8:15 AM Eastern
So Monday night it was revealed that John McDonald would be the defensive substitute for David Eckstein late in games in which the Blue Jays held the lead, and Tuesday night, McDonald suffered an apparent high right ankle sprain, which will knock him out of action for a while.
The play on which McDonald was injured didn’t look all that bad, but his reaction did. Writhing in pain on the turf, a look of sheer agony on his face, but still remembering to flip the ball to second base after the initial shock of pain. It hurt to watch, you never want to see anyone rolling around on the ground in intense pain, but especially a guy like Johnny Mac. Without knowing much at all – there will be further tests today – I’m going to say that McDonald will probably be out about six weeks, which probably gets him back in the line-up no sooner than the middle of June. It’s a blow to the Jays, for sure, they lose a massive weapon they were only beginning to figure out how to use properly. It’s eerily reminiscent of late May 2006, when McDonald won increased playing time at shortstop and then (I think) pulled a groin muscle and had to go on the disabled list.
The Jays will have to survive without him, and it’ll likely be Jorge Velandia who comes up to back up David Eckstein once Eckstein is healthy. Velandia hasn’t had a great deal of success in the bigs – he’s a career .188/.275/.271 over parts of seven seasons with the Padres, A’s, Mets and Devil Rays. Last year, however, though in only 50 at-bats, he hit .320/.424/.520, and for Syracuse this season, he’s at .287/.385/.426 – not bad for a back-up.
Of course, he may be the starter for a few days, because Eckstein strained a hip flexor going out to try to grab Dioner Navarro’s little looper into short left field in the 3rd inning. I knew something was up with Eckstein when, on Scott Rolen’s sac fly in the bottom of that frame, he jogged home from third. That guy doesn’t even jog from his fridge to his couch. Hopefully, he’ll only miss a couple of days. I don’t think Marco Scutaro is an answer at shortstop for the time being.
It was nice to see Brian Tallet back, the nearly two weeks off didn’t seem to hurt him much, and how about that Lyle Overbay? 2-for-2 with a double off the top of the wall in dead centre, a sac fly to deep left, a walk and two RBIs. You guys are all right, he’s gotta go.
I leave you with this: I almost collapsed in hysterics last night when I heard A.J. Burnett’s new entrance music, specifically requested by the big righty. It was that # 1 smash from way back in 1989 – “Hangin’ Tough” by New Kids on the Block. It would seem to me that the New Kids, and their evil offspring , the Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, 98 degrees and heck, maybe even Hanson, stand in just about diametric opposition to pretty much everything a professional athlete wants to portray.
The New Kids? Seriously?
Comments are encouraged – and remember, it’s Wednesdays with J.P. tonight!