Rich Harden threw 40 pitches in a simulated game yesterday and afterward manager Bob Melvin told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that the oft-injured right-hander “looks terrific to me.”
In fairness to Melvin, he’s new in Oakland and hasn’t been through the usual routine with Harden and his never-ending injuries.
Slusser reports that Harden is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment for his current shoulder problems Monday at Triple-A. Previously there was some thought given to moving him to the bullpen in an effort to keep him healthy for once, but general manager Billy Beane told Slusser that Harden will be used as a starter thanks to injuries wrecking the A’s rotation.
He hasn’t pitched in the majors since last September and had a 5.58 ERA with a terrible 75/62 K/BB ratio in 92 innings for the Rangers last season.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Cardinals outfielder Marcell Ozuna was scratched from Wednesday afternoon’s starting lineup because he overslept and missed the scheduled report time to the ballpark. Ozuna appeared in the on-deck circle late in the game but didn’t get a chance to pinch-hit as the Cardinals lost 5-2 to the Royals in 10 innings. The lowly Royals took two of three in the series.
The Cardinals acquired Ozuna from the Marlins back in December. He hasn’t hit much for the Cardinals thus far, batting .253/.295/.331 with three home runs and 22 RBI in 190 plate appearances. He was an All-Star last year, finishing with a .312 average and a .924 OPS along with 37 homers and 124 RBI.
It’s amusing reading some of the replies to Goold’s tweet. More than a handful of Cardinals fans are upset with Ozuna for oversleeping. Who among us has not overslept for school or work? Of course, a lot of the antipathy has to do with Ozuna’s lack of hitting. If he had a .900 OPS, it would be a lot easier for fans to forgive him.