Jose Contreras made his final minor-league rehab appearance this morning at Triple-A, throwing two scoreless innings, and Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that he’ll likely be activated from the disabled list tomorrow.
Contreras was filling in for Brad Lidge as the Phillies’ closer when an elbow injury shut him down in mid-April, but three weeks later he’ll return as a setup man thanks to Ryan Madson thriving in the ninth inning while he was out.
Madson is 9-for-9 converting saves with a 0.47 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 19 innings, finally showing that he’s capable of dominating in the ninth inning just like he has for years in the seventh and eighth innings.
Contreras seems likely to assume Madson’s old setup role, although if Madson has a rough patch manager Charlie Manuel probably won’t be hesitant to hand closing duties back to Contreras after initially picking him to do the job over Madson in the first place.
Mets starter Jon Niese left his start Tuesday night against the Cardinals due to left knee pain.
Niese walked two and gave up an RBI single before leaving with a trainer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. He was eventually charged with three earned runs. Robert Gsellman, just up from Las Vegas, took over, making his major league debut under unexpected circumstances.
Niese, who has not pitched well at all since coming over in a trade with the Pirates, is likely to be placed on the disabled list after the game or before tomorrow’s game.
Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.
Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.
But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.