J.A. Happ was released from the hospital yesterday after he was hit in the head by a line drive during Tuesday’s start against the Rays. While the most important thing is that he’s going to be OK, the Blue Jays are going to have to get by without him for a little while.
According to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com, Happ is expected to be sidelined for 4-6 weeks. The 30-year-old left-hander suffered a head contusion and a small fracture behind his left ear as a result of the comebacker, but he is also dealing with a sprained right knee.
The current plan calls for Happ to be idle for about one week before he starts throwing off flat ground. If all goes according to plan, he could be back in Toronto’s rotation in the early part of June. Pretty remarkable given the scary nature of Tuesday’s incident.
Happ has a 4.91 ERA and 26/19 K/BB ratio in 33 innings over seven starts this season. He owns a 4.23 ERA in the majors.
After the Cubs won the World Series last month — their first since 1908 — owner Tom Ricketts said he plans to reach out to Steve Bartman to provide “closure.”
Bartman was the fan who interfered with left fielder Moises Alou’s attempt to catch a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins. Alou was particularly irate about Bartman’s presence and it led to the fan becoming persona non grata in Chicago. In the time since, even before the Cubs won the World Series, the club has tried to make amends but Bartman has rejected offers to speak publicly and he has also rejected invitations to Wrigley Field.
Alou pledged to make time to attend any ceremony the Cubs stage for Bartman, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago-Sun Times reports.
Alou said, “Why not? I’d like to meet Bartman.” He continued, “I have nothing against the guy. I said it right after the game. I had the ball, and I got upset, but at the same time it’s not that kid’s fault. Everybody goes to the ballpark, and they bring a glove. Every wants to catch a fly ball.” However, He still maintains that he would have caught the ball if he had not been impeded.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.