I had two reactions to the injury suffered by Jason Heyward when he was hit by a Jon Niese pitch in the jaw last week. The first was "ow." The second? This:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Niese trying to throw a pitch to Heyward & broke his jaw, but yeah, cool for Dempster to throw at ARod, he probably won't miss his spot...</p>— Daniel Kelley (@danieltkelley) <a href="https://twitter.com/danieltkelley/statuses/370387598067240960">August 22, 2013</a></blockquote>
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Look, I'm no Alex Rodriguez homer. I think the dude at his peak was ridiculously fun to watch, but I think it's pretty clear he's a scumbag overall. But I know lots of scumbags in my day-to-day life; I don't get to launch hard projectiles at their bodies at 90 mph, and not only because I'm not sure I've ever thrown a ball faster than 70.
The idea that just because it's a baseball field, that makes it okay for Ryan Dempster - or any pitcher - to throw a fastball at A-Rod - or any batter - is moronic. If you can guarantee that you will only hit a guy in his butt, his lower back, whatever, then okay, it's not the worst thing in the world, though it still isn't exactly charming. But if you can put the ball exactly where you want to on every pitch, then you should be throwing perfect-or-close games every time out. Start doing that, and we'll talk. If you ever "miss your spot" on a pitch, then the hell with you, you don't get to throw a deadly weapon at a person.
Anyway, Heyward's jaw was broken by Niece's pitch. He'll miss most - maybe all - of the rest of the regular season. If you aren't in a keeper league, and you have space, go ahead and keep him (or pick him up when someone drops him, as I did in one league), but don't do so expecting a lot of September help.
In other injuries last week:
Brandon Beachy, ATL
The Braves traded for Freddy Garcia Saturday. Freddy. Freaking. Garcia. If that isn't an indictment of Beachy's long-term outlook, I don't know what would be. Beachy was scratched from his Sunday start after his elbow "didn't feel right" in his previous start. He's on the 15-day DL now and scheduled to see (dun dun dun!) Dr. James Andrews, so, you know, fingers crossed, sign of the cross, all sorts of hopeful gestures. I dropped Beachy in the leagues I owned him. It is sad.
Jose Bautista, TOR
Bautista hit the 15-day DL Tuesday with what is being called a bone bruise in his left hip. It apparently happened a couple weeks ago, Bautista said. He hit .125/.282/.219 from August 11 to 20, coming off of a .441/.525/.706 stretch the ten days before. I don't know exactly when the injury happened, and those are heinously small samples either way, but an absolutely surface-only look seems to indicate it was dragging him down. It sounds like the Blue Jays will rest Bautista for a couple weeks and re-evaluate. You kind of have to hold on to him, but unfortunately it's tough to expect a whole lot from an ailing hitter on an awful team in September.
Matt Cain, SFG
Cain hit the DL (his first trip of his career) Friday after being hit on the arm by a Gaby Sanchez line drive. After a hideous start to his season, and an ERA that sat at 5.45 after his June 1 start, Cain has turned his year around somewhat, to the tune of a 3.51 ERA. His turnaround, combined with his track record, factored into my high ranking of Cain in the midseason starting pitcher rankings, explained on the lost podcast, not that there's proof of that. No, it's not vintage Cain by any means, but he was showing improvement, which means this absence hurts.
Matt Moore, TBR
Moore, out since July 28 with left elbow discomfort, appears ready to return to the Rays after throwing a simulated game Saturday. That is great news, especially considering "left elbow discomfort" in a 24-year-old pitcher usually means waiting for a 26-year-old pitcher someday. It sounds like Moore will start against the Angels this week and, while I usually opt for waiting one start off the DL before using my injured pitchers, you still have to like the return.
Rafael Betancourt, COL
Betancourt left Tuesday's game with an apparently serious elbow injury. Early reports are that he may well have torn elbow ligaments, the type of injury that would almost certainly end Betancourt's career, considering he is 38 years old. You hate to see it end for anyone like that, but in the coldest terms possible, Betancourt is of no use in fantasy going forward. If Rex Brothers is somehow still available in your league, jump on him (which I told you to do in May, but okay, whatever, no one listens to me). He's still pitching crazy well, and he'll have the closer role.
Joe Mauer, MIN
Mauer hit the 7-day DL Tuesday with concussion-like symptoms, after several foul tips off the mask in Monday's game and reported dizziness. According to Twins assistant GM Rob Antony, Mauer has been told to stay home and rest until Tuesday, when he will be re-evaluated. That means Mauer won't be returning at his first eligible date. With concussions, there is literally no way to predict progression, so Mauer's owners will have to sit tight and start waiver-wire guys like Ryan Doumit or A.J. Ellis or Jarrod Saltalamacchia for however long Mauer is out. Good luck.
J.J. Putz, ARI
Saying "J.J. Putz is hurt" is like saying "water is wet." Or, you know, like saying "Carlos Quentin is hurt." (By the way, Carlos Quentin is also hurt.) Anyway, Putz hit the DL for the second time this season, this time with a dislocated pinkie finger on his right hand. Putz seems confident that he'll miss only the minimum, and it's not like anyone else in the Arizona bullpen is likely to seize the job, so sit tight.
Follow me on Twitter @danieltkelley
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