Injury updates from Coors Field
Well there might not be any further reason to wonder whether the Braves will deal Javier Vazquez before the trade deadline.
Instead it seems like all concerns regarding Vazquez should be centered on his ability to fight through his lower abdominal strain and prolong the success that he enjoyed during the season’s first half.
Vazquez’s impressive first half officially came to a close on Thursday evening when the Braves revealed that he’s going to miss Sunday’s scheduled start because of a strained lower abdominal muscle. He’s been battling the ailment for a couple of weeks and aggravated it while completing Tuesday night’s gem against the Cubs.
After receiving the results of an MRI exam that was performed on Thursday in Atlanta, the Braves seem hopeful that Vazquez will be able to make his first turn after the All-Star break. My guess is that they’ll hold him out until the July 20 game against the Giants.
It was certainly surprising to hear the Braves say that Vazquez has been bothered by some discomfort for a couple of weeks. The 32-year-old pitcher has gone 2-3 with a 1.96 ERA over his last eight starts.
The Braves said that Vazquez may have aggravated the injury during Tuesday’s sixth inning or while striking out during his seventh-inning at-bat.
Either way the Braves don’t seem overly concerned about the injury and they’re hoping they feel the same way next week.
Schafer update: Braves general manager Frank Wren said that Dr. Gary Lourie has once again determined that Jordan Schafer’s left wrist discomfort is caused by a bone bruise. This was the same diagnosis that was provided when Lourie examined the 22-year center fielder in early June. <p>
Still it seems like the Braves understand there’s a chance that Schafer will miss the remainder of the season.
“There’s a chance they may want to do additional therapies beyond what they did the last time, when they prescribed a couple weeks of rest,” Wren said. <p>
Schafer, who has spent the past month with Triple-A Gwinnett, hasn’t played since aggravating the injury again last Friday night. If he’s not able to play again the rest of this season, you at least have to wonder if he’ll need to begin the 2010 season in the Minors.
While Schafer has downplayed the effect of his injury, there’s no doubt in my mind that it has affected him. He homered twice during the season’s first three games and then suddenly lost his ability to produce necessary bat speed after injuring the wrist during the season’s fourth game.
I understand Spring Training can fool you. But the guy that hit .204 and struck out 63 times in 50 games with Atlanta, wasn’t the same one that we saw impress on a daily basis in Florida.
Francoeur over Diaz: Many of you have expressed your disbelief in Bobby Cox’s decision to give Jeff Francoeur a third consecutive start in right field on Thursday night. Without mentioning any names, I’ll just say that you guys are sharing the same views as some of the members of the Braves clubhouse.
Look I know that the Braves lost the three games that Diaz started in right field. And I realize that the Braves have won each of the past seven games that Francoeur has started.
But count me among those who can’t understand how you can put Diaz’s hot bat on the bench right now.
During his past six starts, Diaz has recorded 12 hits, four of which have gone for extra bases. Entering Thursday, Francoeur had recorded 12 hits, four of which had gone for extra bases over the course of his previous 51 at-bats.