Josh Hamilton is in the Angels lineup. That could change soon.
It changed Tuesday and Thursday, when Hamilton was originally penciled into the lineup then scratched due to back spasms shortly before game time. At least Thursday, he was able to go into the game in right field in the seventh inning.
“They asked me,” Hamilton recalled. “I was in here (the clubhouse) getting treatment. About the sixth inning I went into the cage, took some swings and got ready to play in the game.”
Angels pitcher Ryan Madson threw lightly for the second straight day Friday, from 60 feet on flat ground for about six minutes. The right-hander reported no pain and plenty of progress compared to Thursday.
“Yesterday it didn’t feel good at all,” he said. “Today it felt a lot better.”
Madson had not thrown at all between May 13, the date of his last rehabilitation outing for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, and Thursday. One thing has changed in the meantime.
“I’m not going to have any input,” he said. The Angels’ training staff will dictate when Madson takes the next step in his rehab.
Madson said he hasn’t had an MRI exam on his surgically repaired right elbow since spring training, but he can tell when there’s inflammation just by stretching out his arm and twisting it below the elbow.
“I wanted this to start from zero inflammation,” he said of his latest throwing session. “I think we’re there.”
Major League Baseball has decided against holding an international draft in 2014.
The league issued a statement earlier today:
“The Office of the Commissioner and the Players Association have discussed various issues regarding international amateur players, including the possibility of an international draft. While both parties discussed an international draft, an agreement was not reached on some of the mechanics and procedures related to such a draft. Thus, an international draft will not be implemented in 2014. The parties intend to continue to discuss international amateur talent issues, and the current system of international talent acquisition as described in the Collective Bargaining Agreement will remain in place at this time.”
MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner issued the following statement: “At this time, the players are not prepared to accept an international draft. The MLBPA will continue to discuss with players and the Commissioner’s Office the many issues facing its international members.”
The Sports Business Journal reported as recently as 12 days ago that a single draft for eligible baseball players at home and abroad, as well as separate drafts for domestic and international players, were being considered by the league and the Players’ Association.
It’s unclear how or if the lawsuit reportedly brought by Adrian Gonzalez’s father, David, against MLB complicated negotiations.
What does it all mean?
The amateur draft will proceed as planned June 6-8. Teams can sign international players freely but face penalties for exceeding annual spending limits, between $1.15 and $4.25 million, that are tied to their winning percentage last season. Baseball essentially chose to preserve the status quo, warts and all (among them, the “circus”-like tryouts across Central and Latin America come to mind.)
Some bullet points to tide you through the weekend:
Memorial services for Angels team physician Dr. Lewis Yocum were revealed Thursday on the website of the Kerlan Jobe Clinic.
Services will be held at American Martyrs Church, 624 15th Street in Manhattan Beach on June 22 at 10 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the Yocum family requests donations be sent to: Saint Sebastien Sports Project ~ P.O. Box 1711 ~ Manhattan Beach, CA 90267
Yocum died last Saturday due to complications from liver cancer.
Jered Weaver (left) and C.J. Wilson (center) are assured of spots when the Angels go back to a five-man rotation (Getty Images).
Save the date: June 7.
That’s when the Angels will begin a six-game road trip through Boston and Baltimore. It’s also the next time the Angels will employ a five-man rotation.
Jered Weaver threw harder Wednesday than he did in either of his two starts in April (Will Lester/ Staff Photographer)
Of all the positives the Angels could take from Jered Weaver‘s performance last night — just having him back on the mound stands out as the first — maybe the best is that he’s throwing faster.
According to FanGraphs.com, Weaver topped out at 92 mph on his fastball and threw it for an average speed of 87.3 mph, compared to 85.8 and 85.1 mph in his first two starts, respectively. All his pitches were faster across the board. He also got a lot more horizontal movement on his two-seam fastball and changeup, and the results followed: Weaver allowed five hits (four singles) and one run in six innings while striking out seven.
“When you haven’t been out there for a while,” Weaver told colleague Clay Fowler, “you kind of ask yourself `Can I still do this?’”
Yes. You can do it better.
Some bullet points for a Canary Islands Day:
Josh Hamilton knows the remedy for the back spasms the kept him out of Tuesday’s lineup, an injury he has dealt with in the past. The Angels right fielder took some muscle relaxers Tuesday night, woke up sore but not so much that he couldn’t play Wednesday.
“I was just making a swing and felt it grab me,” Hamilton said. “It’s happened before. I knew exactly what it was when I felt it and I knew it would subside in a few hours.”
Dr. Lewis Yocum, the Angels team physician who died Saturday, worked at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic for more than 30 years. Yocum didn’t invent Tommy John surgery – Frank Jobe did – but he made it faster.
“Some of the little refinements that we do, he helped develop them,” Jobe said. “For example, he’d drill the holes. At he time it took a while to get the holes just right took to get the lead sutures through those holes, he was able to find a way of doing that real slick, so that cut about 15 minutes off the operation time.”
And yet, when I asked Jobe to identify Yocum’s legacy, he went with something completely different. Click the link above to see what he said.
I talked to a lot of people about Dr. Yocum yesterday and the vast majority of what they said didn’t fit in my story for the newspaper. So here’s the rest, in bullet-point form for a Wednesday afternoon:
Angels right-hander Tommy Hanson admitted Tuesday he wasn’t right mentally in his last start. (Associated Press)
Major League Baseball’s bereavement leave is limited to a maximum of seven days, but sometimes seven days isn’t enough.
That was the case for Angels pitcher Tommy Hanson, who made two starts after the death of his stepbrother in April. The first was in Oakland and Hanson pitched well, allowing one run in six innings. The second was at home against Baltimore on May 4 and it didn’t go so well. Hanson allowed seven hits and three runs in five innings, and the Angels went on to lose 5-4.
“Chris (Iannetta) came out and asked if I felt all right,” Hanson said. “Everyone said I looked like a zombie. I felt like one too. They wanted me to step away, get right and not rush anything.”