Cole Hamels has shoulder inflammation, will miss a start

38 Comments

To my thinking, the only thing that can stop the juggernaut that is the Philadelphia Phillies are injuries.  And on that score there is some not-awful-but-not-good news coming out of the Phillies clubhouse this afternoon:

Cole Hamels, who has been suffering from dead arm, had a “precautionary” MRI yesterday, and the results, according to Matt Gleb, are that he has inflammation in his shoulder.  He’ll be skipped once in the rotation and then reassessed. Given that he’s not going to play for a bit, I guess that makes Ryan Howard the sixth best player on the Phillies.

Meanwhile, Placido Polanco, who hasn’t played in ten days, is still out of the lineup, suffering from a sports hernia. The news on him is a bit more troubling.  If he needs surgery, Ruben Amaro says, he’s gone for the year.  Surgery or not, at some point, the Phillies have to consider disabling him because even a team that strong can’t go with a 24-man roster forever.

Of course, given their eight and a half game cushion in the division and their 11-game cushion for a playoff spot, they can afford to fart around with that kind of thing longer than most.

Mark Melancon is considering surgery

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Giants’ right-hander Mark Melancon is considering surgery for an undisclosed injury, the pitcher told reporters prior to Friday’s game against the Phillies. Melancon did not divulge the exact location of the injury, but revealed that it had been plaguing him off and on since the 2012 season and was a separate issue from the right pronator strain that kept him sidelined through much of July and August. Giants’ head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner called the injury day-to-day and has not revealed a timetable for the right-hander’s return, should surgery become necessary.

Melancon, 32, has struggled to replicate the sparkling pitching line he produced with the Pirates and Nationals in 2016. He’s toting a 3.80 ERA through 25 appearances with San Francisco, flanked by a 1.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 23 2/3 innings. His season has been significantly shortened after multiple trips to the disabled list for a right forearm strain, and while he looked to be in line to resume his closing duties this week, the Giants will likely play it safe with the veteran righty to keep him from compromising his health in 2018.

Although the injury doesn’t appear to be severe in nature, it’s clearly intensified over the last few months. Per MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Melancon said he’s “had discomfort every day this season,” though he hopes to continue pitching through the remainder of 2017. The Giants aren’t on the verge of contending by any stretch of the imagination, but a solid end to the 2017 season could help Melancon make some headway as he looks to reclaim his status as the team’s closer next spring.

Watch: Javier Baez snares a 106-MPH ground ball

Getty Images
6 Comments

What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.

Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.