On the disabled list with a quadriceps injury suffered while running the bases two weeks ago, Fausto Carmona threw a three-inning simulated game yesterday and declared himself “ready to go.”
He threw 50 pitches and is now on track to return from the disabled list Monday against the Twins, although as Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports Carmona will have to pass a few more agility tests over the weekend first.
Getting Carmona back healthy and effective is a big key for the Indians’ chances of hanging in contention down the stretch. He bounced back from a terrible 2009 season to throw 210 innings with a 3.77 ERA last year, making his first All-Star team, but followed that up by going 4-10 with a 5.78 ERA in 18 starts prior to being shut down with the quadriceps injury, including 1-7 with an 8.20 ERA in his last nine outings.
Healthy or not, Carmona is a huge question mark for the second half.
The Rockies fell 9-6 to the Orioles on Saturday, but the loss wasn’t without its bright spots. Case in point: Third baseman Nolan Arenado passed a significant career milestone on an Andrew Cashner fastball in the third inning, slugging the ball a projected 394 feet into the left field stands for his 200th career home run.
Arenado is the 34th active player to join the 200+ homer club and the first to do so since the Braves’ Freddie Freeman crossed that threshold on May 19. The three-run shot was the infielder’s 14th of the season and third since Friday, when he went deep twice against Orioles rookie John Means and reliever Shawn Armstrong. Following Saturday’s performance, he’s batting a robust .333/.377/.632 with 30 extra-base hits, 42 RBI, and a 1.009 OPS through 220 plate appearances.
He isn’t the only Rockies slugger making history, either. Arenado’s feat trailed that of Trevor Story, who clobbered an 0-2 pitch from Armstrong during the seventh inning of Friday’s 8-6 win. The two-run blast was his 100th home run in 448 career games, making him the fastest shortstop to reach the mark in MLB history.
The Rockies will vie for the series win as they round out the series on Sunday, with right-hander German Márquez scheduled to take the bump against fellow righty David Hess at 3:10 PM EDT.