Here are some injury updates from the last few days, including some Under The Knife information from Baseball Prospectus' Will Carroll:
Phillies closer Brad Lidge is getting closer to returning to the Phillies bullpen after needing just 11 pitches in his one inning of work at Single A Clearwater. He should make a few appearances at AA Reading or AAA Lehigh Valley and be back with the big club in a few weeks.
Phillies starter J.A. Happ may miss his next start with forearm tightness. Forearm tightness is the first sign of elbow problems, isn't it? First it was Joe Blanton and Brad Lidge, now Happ? Could the Phillies make a hard push for Pedro Martinez in the next week or so? Kyle Kendrick just won't get it done as a 5th starter.
Astros first baseman appears to be ahead os schedule as he is on a rehab assignment with AAA Round Rock. Here is what the Round Rock website had to say about Berkman after last night's game:
Berkman started the night playing his normal position at first base and was happy with the way his knee responded after playing the first five innings, while recording three at-bats and collecting an RBI sacrifice fly in the Express' 5-4 loss to the New Orleans Zephyrs.
Astros assistant general manager Ricky Bennett, who is in town for the weekend, was also thrilled about the imminent arrival of the team's slugger.
"I was glad to see that he came out of tonight's game healthy and had a couple of good swings," Bennett said. "It didn't seem like he was favoring (his knee) at all; we talked to the training staff (following the game) and there is no swelling and he feels fine."
If all goes according to plan, Berkman could return to the Astros on Tuesday as they begin a home stand with the Florida Marlins.
I wonder if he is returning too soon, but fantasy owners in weekly leagues should get him in their lineups.
Here is Will Carroll's update on Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts:
Brian Roberts (abdominal strain/herniated disc, ERD 5/14)
Yes, what I was worried about with Roberts went beyond that worry and all the way to the worst-case scenario. By that, I mean I was worried that the abdominal strain might be related to his previous herniated disc. No, it actually was an exacerbation. Tighten your abdominals and you'll feel yourself "sit up" as your posture gets better. The abdominals and spinal erectors work together, along with the skeleton to keep us upright and they need to be in balance. Roberts obviously has weaknesses there, and the two concurrent injuries are really acting against each other. Not only is there the pain-spasm cycle, but there are really two associated ones. The Orioles are acknowledging that Roberts will be out longer than the minimum; he'll be out until mid-May, with a real chance that this lingers on.