The results of RHP Jimmy Barthmaier’s MRI revealed inflammation and a strain of the flexor mass in his right elbow. The good news is there is no tear and the 2009 season will not be a total loss. The bad news is Jimmy will not throw for at least two weeks. I would be surprised if he is active and pitching with the Indians before June. It’s not an educated guess, just a feeling after factoring in conditioning, rehab, and a couple of lower level starts. From what I’m hearing Ty Taubenheim will take Jimmy’s spot in the rotation.
I heard a rumor last night that 2B prospect Shelby Ford will be in town today around 5:00. Hey what can I say, some words travel a greater distance on an empty concourse. Ford was expected to be with the Indians for their opener, but remained in Florida recovering from a wrist injury suffered during spring training. I do not know the corresponding roster move or if he will be activated for tonight’s game.
Columbus 1B Jordan Brown had the game winning hit last night. He doubled off Andrew McCutchen’s glove in right-centerfield. Here is Jordan’s comments about playing in the rain from the 3rd inning until the delay in the top of the 6th:
You need to trick yourself. It’s a pain in the (rear) to actaully go through that. The bat is loose and it’s not easy to throw a ball. All you can do is trick yourself and imagine you’re in Arizona or in California. It’s just as bad for the pitcher as it is for the hitter.
The delay was one hour and two minutes and when play resumed a light rain fell for the remainder of the night. RHP Jason Davis will make his second start of the year. This past Thursday he was weak from an illness and lasted only two innings falling short of his pitch count. Columbus right-hander Jack Cassel will make is ’09 debut. Broadcast time is at 6:40 with first pitch due at 7:00
4:45 PM UPDATE:
Shelby Ford is active for tonight’s game and in the line up. He arrived around 3:00 and was greeted by his teammates. I had a quick conversation with Shelby and his injured wrist feels fine and when I welcomed him to Indy he replied “finally.” The Tribe line up tonight;
Andrew McCutchen CF (1 for last 14), Brian Bixler SS, Neil Walker 3B (hit safely in all 5 games), Garrett Jones RF, Steve Pearce 1B (HR yesterday), Robinzon Diaz C, Jeff Salazar LF, Andy Phillips DH, and Shelby Ford 2B.
Walker is so much more confident this season than at this time a year ago. He told me has not wasted an at-bat and has a plan each time up. Pirates fans will have to wait a while before they’ll see Walker at third. The feeling here is he needs to continue his growth into the summer. As of today Neil is the toughest out in the line-up with four of his eight hits going for extra bases.