Padres pitcher Colin Rea was going to undergo Tommy John surgery after tearing ligaments soon after being traded from the Miami Marlins. Now, it appears that won't be necessary, due to a less invasive procedure that would dramatically decrease Rea's needed recovery time.
The plasma-rich injection is effective largely in part to its growth factors that quicken tissue recovery in the arm. With no surgery in sight, Rea could return to the mound as early as September, which is crucial if he wants to be considered for the starting rotation in 2017.
After the season they've had, it's nice to see the Padres win one.
Here's what else is happening around the National League West:
Colorado is looking forward to Jeff Hoffman's impending major league debut, which is scheduled for Saturday. The righty pitcher was the main prospect acquired by Colorado in last year's Troy Tulowitzki, and has impressed in Triple-A Albuquerque. He sports a fastball in the mid to upper-90s, and a curveball that has the potential to push 90 miles an hour as well. Hoffman figures to contend for a starting spot in 2017--after all, the Rockies haven't shown us much as far as starting pitching is concerned.
Carlos Gomez seems to always be in the mix for a championship. And why not? He's a plucky center fielder who will dive for a ball or a stolen base, and can be clutch when he needs to be. McCovey Chronicles' Grant Brisbee has approached the question of whether Gomez would be a good fit with the Giants as they prepare for the playoffs. Gomez was sputtering for the .500 Astros, and he's hit just .202 over the past two seasons. However, you can't ignore the potential Gomez represents in late-season scenarios. Just ask the Twins or Astros.
The Diamondbacks are toying with the idea of extending Wellington Castillo long-term, and rightfully so. Statistically, Castillo ranks as the D-Backs fourth-most productive catcher in franchise history, with a bWAR of 3.1 entering the weekend. However, Arizona ought to stay cautious based on the last catcher they gave a long extension to. Miguel Montero was given five years and $60 million in 2012, but he bottomed out in 2014 and was with the Cubs by the 2015 trade deadline. Castillo is an attractive young player, but with the current funk Arizona is in, they have to be careful about what they do long-term.
The Dodgers are in Cincinnati this weekend, squaring off against a much-improved Reds team. Entering play Friday, the Reds were 19-12 since the All-Star break. They're squarely out of contention in the NL Central, and playing for 2017, but they're improving quickly. With L.A. in first place in the NL West, they can't take the Reds lightly, because a Wild-Card bye looms large.