The first-place Braves haven’t missed Paul Maholm much since he landed on the disabled list last month with a bruised left wrist, but he’s on track to rejoin the starting rotation soon.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that Maholm made it through a simulated game this afternoon with no issues. The next step will be a minor league rehab assignment, which could set him up to be activated as soon as next Thursday against the Cardinals.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he is still thinking over how he will handle Maholm’s return, with a six-man rotation among the possibilities. This could be a way to give Julio Teheran some extra rest down the stretch.
Maholm, 31, has a 4.41 ERA and 82/36 K/BB ratio in 118 1/3 innings through 20 starts this season. He has a 5.33 ERA in 17 starts since beginning the year with three consecutive scoreless outings.
The Diamondbacks placed outfielder Cody Ross on the 15-day disabled list today, one day after he dislocated his right hip while running to first base and had to be carted off the field.
The injury immediately looked quite serious and Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers confirmed on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM today that he will likely miss the rest of the season. While it’s a tough blow for second-place Arizona, they have quite a bit of outfield depth with Gerardo Parra, Adam Eaton, Gerardo Parra, and A.J. Pollock in-house. Martin Prado could see more playing time in left field once Eric Chavez comes off the disabled list.
Ross, who joined the Diamondbacks over the winter on a three-year, $26 million contract, is batting .278/.331/.413 with eight home runs and 38 RBI through 94 games this season. The 32-year-old was especially hot recently, hitting .350 with three homers and a .968 OPS since the All-Star break.
UPDATE: Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that Ross is likely to have surgery tomorrow. There’s no clear timetable on his return yet, but Gibson said he’s hoping to have him back for spring training, so it sounds like a return this year can be ruled out.
Nearly three months removed from right shoulder surgery, Roy Halladay is ready to return to game action.
According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said this afternoon that Halladay will begin a minor league rehab assignment Thursday with the team’s Gulf Coast League affiliate. He was given the go-ahead after making it through a simulated game Saturday and a bullpen session earlier today.
Halladay is slated to throw about 80-85 pitches on Thursday. Amaro indicated that he could require just two rehab starts, which would place his return in the final week of August.
“If everything continues to go in a straight line, he could be back after two (rehab) starts,” Amaro said. “But it depends on how he feels. You can’t crystal-ball it.”
Halladay posted an uncharacteristic 8.65 ERA over seven starts prior to surgery in May to have a bone spur removed from his right shoulder as well as a partially torn rotator cuff and frayed labrum repaired. While the Phillies will be playing out the string over the final five weeks of the season, it will present Halladay with an opportunity to showcase his health and effectiveness. The 36-year-old is due to hit free agency this offseason.
After hearing the outcry over a thrown banana, Alexander Poulides reached out to the San Jose Mercury News on Monday and said that he was the tosser and that it was a move made strictly in frustration with another poor performance from the Giants in a 10-2 loss to the Orioles.
Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones believed that the banana was meant for him and that it was a racially motivated act.
“I’m embarrassed and shocked by the outcome,” Poulides told the Mercury News. “In hindsight, I wish I didn’t do it and I apologize. I’m very sorry.”
The Giants apologized to Jones on Monday and were investigating the incident. They’ve yet to confirm that Poulides made the throw. Poulides said he grabbed the banana off a catering cart towards the end of the game as he was on his way out of the AT&T Park.
Add Mike Trout to the growing Get Tough crowd among major league ballplayers. He was on the Boomer and Carton show today and said:
“I think MLB is definitely moving in the right direction with getting these guys. For me personally, I think you should be out of the game if you get caught. It takes away from the guys that are working hard every day and doing it all-natural. Some people are just trying to find that extra edge.”
He’s not the first player to say such a thing. He may be the best to have said it. And it’s just further evidence that we’re going to see players be receptive to any league overtures about toughening up the PED penalties, possibly as soon as this winter.
As for how that ultimately goes? As we’ve noted several times around these parts, it’s one thing to say “let’s get tough.” It’s another thing altogether to put a plan in place that is fair and won’t lead to guys losing their careers or contracts over false positives, inadvertent ingestion of banned substances and the like. And if you do build safeguards against such things into the system, you may be altering the overall framework significantly, from one of zero tolerance and automatic suspensions to one in which every positive test leads to, in effect, a fully-litigated court case.
Which, sure, if that’s the system they want, that’s the system they can create. But I do think their answers about that would be very different if asked in a meeting in which actual plans were on the table vs. being asked in a talk radio context where the overall assumption is that everyone agrees at the outset and no one poses the tough questions and hypotheticals to the players.