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Another player returns from the disabled list on Tuesday! According to the Atlanta Braves' website, Tommy Hanson is expected to start Tuesday's game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Hanson went on the DL with tendinitis in his throwing shoulder but has commented on how good his arm has been feeling the past few days. It appears the rest has helped; now the key will be to see how he feels over the next few major league outings. The St. Louis Cardinals are also getting a key player back Tuesday night. Third baseman David Freese, out nearly two months following surgery to repair a broken bone in his left hand after being hit by a pitch, was activated Monday and is expected in the lineup against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday. Freese has had enough successful at-bats during his minor league rehab outings to convince everyone he is ready to return. Given how well he was hitting the ball at the time of his injury, if he can return quickly to that type of productivity, everyone (Freese, Cardinals, Freese's fantasy owners) wins.
|Ryan Madson proved last season that he can be one of baseball's most dominant closers.|
• The Philadelphia Phillies have placed Ryan Madson on the DL with a bruised right hand, their third closer to be sidelined this season. The team started the year without Brad Lidge because of a rotator cuff injury, and his return date is still in question. Jose Contreras is currently on the DL with a flexor tendon strain in his forearm and is expected out for over a month. Madson was originally injured May 20, when he was hit by a ground ball during a game against the Texas Rangers. He has had intermittent pain since that time but has been able to pitch through it -- and pitch effectively -- until recently. Madson has not pitched since June 18 and his DL stint will be retroactive to that date. After receiving a cortisone injection Friday, the hope is that inflammation in Madson's hand will settle and this will not be a long-term issue. In the meantime, it appears Antonio Bastardo will fill the closer role.
• There is some encouraging news about New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who has begun baserunning drills at the team's spring training facility in Florida. According to reports, Jeter ran from home to first four times, first to second three times and first to third once. This is a significant step, as baserunning presents one of the biggest challenges when returning from a calf strain. Still, running bases in drill format is not quite the same test as running in a game situation in which reaction, hesitation and directional changes exist. This is why Jeter will not be returning from the DL when eligible Wednesday but instead will continue to increase the vigor of his activity. The team is smartly refraining from setting a timetable and is watching Jeter's response to each incremental challenge.
• Cleveland Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo underwent surgery on his broken left thumb Tuesday. Choo, out since last Friday after being hit by a pitch from the San Francisco Giants' Jonathan Sanchez, is expected to be out for two to three months. Keep in mind that it could be well over a month for good bone healing; then there is the matter of getting the hand strong enough to swing the bat. Fantasy owners would be wise to make roster moves as it is entirely possible Choo could miss the remainder of the season.
• The latest injury catastrophe for the Minnesota Twins happened Friday, night when outfielder Delmon Young ran into the outfield wall. The wall apparently won that battle, and Young, unable to put weight through the lower leg, was carted off on a stretcher. The team has since referred to the injury as a right ankle sprain but is still awaiting the results of an MRI taken Monday. Looking back at the replay video, Young's foot is visibly forced into an awkward position upon impact against the base of the outfield wall. His toes appear to be bent backward (towards him) as his ankle is forcibly flexed toward him. His foot locks into position while his right knee is bent and the momentum of his body weight continues to move forward until the wall stops him and he falls. It is one of those plays that doesn't look like much in real time but when it is played in slow motion and viewed frame by frame, it's easy to see how it could have been a very painful and potentially damaging injury. Young is already on the DL and it's worth noting that severe sprains, depending on the precise structures involved, can be slow to recover. Despite being a youthful 25 years old, Young has already been on the DL once this year with an oblique injury and struggled with a left turf toe issue during spring training.
|Jose Tabata had to be carted off the field after suffering his injury on Sunday.|
• Young wasn't the only player to leave the field on a stretcher over the weekend. The Pittsburgh Pirates' speedy outfielder, Jose Tabata, strained his left quadriceps muscle Sunday while running out a bunt single. He has now been placed on the DL and you can bet the Pirates will be careful with him. Not only is Tabata known for his speed, making him dependent on power from his quads, the Pirates have already experienced delays and setbacks from a quadriceps injury with third baseman Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez, originally injured in early May, tried to continue to play only to aggravate the injury to force a DL stint later in the month. He suffered further setbacks during his rehab time and is just now starting to appear in minor league games. While they are not the same style of player nor are any two injuries identical in terms of severity or how they heal, the Alvarez situation certainly serves as a reminder that it is often easier to go backward than forward.
• It appears Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus will not be making a trip to the DL for his sprained left wrist, an injury he sustained Friday when sliding into second base. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported early X-rays on Andrus' wrist were negative but when he actually returns to the lineup remains in question. While his return could come as early as Tuesday night, fantasy owners should consider Andrus day-to-day until proven otherwise.