Rockies first baseman Daniel Murphy is ahead of schedule in his rehab and is expected to be activated in the near future, manager Bud Black said Tuesday in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter link, with audio). While Black said that Murphy was unlikely to be activated for tonight’s game, the skipper called Murphy’s return “imminent,” assuming one final evaluation of his fractured finger checks out. “Probably not. We’re probably going to give him the day,” Black said when asked about potentially activating Murphy on Tuesday. “He had three days in [Triple-A] Albuquerque. We figure we’ll get him back in Denver, reevaluate the finger and then make a decision tomorrow or the next day what direction we’re going to go with Daniel.” Black added that Murphy didn’t feel any pain or discomfort in his rehab games or after the fact.
A couple more health-related notes on key players…
- First baseman Matt Olson could be back with the Athletics by mid-May, manager Bob Melvin told reporters Monday evening (Twitter link via John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle). The 25-year-old has been out since mid-March after fracturing his hamate bone on a swing during Oakland’s two-game set against the Mariners in Tokyo. Kendrys Morales and Mark Canha have stepped in as the Athletics’ two first base options in lieu of Olson. Morales, acquired just prior to the league-wide Opening Day, hasn’t provided anything at the plate to this point, batting just .179/.277/.250 in 65 plate appearances this year. Canha’s .242/.422/.455 slash has been terrific, though history shows that his right-handed bat is best deployed in platoon situations. Neither player can match Olson’s defensive prowess, either; Olson won a Gold Glove at first base last year and posted a sensational mark of +14 Defensive Runs Saved.
- Rays outfielder Austin Meadows won’t require surgery to repair his sprained thumb, manager Kevin Cash revealed last night (link via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times). Meadows will have his thumb immobilized for the next 10 days, per Cash, who put a timeline of roughly three weeks on Meadows’ return. “Good thing is he can keep his legs in shape, he can keep his throwing arm in shape,” said Cash of the injury. Meadows, 23, is off to a ridiculous .351/.422/.676 start to the season and has belted 11 extra-base hits (six homers, four doubles, one triple) in his 83 plate appearances.