Chris Coghlan’s rehab assignment at Double-A has been put on hold because of more knee problems, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest told Spencer that Coghlan’s “knee stiffened up a bit” and the Marlins “want to back him off and get it completely healthy.”
Coghlan has been out since June 17, with the disabled list stint nullifying an old fashioned demotion to Triple-A, and last week the Marlins indicated that the former Rookie of the Year would remain in the minors even once he’s healthy.
Unfortunately now that may be a while, as he’s slated to undergo further testing on an injury that dates back to last season when, as Spencer puts it, “Coghlan injured the knee when he smacked Wes Helms in the face with a shaving cream pie to celebrate a walk-off win.” Surgery followed in August and Coghlan hasn’t been right since.
Mike Cameron has taken over as Florida’s regular center fielder, but is just 4-for-24 (.167) through eight games after hitting .149 in 33 games for the Red Sox. He has, however, avoided any shaving cream pie-related injuries. So far.
The Yankees and Astros are set for Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, and neither team will hold back as they seek a World Series berth. The Astros are prepared to back starter Charlie Morton with any able-bodied pitcher in their ranks — including Justin Verlander, though A.J. Hinch said it would be a “dream scenario” to get anything more from his ace — while the Yankees are prepared to utilize all but a few of their arms. One pitcher you won’t see? Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who last took the hill for the Yankees during their Game 5 shutout on Wednesday.
Tanaka expended 103 pitches over seven scoreless innings in his last start, fending off the Astros with three hits, a walk and eight strikeouts. He hasn’t pitched on fewer than three days of rest all year, and even with a do-or-die scenario facing the Yankees on Saturday night, manager Joe Girardi doesn’t want to compromise his starter’s ability to stay rested and ready for the World Series.
Girardi will also play it safe with fellow right-hander Sonny Gray, who dominated in a five-inning performance in Game 4. All other pitchers should be available and ready to go, though the club is hoping for a lengthy outing from veteran starter CC Sabathia. Sabathia is no stranger to the postseason: over eight separate playoff runs, he touts one championship title and a collective 4.24 ERA in 123 innings. He held the Astros scoreless in his Game 3 start, blanking them over six innings on three hits, four walks and five strikeouts for an eventual 8-1 win.
Even without Tanaka or Gray likely to take the mound for Game 7, the Yankees will enter the series finale with history on their side. Per MLB.com, they have a 4-3 road record in Game 7s and are 6-7 in all 13 Game 7 finales to date. The Astros, on the other hand, dropped their first and only Game 7 clincher back in 2004, when the Cardinals capped the NLCS with a 5-2 win in St. Louis. The teams are scheduled to face off for the first-ever Game 7 at Minute Maid Park on Saturday at 8:00 PM ET.