Shaun Marcum has exceeded expectations in his return from Tommy John surgery, going 7-4 with a 3.44 ERA and 88/27 K/BB ratio in 107 innings after missing all of last season, but unfortunately the Blue Jays placed him on the disabled list today with more elbow problems.
The good news is that general manager Alex Anthopoulos downplayed the seriousness of the injury, saying Marcum likely could have avoided the DL and missed just one start if the Blue Jays weren’t interested in being “overly cautious”:
It’s not really a concern for us. Shaun would be the first guy to tell you that he’s fine. He said he went through this last year where he stopped throwing for a week and then he was right back at it and he was fine. Like I told Shaun, and I told him this in spring training, too, I said, “Look, we’re going to be overly cautious with you. You know how important you are and you know how good you are.” We expect to have him back right after the break.
Marcum leads the league with 17 starts and is on pace for nearly 220 innings, so even if his elbow hadn’t started barking again giving him some time off probably would have been a good idea anyway.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.