MLB In Full Bloom - When Will Doug Fister Return? - 4/25/2014

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Doug Fister is scheduled to make his first rehab start this weekend after he had a successful bullpen session on Thursday. Fister, who's working back from a lat strain that's kept him out of regular season action will start for the Nationals' High-A Potomac affiliate on Sunday. He'll make the start after he was able to throw a positive bullpen session on Thursday. Fister will throw four innings in his start Sunday will need at least one more outing before rejoining the Nationals rotation. The target date seems to be May 7th if everything continues to go well for Fister. Unless the Nationals rotation suffers another injury before his return, the most likely candidate to lose his rotation spot is Taylor Jordan. Jordan is 0-3 with a 6.23 ERA and 1.71 WHIP through his first four starts. Tanner Roark who also had to earn his spot this spring, has been much better, going 1-0 with a 3.80 ERA in his four starts.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Chase Headley (calf) left Thursday's game against the Nationals with a right calf strain. After flying out in the top of the second inning in his first and only at-bat, Headley was replaced by Alexi Amarista at third base when the team took the field in the bottom half of the inning. Headley dealt with the exact same injury this spring. The calf bothered him for a month, which forced him to miss the beginning of spring training games. He didn't miss any regular season games due to the injury, but he is off to a slow start -- hitting just .186 - this month before Thursday's injury.
  • Mark Trumbo (foot) is getting a second opinion for the stress fracture in his left foot, admitted on Thursday that he dealt with plantar fasciitis this spring. Roger Kieschnick was added to the roster with Trumbo's placement on the disabled list, but the timetable for Trumbo's return will likely remain unclear until the results of his second opinion are released.
  • Seth Smith (groin) was pulled from Thursday's game due to a right groin strain, and could land on the 15-day disabled list today. The Padres are already short on depth in the outfield and to make matters worse for the Padres is that Alexi Amarista will likely be needed at third base after Chase Headley suffered a calf strain earlier in Thursday's game.
  • Manny Machado (knee), who will begin a rehab assignment Friday, may be able to make his season debut next weekend in Minnesota. This would give Machado 6-7 rehab games, which should be enough considering the fact that he's already been playing at extended spring training. A season debut at the beginning of May seems very possible, but the Orioles will likely wait to make a decision.
  • Adrian Gonzalez went 3-for-5 with a double, a solo home run, and two runs scored in Thursday's loss to the Phillies. Gonzalez now has six home runs through 23 games and is on pace to hit 42 homers this season after hitting 40 between the past two seasons combined. That total would be a career high for Gonzo, and while he's unlikely to keep his current pace going, eclipsing 30 home runs certainly is possible for him.
  • Yoenis Cespedes (hamstring) suffered a hamstring strain Thursday and he will likely miss a few games. It isn't a good sign that Cespedes is already considered unlikely to play in the next few games, just minutes after the end of Thursday's game. He was removed from a 10-1 game in the seventh inning after legging out an infield single.
  • Josh Donaldson went 3-for-4 with a couple walks, a double, and two home runs as the Athletics routed the Astros 10-1 on Thursday. A monster game for Donaldson, who broke out as one of baseball's best-hitting third basemen last season. He took a Brett Oberholtzer pitch out to the train tracks at Minute Maid Park for a two-run shot in the first inning, and then got Anthony Bass with a two-run blast in the seventh inning. Donaldson now has six home runs in 105 plate appearances.