The Braves have dug themselves a big enough hole already, so they certainly didn’t need to add to the difficulty. But they did anyway. Inadvertently, of course, but possibly disastrously: Martin Prado hurt his hip while swinging at a pitch in the fifth. It’s been diagnosed as a hip pointer, and he “may be out awhile,” according to Bobby Cox.
Of course, the Braves don’t have “awhile.” They have five games left and they’re tied in the loss column with the Padres for the wild card. Their replacement for Prado will be Brooks Conrad. You might remember Conrad hitting big, late-inning pinch-hit home runs against the Reds and Astros earlier this season. Which were great. But a team that was already depending on guys like Omar Infante (i.e. nice players who are being stretched beyond their capabilities), they don’t need to be depending on even more of them.
If the Braves do make the playoffs, it will be after spending a big portion of the season with a lineup consisting of a ton of guys who would be bench players on most playoff teams and with a rotation with at least two pitchers who likely would have ended on AAA rosters for most clubs.
Three players were suspended on Monday after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. They are: Indians pitcher Steve Delabar, Mariners pitcher Jonathan Aro, and free agent pitcher Jeffry Hernandez. Aro got a 50-game suspension while the other two were handed 80-game suspensions.
Delabar, 33, hasn’t pitched yet this season after signing a minor league deal with the Indians back in January. He spent last year with the Reds as well as the Hiroshima Carp in the Japan Central League. The right-hander has struggled over the last few seasons.
Aro, 26, also hasn’t appeared yet this season in the minors. He’s worked mostly in relief. The right-hander appeared briefly in the majors with the Mariners last season and logged 10 1/3 innings in the show with the Red Sox in 2015. Aro went to the Mariners along with Wade Miley in the trade that brought the Red Sox Carson Smith and Roenis Elias.
Hernandez, 22, is a free agent and his suspension will be effective if and when he signs with a new team.
The Phillies announced on Monday that starter Aaron Nola has been placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to April 21, with a lower back strain.
Nola, 23, compiled a 4.50 ERA with a 15/6 K/BB ratio over his first three starts spanning 16 innings. He felt some back soreness during his last start on Thursday against the Mets, and it lingered when he had a side session on Sunday.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury hears that the Phillies are likely to call up Nick Pivetta from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Nola’s place in the rotation. Nola was scheduled to start on Wednesday.
Pivetta, 24, was acquired from the Nationals in the Jonathan Papelbon trade in July 2015. At Triple-A so far, Pivetta has given up only two earned runs on 12 hits and two walks with 24 strikeouts in 19 innings.