Jon Skaggs, the Thunder's big right-hander who has performed below expectations through his first several outings of the year, has landed on the Disabled List with a strained right hamstring. The injury occurred in the fourth inning of Skaggs last outing on Saturday against Altoona. The pitcher said he felt a "twinge" as the inning began, but pitched through it in the fourth, before leaving. "I felt a little twinge when I started the fourth and pitched through it, but it wasn't getting any better as the inning went on." said Skaggs after Saturday's game. After the inning, Skaggs says he went to manager Bill Masse and Thunder trainer Zac Womack and told him what he felt and the decision to lift him was made.
On Sunday, it appeared as though Skaggs was going to be OK, as Masse made it seem as though the injury wasn't anything to worry about. "He was taken out as a precaution. He could have pitched on it, honestly, but I'm not going to run a guy out there and risk him blowing it out completely and then have him be out for a long time." said the Thunder skipper. He quickly added that he would know more Monday and that's when the decision was made to place Skaggs on the DL, a move that will cost him at least 2 starts.
Skaggs' injury paved the way for the return of journeyman lefty Charlie Manning to the Thunder bullpen. Manning started the season in Trenton but was promoted to Columbus early on in the season. Manning has spent parts of the last three seasons with the Thunder, and parts of the last four in Double-A. He returns this time after posting a 5.59 ERA in 7 outings with Columbus and allowing 6 earned runs and 9 walks in 9 and two-thirds innings of work. He will help a very short and very tired Trenton bullpen that can use all the extra manpower it can get.
Ramon Ramirez is another struggling Triple-A pitcher who was demoted back to Trenton after being unable to cut it with the Clippers. Ramirez filled an empty roster spot for the Thunder and will fill Skaggs spot in the Thunder starting rotation. Ramirez spent last year with Trenton while battling injuries that limited his role in the middle of the season. Ramirez posted a 1-3 record and a 5.54 ERA while allowing sixteen earned runs and thirty-two hits in his twenty-six innings of work for Columbus this year. He was equally ineffective in his first start with Trenton, allowing 7 hits and 5 earned runs in only 3 innings of work against Reading. Afterward, manager Bill Masse was less than pleased. "Ramirez was not good. He was not sharp in a lot of areas and Ramon has a lot to work on. We are going to get after that with him tomorrow because we are going to get him right." said Masse.
Reserve infielder JT Stotts has rejoined the Thunder after announcing his retirement earlier in the week. Stotts spoke with Yankees minor league boss Mark Newman and Thunder manager Masse before returning to the team. To make room for Stotts on the twenty-three man roster, INF/OF Eric Verbrkye was given his release.
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Trenton Notes: Verbryke Released
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