Pitching Notes: Wheeler, Pomeranz, Flaherty, Hudson

Zack Wheeler underwent an MRI Thursday that didn’t reveal any structural damage, Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson told NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury and other reporters.  Wheeler received the testing after feeling soreness during a catch session, and while the issue seems to be just be elbow inflammation, it does present new questions about when Wheeler will be able to return to the rotation.  The right-hander was retroactively placed on the 15-day injured list on August 22, and was expected to miss two starts while recovering from forearm tendinitis.

It’s feeling better and I’m sure if this was a playoff game, he’d say, ’Give me the ball.’  But he’s still feeling it a little bit so we’re going to wait and re-evaluate on Monday or Tuesday,” Thomson said.  The skipper said he isn’t too concerned about Wheeler’s status, but Wheeler won’t be activated from the IL on Tuesday, his first day of eligibility for reinstatement.  Wheeler is enjoying another strong season and has been a big part of the Phillies’ success, and the club naturally needs the righty back as soon as possible (health permitting) for the stretch run.

More on other pitching situations around baseball….

  • Drew Pomeranz has yet to pitch this season after undergoing flexor tendon surgery in August 2021, and his chances of a return seemingly took a hit when his rehab was shut down due to soreness two weeks ago.  However, Padres manager Bob Melvin told reporters (including Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune) that Pomeranz played catch on Friday and is slated to throw later this week.  After the shutdown, Pomeranz had a checkup with Dr. Neal ElAttrache but was told that some soreness is a routine part of the recovery process.  “There’s still a chance to get [Pomeranz] back here before the season is over,” Melvin said.
  • The Cardinals will activate Jack Flaherty off the 60-day IL Monday for a start against the Nationals.  Shoulder problems have limited Flaherty to only eight innings over three starts this season, marking his second consecutive injury-marred year.  With Flaherty back, Cards manager Oliver Marmol told reporters (including Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch) that Dakota Hudson will move to the bullpen for now, and might not start again until a doubleheader against the Reds on September 17.  Despite below-average Statcast metrics almost across the board, Hudson has managed a 4.43 ERA over 126 innings, though his SIERA is a less-favorable 5.11.  It doesn’t seem like either Flaherty or Hudson are candidates for starting assignments in the postseason, though their work in September and October will give Marmol and company more to think about in determining roles on playoff rosters.

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