The trade deadline has come and gone, leaving many of us with less rumors to read, less news to keep up with, and a hope that our team is complete as is.
If there is one thing fans of the St. Louis Cardinals will tell you they have grown tired of hearing from management over the years, it would be the phrase "That is as good as a trade". Over the years, players have hit the disabled list in the early part of the season and been slated to return in August or September and the front office would tell fans they did not need to make a deal with players like that coming back. It was a cop-out that translated to "we are not making a trade".
That being said, it is exciting to see the players coming back to major league action this week and the (hopeful) charge they will provide to the lineups they are returning to.
I know you do not intend on looking up the list yourself, so I will save you some time. Here is what may be coming to a field near you...
The Yankees placed Pettitte on the disabled list on July 18th with groin pain. The 38 year old is schedule to return to the team this week, no later than August 22nd. In his most recent rehab start, he was removed from the game and reported that he was not able to push off at full strength. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the Yankee lefty, as they could use him if they expect to hold off the Rays in the AL East.
The Phillies slugging first baseman found himself making a trip to the disabled list at the beginning of the month after spraining his ankle on a play at second base against the Nationals on August 1st. The Phillies have been bitten by the injury bug this season and they anticipate adding Chase Utley back near the end of August as well. Many pundits predicted the Phillies to go all the way back to the World Series this year. Howard will need to come back and come back strong if that is true.
The second baseman for the Boston Red Sox found his way to the disabled list by breaking his foot in late June. The catalyst of a strong nucleus that is getting increasingly older in Boston, Pedroia will return to the lineup and spark the team towards October glory on August 17th. Whether or not his return proves to be enough to propel the Red Sox past the Yankees and the Rays will be determined at a later date.
Baseball is down to less than 50 games on the regular season schedule and the division races are starting to heat up. Every game gains importance right now and, if you are one of the teams in the hunt, the return of an All Star caliber player may be just the spark you need.
Unitl next week, thanks for reading.
Bill Ivie is the editor for i70baseball.com and hosts i70baseball radio every Monday night on BlogTalkRadio.com.