Assorted Depressing Topics

Why yes, folks….not only do I have depressing, vomit-inducing news and notes, but I also have various types of them!

Pitching prospect JD Martin is having Tommy John surgery. For those unfamiliar with the surgery, Martin needs the elbow ligament in his pitching arm replaced. If all goes well, JD should be fully recovered (ie, pitching normally) within 18-24 months. The good news is that most pitchers who have the surgery come back from as good as they were before. The bad is…well, he’s probably going to miss the entire 2006 season, and probably won’t be pitching normally until 2007.

Placed RHP Matt Miller on the 15-day Disabled List (forearm)

Recalled RHP Kazuhito Tadano from Buffalo (AAA)

I have no idea how long this stint will be for, but hopefully it’s just a short stay; Miller has been one of the bullpen’s unsung heroes, and I think has been misused as a longman. Tadano hasn’t been all that great in Buffalo this year (75.1 IP, 4.54 ERA, 82 H, 64 SO, 17 BB), but he should be all right as a mopup pitcher. I believe Rafael Betancourt is technically off the disabled list, but I have no idea how much longer his suspension lasts. But whatever the case, Betancourt should replace Tadano when he returns. If Miller’s injury isn’t serious, it could be a blessing in disguise; most bullpen pitchers could use a couple of weeks off during the season to keep them effective.

Speaking of Betancourt, he’s blaming his positive banned substance test on an OTC drug purchased in his native Venezuela. Juan Rincon, also from Venezeula, said last week that the league’s testing program unfairly targets Latin players:

“Look at the percentages. How many guys (in the majors) are from Latin America? And how many tested positive?” he said.

While I still remain skeptical of this being the case, I do admit that Bud Selig is running the program, and he has been known to screw up before.

Travis Hafner left Saturday’s game after being struck in the mouth by a Mark Buerhle pitch; He went to an area hospital for testing. It should go without saying that Hafner is pretty much the Indians’ entire offense right now, so hopefully there isn’t anything seriously wrong with Pronk.

I think this Buerhle quote after Saturday’s game summarizes the Indians offense perfectly:

“This was one of those days I should have gotten hit around harder more than I did,” Buehrle said. “I got lucky. My control wasn’t what I wanted it to be.”

The more I think about it, the more I believe that right field is the area that despately needs an upgrade. If you could combine Gerut and Blake into one player hitting .273 with 10 home runs, you could take them in the lineup, but having one-half of a decent outfielder in the lineup every day won’t cut it. You can live with Ben Broussard in the lineup, but having to hit him cleanup is a sign that help is needed. The trade market looks pretty unattractive, though, unless Moises Alou decides he can spend a couple months away from his father.

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