We are in that time of the year when some of the players drop like flies, the insect, and hopefully not the balls hit into the air. Anyway, a couple of things to report.
Rick VandenHurk left last night's start with "back stiffness".
Starting pitcher Rick VandenHurk left tonight’s game after four innings because of back stiffness.
"We didn’t want to take any chances and make it worse,’’ Gonzalez said. "I’ll give you a better evaluation tomorrow. Sean (Cunningham, team trainer) during the game told me in a day or two he may be able to throw a bullpen or he may not. If he needs an extra turn, we’ll give it to him.’’
"It didn’t get any better in the game I had it rubbed out in between innings but it didn’t really loosen up. In the fourth inning, I threw a pitch and I guess they saw my facial expression.
"It’s just some tightness I’ll be fine.’’
Maybe it was because of Rick's facial expression, but I'm guessing when grabbed his side that was the main tip-off. The thing that bothers me the most is that he grabbed his oblique muscle and not his back. While both are complex muscles, oblique strains bother me more than back stiffness. The latter may go away fairly quickly through treatment, the former does not.
If VandenHurk can't make his start on Sunday, it will either fall to Chris Volstad or Andrew Miller. Here is hoping that Hurk is good to go.
Speaking of hurting an oblique muscle, Jeremy Hermida is off the radar screen.
Outfielder Jeremy Hermida (strained oblique) doesn't appear anywhere close to returning to action. Gonzalez said it hurts Hermida to sneeze or laugh.
Folks, it is looking like this is going to take weeks. While I know Rich and Tommy answered LadyFish's question that it will be a couple of days, I'm not buying. And if it isn't, that's fine, Carroll and Maybin can fill in the outfield very neatly.