Aaron Harang threw a bullpen session yesterday as he recovers from a foot injury, but manager Bud Black told Dan Hayes of the North County Times that the right-hander is unlikely to rejoin the Padres’ rotation before the All-Star break.
Harang provided a nice return on the Padres’ modest $4 million offseason investment by throwing 80 innings with a 3.71 ERA and 55/25 K/BB ratio before being placed on the disabled list three weeks ago, posting a 7-2 record after going 18-38 in his final three seasons with the Reds.
Harang told Hayes that he’s “itching to get back” but also understands why the Padres would play it safe in an effort to get him at full strength for the second half, when they may look to trade him to a contender in need of some short-term rotation help. He’s under contract for $3.5 million year, with a $5 million option or $500,000 buyout for 2012.
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.