Tony Jackson’s right – I hadn’t really noticed he hadn’t pitched in nearly a week. So off to the DL he goes, with Scott Elbert coming up to take his place:
It’s a recurrence of the same shoulder issue he dealt with last season and in spring training, nothing major. He says it went away completely for a while, but it flared up again after his most recent outing last Saturday night at Arizona, and it has been so crazy this week that no one seemed to have noticed that he hadn’t pitched since then. Cory said it just kept getting worse after that, but that he is optimistic that a little rest will be sufficient to get rid of the issue. The move is backdated to Sunday, which means he is eligible to return on April 27 and stands a good chance of doing so. He’ll go to Camelback Ranch on Monday, when the team leaves for Houston, and pitch in a couple of extended spring training games there to get himself right.
Wade’s pitched in four games this season, and has been great in three of them (three scoreless outings of an inning apiece, allowing two hits) and awful in one (three hits and two runs in 1/3 of an inning). The poor outing was the only one that came on a back-to-back appearance, and since this is apparently the same shoulder issue that bothered him last season and in spring, you have to wonder: should we be treating him as the right-handed Hong-Chih Kuo? I’d rather live with an effective Wade who’s not available as often as everyone else than no Wade at all. Some guys just aren’t built for the constant workload, and you have to wonder if Wade falls under that category.
The good news is that when Wade missed time in August last season with the same problem, he was fantastic when he returned: 1.45 ERA and a .382 OPS (!!) in 18.2 innings over 15 appearances. So let’s hope we see the same thing this time.
Oh, and today’s game, as you likely know, is on FOX, but it’s hardly a case of putting our best foot forward; we already knew Furcal and Martin were sitting, but now Casey Blake is too. So the end of the lineup is DeWitt (6th/3B), Ausmus (7th/C), and Castro (8th/SS), leading into Billingsley at 9. Not exactly Ethier/Kemp/Blake, is it? That said, if they can still pull this one out with that bottom of the lineup, you know we’ve really got something good going.