Saturday could have been a cause for celebration. Hours before a dominant effort by Jeremy Hellickson and a Matt Joyce home run led the Rays to a 1-0 win over the Oakland Athletics, the Triple-A Durham Bulls began a doubleheader versus the Orioles-affiliated Norfolk Tides. In the second game, Wil Myers finally got a key milestone off his chest, slamming his first home run of the season. But what happened in Game 1 was catastrophic. Watch for yourself.
Tim Beckham made an off-balance flip with the runner, Travis Ishikawa, bearing down on Hak-Ju Lee, and when Lee bobbled the ball, Ishikawa slid right into him, with his foot hitting the lower part of his leg before his head collided with Lee's knee, leaving both players on the ground hurt and Lee especially in pain. Both players would exit the game, but the extent of their injuries were wildly different–Ishikawa broke his nose while Lee tore ligaments in his knee. The exact extent of Lee's injury is unknown, the injury is expected to sideline him for the remainder of 2013.
Lee was having himself an incredible start to the 2013 season, managing a .422/.536/.600 line with 3 doubles, a triple, a homer, 7 RBI, 6 of 8 stolen base attempts, and an outstanding 11-9 walk to strikeout ratio in 56 plate appearances. It was a small sample size,but Lee was looking as good as ever, pairing his sparkling defense with outstanding plate discipline and pitch recognition and even a few flashes of power. Lee was sure bet to finish 2013 in the major leagues, and if he kept playing well, he had a chance to work himself into a job even before September. But one poorly-executed play and it's all over. Why does it always seem to be that prospects get hurt right when their careers are shining the brightest?
Here are your links for today:
-Scott Kazmir made his return to the major leagues for the Cleveland Indians pitching against his hometown Houston Astros and it did not go well as he went 3.1 innings allowing 6 runs on 7 hits in a game the Indians would win 19-6. Kazmir commented on never getting into the "flow of the game," and maybe the Indians getting him 14 runs in the first two innings just gave him too much of a layoff between innings. Kazmir was sharp in the first inning before falling apart and hopefully it's all uphill from here for him. It's incredible that he returned to the major leagues and hopefully he still has success in his future.
-Desmond Jennings' unassisted double play was the first of its type since Andy Van Slyke in 1992. Marc Topkin quoted Matt Joyce, who was confused by what was going on as Jennings jogged towards first base.
-After Joe Maddon brought a DJ to the clubhouse before Saturday's game, Shelley Duncan remarked that "I’ve been with this club only a few months and there’s already been a lot of firsts around here."
-Rays minor league director Mitch Lukevics on top prospects getting called up: "We're not going to put a formula like pi R squared equals player should be moved, because there are so many variables that come into place when moving a player," he said.