|Hafner's shoulder problems are back
Travis Hafner's comeback was off to a big start as he batted .293/.388/.586 with four homers and five doubles through 15 games, but he went 0-for-4 on Tuesday and has been placed on the disabled list with right shoulder soreness. Hafner is slated to be examined by Dr. James Andrews and given his history of shoulder injuries that sounds scary, but manager Eric Wedge said otherwise Wednesday.
"We don't think it's anything serious," Wedge said. "Hopefully it's just a two-week thing." Wedge started Kelly Shoppach at designated hitter and Victor Martinez behind the plate Wednesday night, and keeping that duo in the lineup together is one option with Hafner sidelined. However, if his injury proves to be more than a "two-week thing" it would give Cleveland an excuse to bring up Matt LaPorta.
While the Indians' first month goes about as horribly as possible, here are some other notes from around baseball …
* Zack Greinke's scoreless innings streak was snapped Wednesday at 43, but he still improved to 5-0 on the year by holding Toronto to two runs in seven innings. Greinke struck out eight, walked two, and gave up five hits as his once-flawless ERA skyrocketed all the way to 0.50. And perhaps the best news of all is that he pitched well enough that we don't have to hear any silliness about cover jinxes.
* Johan Santana bounced back from a rough first inning Wednesday afternoon to hold the Marlins to two runs in seven frames, but the bullpen blew a potential win for the eighth time in just 39 starts with the Mets. Santana is now 3-1 with a 1.10 ERA and 44/9 K/BB ratio, but J.J. Putz's poor relief outing kept him from passing Pedro Martinez for the second-highest winning percentage of all time.
* Yovani Gallardo put on a one-man show Wednesday versus Pittsburgh, racking up 11 strikeouts in eight shutout innings and smacking a solo homer off Ian Snell that held up in a 1-0 victory. Gallardo is now 3-1 with a 2.86 ERA and 34/9 K/BB ratio this season, and has four homers and four doubles in 61 career at-bats to emerge as perhaps MLB's top-hitting pitcher (non-Micah Owings division).
* Wednesday's intriguing Joba Chamberlain-Rick Porcello matchup saw Joba get his first victory of the year by holding the Tigers to one run in seven innings, but his 20-year-old counterpart didn't make it out of the fourth frame as the Yankees got to him for six runs. Porcello figures to get knocked around twice every month or so, but Chamberlain looked great striking out six and allowing just three hits.
* Manny Corpas received Wednesday off after taking a loss in two of his last four appearances, so Huston Street closed out a 7-5 win over San Diego by striking out all three batters he faced. Both pitchers are currently sporting 6.10 ERAs, but for the most part Street has been much better and it wouldn't be shocking to see him back in the closer role that he held briefly to begin the season.
AL Quick Hits: Alex Rodriguez (hip) is slated to play an extended spring training game Thursday and is on track for a May 8 return … Josh Hamilton (ribs) sat out his third straight game Wednesday and seems headed for the disabled list … Gil Meche is expected to make his next start despite leaving Tuesday's outing with a sore back … Nick Swisher homered from both sides of the plate Wednesday for the eighth time in his career … Orioles skipper Dave Trembley said Wednesday that Gregg Zaun's struggles won't impact Matt Wieters' call-up timetable … John Smoltz's rehab from shoulder surgery has been pushed back one week, but the setback is considered minimal … Mike Redmond underwent an MRI exam on his sore shoulder Wednesday and may be placed on the DL when Joe Mauer comes off the shelf Friday … Ian Kennedy has been diagnosed with a vasospasm in his right hand, which can cause discomfort and numbness.
NL Quick Hits: Carlos Marmol had a brutal outing Wednesday returning from his knee injury, walking four of the five batters he faced … Doug Davis shut out the Cubs for seven innings Wednesday, marking the second time in three starts that he hasn't allowed a run … Brad Lidge (knee) is slated to throw a bullpen session Friday, at which point the Phillies will decide whether he's DL-bound … Kenshin Kawakami's next start has been pushed back two days due to shoulder soreness that required a cortisone shot … Adrian Gonzalez homered twice Wednesday to take over the NL lead … Carlos Villanueva picked up a save Wednesday due to Trevor Hoffman being unavailable after back-to-back outings … Javier Vazquez took a complete-game loss Wednesday, allowing five runs … Adam Rosales got the start Wednesday in place of an injured Edwin Encarnacion, going 1-for-2 with a walk and two RBIs.