One of the saddest moments of the season was Angels hitting coach Don Baylor fracturing his femur while catching Vladimir Guerrero’s ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day.
It was a gruesome injury and only now, nearly three months later, is Baylor ready to return to work. He was back in the Angels’ dugout as their full-time hitting coach last night and Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that “no restrictions were placed on Baylor.”
Well, except for one little thing:
They told me to stay out of fights–the doctor said don’t be charging anyone. I told him, “I can’t really promise you that.”
In his absence assistant hitting coach Dave Hansen took on the primary gig and the Angels are third among AL teams in runs scored and OPS. And the 64-year-old Baylor spent his time off text messaging with players, which he’d never really done before.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that starter Shelby Miller has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Miller will get a second opinion on his elbow on Tuesday, per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. Pitcher Silvino Bracho has been called up from Triple-A Reno to take Miller’s spot on the roster.
Miller, 26, left Sunday’s start with what was described at the time as forearm tightness. Through his first four starts, Miller is carrying a 4.09 ERA with a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 innings.
Bracho, 24, has pitched quite well in 6 2/3 innings of relief at Reno. He’s given up just one unearned run on four hits and a walk (intentional) with 12 strikeouts.
Archie Bradley figures to take Miller’s spot in the starting rotation as Bracho will work middle relief.
And John Lackey is livid.
The Brewers’ first baseman homered in each of his first two plate appearances against Reds starter Amir Garrett on Monday evening, helping his team to a 6-1 lead after two frames. The first was a solo blast in the first inning, and the second was a two-run shot to the opposite field in the second inning.
According to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, Thames has tied the Brewers’ record for home runs in April with 10. Carlos Lee also hit 10 homers in April 2006.
Seven of Thames’ 10 home runs have come against the Reds. Including his first two at-bats on Monday night, Thames is hitting .379/.474/.924 with 17 RBI along with the 10 dingers. Not too shabby from a guy the Brewers signed to a three-year, $16 million contract during the offseason.
Lackey and Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio both recently implied Thames is using performance-enhancing drugs, but Thames was tested immediately after last Monday’s game against the Cubs.