Brad Lidge had been pitching in extended spring training down in Clearwater, but he’s on his way back to Philly now due to a setback: elbow soreness.
You’ll recall that the reason he’s on the DL in the first place is a strain of his rotator cuff in his right shoulder, so this is a new problem. Not a terribly worrisome one to the Phillies yet, however, because Charlie Manuel and Ruben Amaro are saying that it’s a common thing. Maybe an overcompensation injury? They’re going to check him out today, however, to see what’s what.
While that may mean that it’s a while before Lidge is back in action, his role has been filled quite nicely by Ryan Madson, who is 12-for-12 with a 0.64 ERA in save situations. Madson will remain the closer no matter what happens with Lidge, so the implication here is late season bullpen depth more than anything.
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.