Here is the latest 411 on injured closers.
David Aardsma, SEA
On Friday, Aardsma got good news from Dr. Lewis Yocum for his strained ligament and he won’t have surgery. Instead he will not pitch or throw for 1 month and the go on a detailed throwing program. If, and I mean IF he comes back this year it won’t till mid-August at best. ”I’m very optimistic that I’ll be pitching again this year,” Aardsma said. When your pitcher says he’s “optimistic”, it’s not good.
Brad Lidge, PHI
Not much movement with Lidge’s injury. According to David Murphy of the Philadelphia Inquirer , Lidge is hoping to throw off a mound next week, his first work off a mound since he strained his rotator cuff in late-March. Lidge’s target return has been sometime in June. If he ends up hitting that target, the Phillies will have to decide whether it is worth keeping a guy like Vance Worley in the bullpen, or if he is better off starting at Triple-A. Amaro said a couple weeks ago he thought it was best that Worley start at Triple-A. And he still sounded like he was leaning toward that mindset yesterday. But he also admitted that Worley has pitched well enough to prompt a re-evaluation of his future.
I personally don’t see any chance of Lidge returning before the all-star break, but we will see. Either way, the Phillies will have to decide who will close, Contreras, Madson, or Lidge.
Jose Contreras, PHI
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jose Contreras is expected to make his first rehab outing at some point next week, although the Phillies do not know exactly when. It stands to reason that he could be back with the team by the end of their upcoming eight-game home stand.
That is great news for Contreras owners, but the question remains, will he close once he returns?
Brandon Lyon, HOU
There has been no updates or changes with Lyon. He is still out with a Right biceps tendinitis & rotator tear. He has not begun any type of rehab. Is it worth noting that the Astros called up strikeout machine Fernando Rodriguez. He’s been dominant against lefties in AAA and should see plenty of work in the Astros bullpen. IN AAA he had a 12.4 K/9, but walks too many batters. If he can get his pitches under control he may steal a save now in then.
Jonathan Broxton, LAD
According to the LA Times, Jonathan Broxton has been playing catch for the last two days to strengthen his shoulder. Broxton is less than two weeks removed from his placement on the disabled list. Originally, he was supposed to refrain from throwing for three weeks. Broxton said the pain in his elbow is gone.
This is great news for Broxton, who was expected to return in 6 weeks, but it could be closer to the 4-5 week mark now.
Andrew Bailey, OAK
The Oakland Tribune reported that Bailey (strained forearm) is throwing in a second extended spring training game Tuesday in Phoenix rather than head out on a minor league rehab assignment. Presumably, Bailey will report to Single-A Stockton or Triple-A Sacramento as a next step.
At this point nobody really knows when Bailey will comeback. Hopefully we will know more by next Wednesday as to a solid date for his rehab stint and eventual return.