Randy Johnson seemed optimistic after having his injured shoulder examined by team doctors Monday, explaining: "I'm feeling a lot better than I was three weeks ago" and will "have to get with the doctor and see what he recommends and just kind of take it from there." Less than 24 hours later his Hall of Fame career was put in serious jeopardy following the diagnosis of a partially torn rotator cuff.
Johnson is hoping to pitch again this season, but the soon-to-be 46-year-old has been transferred to the 60-day disabled list and won't throw again for at least 2-3 weeks. He's been relatively effective while going 8-6 with a 4.81 ERA and 80/31 K/BB in 92 innings this year, but rotator cuff injuries are incredibly tough to come back from for 26-year-olds, let alone 46-year-olds. Cooperstown class of 2015?
While one of the greatest left-handed pitchers in baseball history could be facing the end of the line, here are some other notes from around baseball …
* Even after trading Ryan Garko the Indians inexplicably refuse to simply call up Matt LaPorta and stick him in the lineup every day, but in the meantime they did bring up former top prospect turned current bust Andy Marte. Marte has had zero success in the majors, hitting .211 with a .603 OPS in 174 games, but is still just 25 years old despite being around forever and has been thriving at Triple-A.
While playing at Triple-A for the fourth straight year, Marte has hit .327/.369/.593 with 18 homers and 24 doubles in 82 games to reverse a long trend of declining production. Between his .277 career batting average and poor 50/22 K/BB ratio this year the odds are against Marte hitting more than .250 or so, but he blasted 25 homers per 600 PA at Triple-A even prior to showing this season's huge pop.
* Jason Giambi's trip to the disabled list with a quadriceps injury opened the door for Daric Barton to get another long look in Oakland, but he suffered a hamstring injury of his own five games in and joined Giambi on the shelf Tuesday. Barton's long-term outlook has declined dramatically during the past two seasons and he now looks likely to become merely a solid regular rather than a potential star.
He's expected to return in 2-3 weeks, but with Giambi also sidelined the A's have turned to minor-league veteran Tommy Everidge at first base. Everidge made his MLB debut Tuesday and went hitless in his first four at-bats before delivering an RBI double with two outs in the ninth inning as the A's erased a three-run deficit against Jonathan Papelbon.
Everidge is 26 years old and had a mediocre track record in the minors prior to this season, but hit .306/.380/.489 in 55 games at Double-A and .382/.432/.636 in 43 games at Triple-A to earn the call-up. My guess is that he won't stick in the majors, but Everidge has averaged 21 homers per 600 plate appearances along with solid plate discipline, so he could certainly have AL-only value for a little bit.
AL Quick Hits: Chien-Ming Wang has decided on shoulder surgery after meeting with Dr. James Andrews, ending his brutal season at 1-6 with a 9.64 ERA … Jim Thome was held out of Tuesday's lineup with back soreness … Matt Wieters had his first four-hit game Tuesday, raising his batting average to .273 … In a swap of backup outfielders, the White Sox acquired Mark Kotsay from the Red Sox for Brian Anderson … As of Tuesday night, general manager J.P. Ricciardi said that his "gut" feeling has Roy Halladay staying in Toronto … Daisuke Matsuzaka told Japanese reporters Monday that the Red Sox's training methods are to blame for his shoulder problems … Scott Kazmir threw more than seven innings Tuesday for the first time in over a year, holding the Yankees to one run while beating CC Sabathia … Ian Kinsler left Tuesday's game with a strained calf … Mark Buehrle followed his perfect game by being flawless through five innings Tuesday, setting the MLB record with 45 straight batters retired before falling apart in a loss.
NL Quick Hits: Roy Oswalt has been diagnosed with a strained back after exiting Tuesday's start in the second inning … Matt Lindstrom (elbow) is due to come off the disabled list this weekend, but may not immediately resume closing … Pedro Martinez hinted that he hopes to join the Phillies' rotation after his second rehab start Friday at Triple-A … Todd Wellemeyer has been shifted to the bullpen after posting a 5.79 ERA and 1.75 WHIP in 110 innings, with Mitchell Boggs replacing him in the rotation for now … Troy Glaus' rehab stint has been indefinitely put on hold because of lingering back pain … Oakland shipped Sean Gallagher to San Diego to complete the Scott Hairston deal, making him a nice fantasy sleeper for next season … Colby Rasmus (heel) was back in the lineup Tuesday after sitting out four games … After missing four weeks with a broken toe, Ryan Dempster came off the shelf by allowing six runs over five innings Tuesday.