The news regarding Mud Hens pitcher Humberto Sanchez yesterday wasn't good.
Sanchez, who was pulled after pitching just four innings Thursday, will have his right elbow examined by doctors in Detroit this morning.
Sanchez, who has thrown a career-high total of 123 innings for Double-A Erie and Toledo this season, missed two starts before Thursday because the elbow did not feel right.
Both he and Toledo manager Larry Parrish said Sanchez's status for his next start, which would come Wednesday at home against Columbus, is still uncertain.
"If I can pick up a ball and throw it, I don't call that an injury," Sanchez said. "But [the elbow] feels like it did before. We'll have it examined and go from there."
While Sanchez probably won't be available Wednesday, help may be on the way courtesy of the parent Tigers. Left-hander Mike Maroth, who had surgery June 2 to remove bone chips from his left elbow, pitched a simulated game before Detroit's game last night.
Maroth will throw a side session in Detroit tomorrow, and if things go well he is expected to join the Mud Hens Wednesday.
Maroth hopes to return to the Tigers by the end of this month.
DEFENSIVE LAPSES: After the Mud Hens struggled defensively in Thursday's win over Louisville, Parrish scheduled early work before yesterday's game.
Parrish spent his time with the outfielders, while pitching coach Jeff Jones and hitting coach Leon "Bull" Durham worked with the infielders.
What was the focus?
"Catching the ball," Parrish said, then smiled.
That's obviously an oversimplification. The Mud Hens began play last night with a fine .980 fielding percentage, the fourth-best mark in the International League.
But after making three errors in back-to-back games at Pawtucket immediately after the All-Star break, the Hens haven't been as solid defensively as they were earlier in the season.
"Around the All-Star break we played a lot of games on the road, and it seemed like we lost an edge mentally," Parrish said.
His team's defensive struggles reached a head Thursday.
"This was a good day to get some extra work in and tighten the ship up," Parrish said.
THREE-DOT DATA: With Ryan Ludwick's walk-off home run last night the Mud Hens now have four this season; Ludwick has two, while Josh Phelps and Dustan Mohr have the others. .•.•. With two hits and two RBIs last night Mike Rabelo has hit .323 with a home run and 10 RBIs in 18 games since joining the Hens. .•.•. With his nine strikeouts last night pitcher Chad Durbin has 123 this season, tops in the IL.
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