellman allowed two runs — only one earned — over seven innings. He also drove in one via a sac fly in the fifth and another by drawing a walk with the bases loaded in the sixth. That walk was issued by Milwaukee reliever Rob Scahill, who just prior hit a guy to load the bases. The run from the walk wasn’t charged to Scahill, who wasn’t the guy who put the guy who scored on base, but boy howdy that’s some less-than-stellar relief work.

Padres 5, Cubs 2: Hunter Renfroe hit a grand slam that helped send the Cubs to their fourth straight loss. Weird stat: the Cubs had only three hits but they drew 10 walks and had two batters hit by pitches. Only scoring two runs with fifteen base runners to work with is bad, but so is a team allowing 15 bases runners in that fashion. Even in victory the Padres make you smack your head.

Tigers 10, Royals 7: The Tigers’ late rally wasn’t as impressive as Houston’s, but they were down 7-6 in the eighth and put up a four-spot. Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run single that inning and reached base four times. One of the times came when he walked with the bases loaded in a six-run Detroit fifth inning.

Blue Jays 17, Reds 2: This was a bloodbath. Troy Tulowitzki hit a grand slam, Justin Smoak hit a three-run homer and Russell Martin added a two-run shot. Toronto had 23 hits. Their franchise record for hits in a game is 25, which came against Texas back in 1999.

Marlins 4, Phillies 1: Edinson Volquez got his first win of the season after seven losses, allowing one run and three hits in six innings. Derek Dietrich hit a two-run homer and Dee Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton each drove in a run.

Rays 10, Rangers 8Tim Beckham hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the Rays’ five-run seventh inning. Colby Rasmus hit a two-run double in that same frame. Steven Souza had four hits and scored four times.

Braves 6, Angels 3Matt Adams and Danny Santana each had two-run doubles during Atlanta’s six-run third inning. The Angels were probably catatonic anyway, as they learned before the game yesterday that they’re going to be without Mike Trout for an extended period. Dead Team Walking.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.