Medical Updates

May 13, 2009 | 1:08 am | 7  

Left-hander Greg Smith traveled Monday from extended spring training to Bakersfield where he will start Thursday for high Class A Modesto. Smith, who is recovering from shoulder fatigue and has yet to pitch this season, is also scheduled to start next Tuesday for Modesto at home against Visalia.

Reliever Ryan Speier traveled Tuesday to Bakersfield from extended spring training where he threw in three games. He’s scheduled to pitch a few times for Modesto, beginning Wednesday. Speier strained his left hamstring and has been on the 15-day disabled list since April 19.

Greg Reynolds will be examined Wednesday in Denver by Dr. Thomas Noonan, the Rockies medical director. Reynolds started the first game of the season April 9 for Triple-A Colorado Springs but hasn’t pitched since that outing. Two days after his start, Reynolds was throwing a bullpen session when he felt discomfort in the upper back area below the shoulder.

Left-hander Franklin Morales threw 30 pitches in a bullpen session Tuesday and will more than 30 pitches in his next scheduled session Thursday. Morales will travel with the Rockies after Thursday’s game on their 10-day road trip, continuing to throw bullpen sessions and face hitters before being sent out on a rehab assignment. He strained his left lat muscle in an April 21 start and was placed on the 15-day disabled list the following day.

Reliever Taylor Buchholz will throw a light bullpen session of 25-30 pitches on Wednesday. He’s on the 60-day disabled list with a strained ligament in his right elbow and eligible to be activated June 4.

7 Comments »

  • Mike | May 13, 2009 | 11:01 am

    I forget where I read this, but there was something about Buchholz pitching simulated games by the end of May if all went well. If that’s the case, and if by “end of May” they really mean close to May 31 rather than May 20 or something, that would suggest he’s not coming back on June 4, even if all goes perfectly. I assume he’s going to need a few simulated games, and then a rehab assignment.

    I’d be cautious with him when he does return–injuries are tough on pitchers. It almost always takes time to get the command back.

    His 2008 was so good, odds would have been against him repeating that year even if he’d stayed healthy.

  • Mike | May 13, 2009 | 11:13 am

    That is bad news about Reynolds.

    With Atkins’ struggles, it’s become fashionable to note Reynolds was picked before Longoria. I don’t fault the Rockies for that if they felt they wanted a top-notch pitcher with the #2 pick.

    However, Reynolds was picked before a fair number of interesting (power) arms–Lincecum, Kershaw, Miller, Scherzer, Chamberlain, and Morrow. (To be fair, he was also picked also before Brad Lincoln, a top 10 guy also having problems.)

  • Trip | May 13, 2009 | 11:15 am

    Thanks Jack. I know he’s not on DL, but any word on Jason Hirsch? Thought I read somewhere his velocity was starting to come back up. Hoping he can get back to the bigs. thought he had just discovered himself when his leg was broken…

  • Jack Etkin | May 13, 2009 | 11:41 am

    Mike,
    You are right on the timing with Buchholz. I mentioned the June 4 date as a reference point and nothing more and apologize if I misled you. Buchholz won’t be ready by June 4, given that he’s in the early stage of throwing bullpens. The other injured pitchers will return after the dates they were eligible to be activated. Buchholz will be no different.
    Unlike position players who can accumulate a necessary volume of at-bats and play daily on rehab assignments, pitchers’ comebacks have days off for recovery _ be it from bullpens, simulated games, games on rehab assignments _ built into them. Buchholz being a reliever, he’s not going to have to go out and throw 100 pitches in a game. But he is going to have to build up to where he can make back-to-back appearances.

  • Derrek | May 13, 2009 | 11:50 am

    I keep going back to the theory of drafting college guys with less upside and less risk. You pick that guy cuz you don’t want complete busts. Also you want a guy you know you can sign. I understand that to a point but completely disagree with that theory for the 2nd overall pick in a draft. The Rox busted on Reynolds. I don’t care if he comes back from the injury, makes it to the bigs again or not. Unless he turns out to be a #1 or #2 type guy, the Rox busted on him. He doesn’t have the stuff to be a top end guy and with the #2 overall pick I feel you should be going after top notch guys.

  • Mike | May 13, 2009 | 4:36 pm

    Jack–No worries, I wasn’t misled…I don’t think June 4 was ever mentioned except as the date he’s eligible to come off the 60-day.

    Derrek–yeah, I think the Reynolds choice was seen as controversial from the get-go because he didn’t seem to have the upside (stuff) of other pitchers available. IIRC, he was touted as a sinkerball guy at the time of the draft; I thought at the time the Rockies might have been hoping for another Cook-type.

  • Derrek | May 13, 2009 | 5:28 pm

    I really hope he can come back and find whatever he needs to be successful in the bigs. I would love to see him be in the Rox rotation and doing well!