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Back on May 6, 2006, the New York Mets’ Victor Zambrano struck out Atlanta’s Andruw Jones and then jogged into the dugout. This is noteworthy because Jones was only the first out of the second inning.
As it turned out, Zambrano had torn a tendon in his pitching elbow, ending his season and just about his career. And that’s the first thing I thought of when I saw Jake Peavy, with two outs in the second inning of a game on July 6, 2010, come up grimacing and pacing towards the White Sox dugout.
It doesn’t appear to be Zambrano-level serious, as the Sox are calling it a strained latissimus dorsi with an MRI scheduled today. Peavy’s making it sound more vague and troubling:
“It’s something up under my underarm. It goes down into my lat is where I have some swelling.’’ Peavy.
Either way, it’s just about certain he’ll land on the DL, and we should probably expect him to miss at least a month.
It’s also just about certain that Daniel Hudson will take his place, which is exactly the role the Sox counted on Hudson to serve. The only difference is that most people figured he’d be taking Freddy Garcia’s place in the back end of the rotation, and not trying to make up for the absence of No. 1 Staff Bulldog.
Hudson’s doing about as well as could be expected, going 11-4 with a 3.47 ERA over 93 1/3 innings at Charlotte, where he’s struck out 108 batters to just 31 walks. Better yet, he’s 9-1 with a 2.22 ERA since May 1.
Still, the question that popped up in my mind immediately upon seeing Peavy leave was, “Would Kenny Williams try to get Cliff Lee?” I highly doubt it, if only because the best package Williams could assemble — Hudson/Tyler Flowers/Gordon Beckham — probably could be outbid (never mind about the question on whether it’d be worth it). Yet it wouldn’t be the boldest move Williams has made, and with the Sox working so hard to get back into contention, Williams might feel the need to make up for a fallen ace.
But if Peavy’s only down for four to six weeks, I think Hudson can tread water well enough to allow Williams to focus on a bat first.
Tony Pena. What the hell.
It was just a couple days ago that I talked about Tony Pena’s maddeningly streaky nature, but Tuesday night was the third time this season where he was thrust into a dire situation in a winnable ballgame, only to throw three or more quality innings and help the Sox get the win.
Meanwhile, he didn’t strike out any of the 13 batters he retired. Maybe he is turning into D.J. Carrasco and we don’t even know it.
Speaking of “what the hell,” raise your hand if you foresaw a situation in which Brent Lillibridge takes Gordon Beckham’s playing time and the Sox are better off for it.
You, ma’am, are a liar.
Ozzie Guillen isn’t quite benching Beckham, but he’s riding the hot hand until it goes cold:
“He still is my second baseman,” Guillen said of Beckham. “But right now, I think the way Lillibridge is playing, I’m going to give him a shot. Remember, if Kenny [Williams] or Jerry [Reinsdorf] told me, ‘Here it is. That’s the development of my ballclub. This is the team for the future … ‘
“They tell me, ‘Here’s the team, we’d better win.’ Well, then I put the best guy I’m going to think is for that day the best chance to win for that day. And I think that [Lillibridge] swung the bat very, very well every time we put him there. I will take advantage of that. If he continues to swing the bat, we’ll we see what happens later. I worry about later, later. Right now I’ll worry about this club. [Lillibridge is] playing aggressive. We’ll see what happens.”
Lillibridge struck out twice against Jered Weaver before doubling off the left-field wall — he almost started pumping his fist, but it didn’t cost him a base since Dayan Viciedo only reached third — meaning that five of his eight hits have gone for extra bases.
Like everybody else, I’m skeptical that Lillibridge can keep this up. But if Omar Vizquel’s knee is OK (and he was good enough to take Viciedo’s place late in the game), I wouldn’t mind seeing Beckham demoted to Charlotte just before the All-Star break so he can get some extra game time in. Every time Beckham seems to be coming around, he starts pulling off the ball and uppercutting again.
There is one way Lillibridge makes Beckham look good, at least — he’s blown two relay tosses on potential double-play balls in three games.
Minor league roundup:
- Charlotte 10, Durham 4
- Jordan Danks homered twice, driving in four and striking out once.
- Stefan Gartrell was 3-for-4 with adouble, homer and four RBI.
- Brent Morel went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts.
- Tyler Flowers singled, doubled and struck out twice.
- Carlos Torres was effectively wild, striking out seven over six innings. He allowed three runs on two hits and five walks.
- Birmingham 3, Montgomery 2
- Brandon Hynick allowed two runs on six hits and three walks over six innings, striking out four.
- Justin Greene went 1-for-5 with two RBI and three strikeouts.
- Christian Marrero walked and hit a sac fly over five PAs.
- C.J. Retherford singled and struck out twice.
- Greeneville 10, Kannapolis 2
- Nick Ciolli was 2-for-4 with a strikeout.
- Brady Shoemaker was 1-for-4 with an RBI and a strikeout.
- Kyle Colligan singled and struck out over five trips to the plate.
- Bristol 4, Pulaski 2
- Jacob Petricka struck out six and walked four over four innings. He limited the damage to two runs on two hits.
- Screamin’ Kevin Moran pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with a strikeout.
- Tyler Saladino was 0-for-3 with a walk.
- Great Falls 7, Billings 6 (Game 1, 7 innings)
- Juan Silver singled, doubled, walked and drove in three.
- Ryan Lee was 3-for-3 with two walks and four runs scored.
- Great Falls vs. Billings (Game 2)