Injury rehab takes center stage in the latest edition of Mark Sheldon's notebook for Reds.com, which, I suppose, is better than the breaking-injury editions he's had to cover for most of the Spring. The best news, as was noted by Weezy Cheese in today's Farmer's Only, is that Skip Schumaker has rubbed some dirt on his once-bum shoulder and returned to baseballing at AAA Louisville; the sort-of good news involves Mat Latos, who hasn't hit any additional setbacks since the last setback that followed the setback before that and the original bone-chip removal that started his offseason from hell, and that's got him on target to possibly be back with the Reds by the end of the month; and the sort-of kind-of good news details how Jack Hannahan - whose offseason surgery was apparently kept secret to everyone, for some reason - may or may not be healthy enough to start hitting again in May. Also included in Sheldon's roundup is a blurb on the strike-zone prowess of Joey Votto, who apparently has collected all of his 2014 hits off pitches in the zone. He will never not amaze me.
Speaking of Reds notebooks, C. Trent Rosecrans put one together yesterday evening, and while it has similar notes regarding the rehab progresses of Schumaker and Hannahan, respectively, there is also some follow-up with manager Bryan Price regarding the replay fiasco that got him ejected from Sunday's game against the Atlanta Braves. As much as the commissioner and MLB itself want replay to be a non-issue, that's just not going to be the case. It's going to be an evolving issue as the league, the managers, and the umpires in charge become more experienced with the process, and it's obvious that Price plans to be on the vocal side efforting for continued improvement of the system. If that means better camera footage, better communication, and - most importantly - actually getting the calls right, then I'm pro-Price-being-pro-replay-evolution.
Remember former Chicago Cubs super-prospect Felix Pie? Barely? Despite being ranked among the Top 100 prospects in the minor leagues by Baseball America prior to five consecutive seasons, Pie's career as a major leaguer never really took off, and now he's plying his trade in South Korea's KBO League. Cubs fans will tell you that it was Dusty Baker's fault that Pie never turned into a great MLB player, every other person who has ever watched a baseball game will tell you that it was the Chicago Cubs fault that he never blossomed, but after watching this video of him calling time to come in from the OF to yell at his pitcher for being ineffective, I think it's pretty clear that Felix Pie likely played a pretty damn big role in why Felix Pie never lived up to his lofty prospect status. That's some 80 grade crazy, though.
Bryce Harper has a torn ligament in his thumb, and his surgery and DL-stint adds another high-profile MLB player to the now-extensive list of those on the shelf. I know that injuries happen every year to every team and that there are always stars involved, but for some reason it seems as if 2014 has been an even more extraordinary year for it. The list of players that have missed at least a couple of games due to injury/ailment is a veritable who's who of the league, as guys like Kershaw, Kemp, Puig, Hanley, Crawford, Hamilton, Beltre, Trumbo, Corbin, Harrison, Latos, Chapman, Cargo, Cuddyer, Moore, Hellickson, Mesoraco, Iglesias, Machado, Davis, Hardy, Segura, Braun*, Hamels, Minor, Medlen, Sale, Zimmerman, and now Harper have each been banged up to varying degrees before the end of the month of April. I'm sure there are a handful of other stars I overlooked, too, like the 8% of the over-35 club of the New York Yankees who have missed time...though that might actually be more than one handful. It has been a skosh ridiculous.
And some quickies, sans commentary...
In the wake of the Dominican-heavy lineup fielded by the Toronto Blue Jays the other day, Cliff Corcoran compiled his All-Time team of players from the Dominican Republic.