Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Schmidt Shuts Down Cucamonga Quakes

Good news on Jason Schmidt's rehab start for the Inland Empire 66ers today, as Schmidt picthed six innings of shutout ball:

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Jason Schmidt worked six shutout innings Wednesday in a rehabilitation assignment for the Inland Empire 66ers of the California League.

The 34-year-old right-hander, sidelined since the middle of April with shoulder inflammation, allowed two hits while walking one and striking out seven in the 66ers' 2-1 victory over the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. The game was scoreless when Schmidt left.

Schmidt, who signed a three-year, $47 million contract during the offseason, threw 71 pitches -- 51 for strikes. He is 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA in three starts this year.

Tony Jackson's ITD blog posted that Schmidt's velocity was still down from last year, topping out at 92. This is still a concern:

The only question is whether he is ready to return now.

"I think there is some possibility, but it's too premature for us to say that strongly," said Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, who was at the game in San Bernardino along with trainer Stan Conte. "But I wouldn't rule it out, either." Schmidt pitched six shoutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out seven. But his velocity, which was noticeably down even before he went onto the disabled list April 17 with bursitis in his shoulder, still wasn't where it historically has been. His 71 pitches consistently fell between 88-91 mph and topped out at 92.

Not that anyone is terribly alarmed by that.

"You can pitch and be successful at 88-91," Colletti said. "He can command four pitches. He might have to change the eye level and change the bat speed. But it's not like he has always been a power pitcher who lives and dies with one pitch." Schmidt will throw a side session on Friday, probably with the major-league team in Pittsburgh, after which there should be a much clearer picture of what happens next. He could make another start for Inland Empire, or he could make another start with a higher Dodgers affiliate, or he could return to the Dodgers' starting rotation sometime in the next week.

Manager Grady Little seemed to dismiss that notion. "I think he'll have to build up to a certain point before he takes the rubber for us," Little said. "That is just my personal opinion, but we'll talk about it."

Stay tuned.


Damon said...

I wonder why this wasn't on espn

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding. The only teams that exist according to ESPN are the Red Sox and Yankees.

Damon said...

Yes I was being sarcastic. ESPN likes the Mets and Barry Bonds aswell

Steve Sax said...

Take that, Cucamonga Quakes!

That's what I'm talking about.

Alex Cora said...

heard he struck out Garrett Anderson twice!

tad swifty said...

I'm glad this is a season where our big name free agent acquisition goes down yet we don't have to stress it because the team is successful anyway. We don't even really need to worry yet when he'll even be back.

Steve Sax said...

Joe: every time I see Mark Hendrickson on the mound, I worry.

A lot.