Chris Carpenter took a big step yesterday in his recovery from thoracic outlet syndrome, making his first minor-league rehab start at Double-A.
Carpenter threw 2.2 innings in his first game action since last year, striking out five and walking two while allowing three runs on six hits. In terms of numbers it wasn’t an impressive outing for Carpenter, but Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the 38-year-old right-hander was clocked as high as 95 miles per hour with his fastball.
Allen Vaughan, who was at the game reporting for MLB.com, had a slightly different velocity story, writing that “his fastball sat between 89 mph and 92 mph, and his cutter ranged from 86 to 88.”
Either way, Carpenter’s fastball averaged 90.5 miles per hour in 2012 and most importantly after yesterday’s start he seemed very optimistic about how he felt physically.
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.