Joe Martinez, a rookie pitcher whose skull was fractured by a line drive off the bat of Mike Cameron on April 9, is back in the Majors.
08/05/2009 5:19 PM ET
Joe Martinez returns to Giants
Pitcher gets victory in first outing after scary injury
The 26-year-old right-hander was recalled and pitched on Wednesday for the Giants after posting a 2.93 ERA in 37 2/3 innings with Triple-A Fresno.
"I'm just glad to be back," Martinez told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I've been gone 105 games, so it's been a long road. I really just hope I can do my job and help the team win."
"I'll say this," manager Bruce Bochy said before Martinez's appearance. "We're all going to feel good for Joe seeing him out on the mound after all he went through. Even when he was hurt, he couldn't wait to get back on the mound. Everyone's going to be excited to see him back on the hill."
Aybar making the most of his chances: Getting a start at designated hitter on Monday, Willy Aybar hit home runs from both sides of the plate for the Rays. In 42 starts this season, he is hitting .282 with 10 home runs.
As for his teammates, they are amazed at how well Aybar does considering the sporadic playing time he gets. The infielder has reached base safely in 34 of his last 38 starts.
"I don't think you guys understand how tough that is," Jason Bartlett told the St. Petersburg Times. "To not play that much and to come in and do what he does, it's amazing. Guys spend their whole careers being a bench guy, they hit .200, but that's good. And Willy is hitting .280, .290, hitting home runs and playing every position, and he plays maybe once a week. What he's doing is amazing."
Determined Sanches thrives after long road: Brian Sanches has a 0.95 ERA in 24 games this season. But the Marlins reliever is most proud of the determination he showed to make it back to the Majors after opening the year in the Minors, his 11th season of Minor League ball.
"There were countless times where I thought enough was enough, how much can a person take of this?" Sanches, who turns 31 on Saturday, told the Miami Herald. "But I'd step back and regroup and keep inching along."
Jones chalks up rookie honors: After batting .310 with seven doubles, 10 home runs, 17 RBIs and five stolen bases, Garrett Jones has been named the National League Rookie of the Month for July, as voted on by baseball writers and broadcasters nationwide.
"To be up here and be able to have success early means a lot," Jones told MLB.com. "I've kind of established myself early and have gotten an opportunity to play every day. I felt good when I got up here and just tried to do some damage."
DeRosa not afraid to look behind him: Mark DeRosa, a key midseason pickup for the Cardinals in addition to Matt Holliday and Julio Lugo, feels little pressure hitting in the middle of the Cardinals lineup.
"I'm batting in front of Albert [Pujols] and Matt, and I'm getting some pitches to hit," DeRosa told MLB.com. "I think the nice thing is, so far, since Matt's come on the team, we feel like we can pass the baton on to the next guy behind you. You look on deck and you know you've got a guy who can do the job. You don't feel like you've got to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders every time you come to the plate."
Peavy making progress with ankle: Jake Peavy, who is out with a strained right ankle tendon, threw in a batting cage last weekend and believes he's making progress.
"Everything went well, but I have long way to go," Peavy told the Chicago Tribune. "Not having thrown in six weeks and then getting back on the mound, it's like starting over again in Spring Training.
"The biggest thing was everything was pain-free. The ankle was a non-issue. I threw all my pitches, trying to get a feel to accelerate this thing as fast as we can get back out there."
Rolen, still out, pleased with MRI results: Scott Rolen, who was hit on the head by a pitch over the weekend, remains sore.
"It still hurts in the spot where the ball hit me through the helmet," Rolen told MLB.com. "It is really sensitive."
The MRI, though, came out showing no internal bleeding.
"They said I had almost the size of a normal human brain," Rolen quipped. "I was real pleased with that."
Romero in contention for rookie award: Ricky Romero is making a strong push to be a candidate for the American League Rookie of the Year award. After he defeated the Oakland A's in his last start, Romero moved to 10-4. He is tied for first among AL rookies in wins with Tampa Bay's Jeff Niemann.
"I'm not really paying attention," Romero told the Toronto Star. "I'm just trying to go out there and have quality starts for my team. That's all I'm worried about -- our team."
Toronto catcher Rod Barajas has been impressed with Romero all season.
"The big thing with [Ricky] is the confidence that he has in himself," Barajas said. "When he does get in jams, he believes in his pitches. He's got four above-average pitches. He knows that, and he understands that. He doesn't try to be too perfect. Go out there, trust yourself, and good things are going to happen."
Hart shelved following appendectomy: Corey Hart found out he needed an appendectomy at about the same time he found his swing.
"He just started to get hot," manager Ken Macha told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He had a couple of homers. He started to get the [bat] head out."
In his last 22 games, Hart was hitting .329, going 25-for-76 with two home runs and five RBIs. During that stretch, he also had a seven-game hitting streak. For the month of July, Hart hit .305 and had a .380 on-base percentage.
Hart underwent his appendectomy on Sunday.
Webb's shoulder surgery a success: Brandon Webb had successful minor surgery on his right shoulder on Monday and found out he didn't have any tears in his labrum. Webb said Dr. Keith Meister did some shaving of the labrum where it was frayed.
"[The damage was] just normal wear and tear you get from pitching," Webb told MLB.com. "It was as good as could be expected. There were no sutures put in there, no tears or anything like that, which is huge. [Meister] said, 'It's like getting gravel out of your shoe.'"
Delgado shows fine form with bat: Carlos Delgado had some good swings and blasted a ball over the center field wall on Monday in his first outdoor batting practice since his injury.
"You don't want to think about it," Delgado told Newsday. "You want to feel like, if your mechanics are good, the ball is going to go for you. But a little reassurance never hurt anybody."
Cabrera's road cycle a rarity for Yankees: Needing a triple to complete the cycle on Sunday in Chicago, Melky Cabrera ran as hard and fast as he could and beat the throw to third to record the first cycle of his career.
The cycle was the 15th in team history and the first since Tony Fernandez did it on Sept. 3, 1995. The last time a Yankees player hit for the cycle on the road was 61 years ago when Joe DiMaggio did it in 1948, also in Chicago.
"That's definitely a day to remember," Alex Rodriguez told the New York Daily News. "He's played so well. It's a day he'll never forget -- and we won't, either."
Healthy Morales showing off his stuff: When Franklin Morales first made the Majors in 2007, he struggled on the mound. Now, he looks like a different pitcher after having another great outing on Sunday against the Reds.
"You know I feel healthy. No more problems with my back," Morales told the Denver Post in a reference to his consistent back issues in 2008. "I am very happy right now."
Coming out of the bullpen, Morales has struck out seven hitters in 9 1/3 innings while limiting opponents to a .103 batting average.
Guerrero returns to cleanup spot: After being out for nearly a month due to leg injuries, Vladimir Guerrero returned to the Angels' cleanup spot on Tuesday night without the benefit of a rehab assignment. He responded with a hit and a walk in three at-bats in the Angels' 5-4 loss to the White Sox.
"This is a starting spot -- he feels comfortable there -- and we can always adjust down the road if we have to," manager Mike Scioscia told the Los Angeles Times of batting Guerrero fourth. "He feels good. If he can pick up where he left off a couple weeks ago, he'll be extremely productive."
Perry prepared to perform: Ryan Perry knows that, on any given day, he could be doing something different for his team. Perry, a rookie, also knows he could spend the rest of the season going between Detroit and Triple-A Toledo.
"I don't let that bother me at all," Perry told MLB.com. "It happens a lot to younger players, and it's been happening the whole year with me. You can't let [that possibility] get in your head and affect how you perform."
Back still a pain, Oswalt skips start: After continuing to experience discomfort in his lower back on Monday during a throwing session, Roy Oswalt was scratched from his scheduled start on Tuesday. Oswalt threw a light bullpen session and was disappointed with how he felt. He is scheduled to throw again on Wednesday.
"I thought I'd feel a little bit better," Oswalt told the Houston Chronicle. "I felt pretty decent [Sunday] through [a] flat-ground [session]. We'll have to see what happens Wednesday."
-- Red Line Editorial