After nearly six weeks off, Denard Span has finally recovered from his concussion and has been cleared to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester on Sunday.
He’ll be joined there on the same day by teammate Jason Kubel, who suffered a sprained right foot on May 30. Kubel originally began a rehab assignment two weeks ago, but he experienced a setback and was put back on the shelf.
The plan is for Kubel to spend a few days at Rochester and rejoin the Twins next weekend. Span, though, will probably be on limited activity at first and could spend two weeks in the minors even if everything goes according to plan.
The return of both will give the Twins a tough call to make on Ben Revere. Revere, co-winner of AL Rookie of the Month honors with Jemile Weeks for June, has slumped of late and is down to .269/.307/.302 for the season. The Twins like the way he’s played center field, and one could argue they’d be better off with him playing regularly than with defensive liability Delmon Young in left field, but he might get shipped back to Triple-A 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.