This certainly hasn’t been Tim Stauffer’s year. Four days after making his season debut against the Nationals, the right-hander has gone right back on the disabled list due to a sprained right elbow.
Stauffer’s original injury that kept him out the first five weeks of the season was termed a right elbow strain. After a rehab assignment, he returned to give up four runs — three earned — in five innings versus Washington on Monday.
It’s yet to be announced who is pitching in his place Saturday. Left-hander Eric Stults, who was claimed off waivers from the White Sox yesterday, is one possibility.
Stauffer, the fourth overall pick in the 2003 draft, was a nice story for the Padres in 2010, when he amassed a 1.85 ERA in seven starts and 25 relief appearances, and he remained pretty good as a full-time starter last year, going 9-12 with a 3.73 ERA. Still, he’s never been able to escape the injury bug that’s held him back from the moment he was drafted. Now it looks like 2012 could go down as another lost year for him.
The Royals are a game and a half out of the crazy AL Wild Card race — six games back of the Indians in the division — so they don’t have a huge margin for error. They got some bad news last night, though, that could have a major impact on their playoff hopes: closer Kelvin Herrera experienced tightness in his right forearm in the ninth inning of last night’s win, forcing him out of the game.
Herrera walked the bases loaded, then went to a 2-0 count on the next batter before leaving the game. That last pitch was a fastball that clocked in at 91 m.p.h., which is NOT a typical Kelvin Herrera fastball. Herrera didn’t talk after the game but his teammate Sal Perez said that Herrera told him “I’m tight. I don’t feel my forearm.”
Reporters left the clubhouse before an official diagnosis or prognosis could be delivered, so expect an update some time today. If Herrera is out the closer duties could fall to Scott Alexander or Brandon Maurer.
Albert Pujols had a big night last night, driving in four runs as the Angels beat the Rangers 10-1. Three of those runs came on a three-run homer. That was the 610th home run of Pujols’ career, snapping a tie for eighth on the all-time list with Sammy Sosa. It also made him baseball’s all-time leader for home runs by a player born outside the U.S.
Pujols was aware of the accomplishment, of course, and noted how honored he was after the game:
”It’s pretty special. Obviously, all the great players from the Dominican Republic, Latin America, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, they’ve gone through the big leagues and to be able to accomplish something like this is very humbling.”
After Sosa, who is from the Dominican Republic, comes Rafael Palmeiro (569); Manny Ramirez (555); David Ortiz (541); Carlos Delgado (473); Jose Canseco (462); Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera (459).