Runzler to San Jose, Freddy Sanchez restarts rehab


SAN DIEGO -- The big news out of Arizona this week came when outspoken owner Ken Kendrick went on the radio and ripped into the Diamondbacks' stars, including Justin Upton and Stephen Drew, the injured shortstop who still hasn't made it back to the big leagues after fracturing his ankle last season.

You wonder what Kendrick would say if he had Freddy Sanchez's 6 million salary on his payroll.

Sanchez's interminable rehab is picking up again. He is throwing from 105 feet and taking swings off a tee, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. As you'll recall, Sanchez hasn't been able to re-establish himself as a second baseman after having shoulder surgery last August to shrink and stabilize his shoulder capsule. He has been shut down with back issues as well. It's hard to believe he and the Giants once thought that he'd be the everyday second baseman on Opening Day.

Anyway, that's the update for what it's worth.

There was a little more progress to report on left-hander Dan Runzler, who has endured a few setbacks while trying to come back from a significantly strained lat muscle in his upper backshoulder area.

Runzler is starting a rehab assignment for Single-A San Jose on Thursday. He'll start and throw one inning or 20 pitches, whichever comes first.

"We're hoping to get him back to where he was," Bochy said. "He's been real close a couple times and had setbacks. Knock on wood, all goes well with this rehab."

There remains nothing to report on left-hander Eric Surkamp, who remains shut down because of left elbow inflammation. Asked about the possibility of surgery, Bochy said he needed to get an update from head trainer Dave Groeschner.

Right-hander Brad Penny also remains shut down because of a lingering shoulder issue. Penny reported to Triple-A Fresno but is not on the Grizzlies' active roster.

You also have to wonder if top prospect Heath Hembree is dealing with some arm issues. He had a 2.00 ERA and dominated in April, but he hasn't thrown on back-to-back days since then and had a 6.10 ERA in May. He hasn't pitched since he got lit up on Saturday and he spent a day away from the team. I asked if Hembree went for any tests and was told no, he simply was ill and instructed to stay home.

Still, it's clear that Hembree is nowhere near the call-up that everyone had envisioned in the spring.

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