Man, if you needed an excuse to get behind Clay Hensley, I’d say that Thursday night’s start against the Dodgers is as good as any. Dude gets hit in the back of the head by a broken bat in the second inning, and after a few minutes’ delay to stop the bleeding, goes out there and spins six shutout innings. I love this bit from the San Diego Union-Tribune:
The blow drove Hensley to his knees near the rubber, and Padres trainers initially advised Hensley against continuing. But he retired 10 of the next 11 hitters.
“I was kind of dizzy,” Hensley said. “But that’s kind of expected when you get hit with a bat. I didn’t feel like it was a problem. I’m just glad the barrel got me instead of the jagged edge.”
And thus a folk hero is born. I was impressed enough to go out and sponsor Hensley’s page at Baseball-Reference.com.
So, on to the links:
- Brocail given clearance to resume throwing after two angioplasties (Yahoo!). Great to see right-hander Doug Brocail on the comeback trail after getting a wakeup call in March. The bullpen has been surprisingly strong in his absence, but good arms are always a welcome addition.
- Thanks to Will Carroll for giving me a heads-up on the April 29 episode of Baseball Prospectus Radio, in which he interviews Padres’ sports therapist Kelly Calabrese, who bore the brunt of some comments by a very silly man not long ago. The interview is about halfway through the show. Calabrese is very well spoken in talking about the impact of Keith Hernandez’ chauvinistic remarks on advancing women in sports, as well as her day-to-day duties keeping players healthy and helping them rehabilitate from injuries if needed. Among other things, we learn that she works about 11 hours on an average game day and that she sat in on Ryan Klesko’s shoulder surgery. I’m thinking if she can sit in the operating room, she can sit in the dugout. Trailblazers always encounter resistance; it’s the nature of blazing trails.
- Franchises at Birth: The Expos and the Padres (Part Three: 1975-1980) (Hardball Times). Reader Pat points us to the final installment in Steve Treder’s look back at the Padres’ early years. I had completely forgotten that George Hendrick and Mike Hargrove once played in San Diego.
- Jonathan has a couple of interviews up over at PDX Beavers, one of Salt Lake pitching coach Charles Nagy and one of Portland right-hander Brian Sikorski. Apparently Sikorski has made some adjustments under Beavers’ pitching coach Gary Lance to keep the ball down in the zone, which wasn’t happening in spring training. All I know is that Sikorski is piling up some impressive strikeout numbers at Triple-A, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him up with the big club at some point.
- In their May 4 Daily Dish, Baseball America recaps right-hander Cesar Carrillo’s last start for Mobile. The scout they spoke with liked his changeup and curve, but said that he “didn’t have very good command of his fastball, and left some pitches up in the zone.”
Finally, on a personal note, I turn 37 today. So far it feels a lot like 36; then again, I’m still on my first cup of coffee.
Happy Friday, and let’s keep that winning streak going!