NL East Report for The Week of July 15th

With the return of baseball after the All-Star break, there isn’t that much to report with our neighbors in the NL East.  Without further adu, here’s the latest round up of what’s going on in the NL East this week. Remember to keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

The team is expected to have Martin Prado back in the lineup tonight as they begin the 2nd half against the Wasington Nationals.  He missed 5 weeks after having a staph infection.  The Braves signed Sean Gilmartin to a contract.  Gilmartin, who was the Braves first round draft pick, signed for a $1 million dollar bonus. As a little factiod, the Braves as a franchise, are one win away from 10,000. They will be the only teams besides the San Francisco Giants, and the Chicago Cubs, to have atleast 10,000 wins as a franchise

RHP Ricky Nolasco is 2-3 with a 1.15 ERA over his last five starts and has tossed at least seven innings in each of those starts. Nolasco had two complete games over his last three starts when he took the mound Friday in Chicago and allowed two unearned runs in seven innings in a 2-1 loss to the Cubs. Carlos Marmol has continued to struggle for the Cubs, but despite that, he closed out the Marlins. Hanley Ramirez collected his 1,000th hit with a single in the ninth inning off Cubs closer Carlos Marmol. The hit made Ramirez the third Marlins player to reach 1,000 hits. He needs five more hits tie Jeff Conine for second place in hits (1,005) in Marlins history. Luis Castillo is the franchise leader with 1,273 hits. Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said he’ll consider bringing Jack McKeon back to manage the team in 2012.

3B David Wright began his minor league rehabilitation Friday, playing five innings for the Class A St. Lucie Mets and going 1-for-2 at the plate with a double, a walk and a strikeout. Wright has been on the disabled list since May 16 with a stress fracture in his lower back. LF Jason Bay appeared to be coming out of his season-long slump, hitting .347 (25-for-72) in an 18-game span from June 15 to July 9. But in his last five games Bay has just one hit in 19 at-bats. RHP R.A. Dickey lasted seven innings for the fourth time in his last five starts and, despite giving up just six hits, he gave up four runs to the Phillies on Friday and dropped to 4-8 on the season as he took the loss. CF Angel Pagan was 0-for-5 Friday and is hitting .167 (8-for-48) over his last 11 games. As the Mets return from the All-Star break, they are doing so without K-Rod, as he was traded (immediately following the All-Star Game) to the Milwaukee Brewers for 2 PTBNL.  In his place, the team is going to have Pedro Beato, Jason Isringhausen, and Bobby Parnell share the closer role.  To take K-Rod’s place on the roster, the Mets called up Royota Igarashi from AAA Buffalo. 

RHP Chien-Ming Wang made his fourth rehab start on Thursday, throwing six shutout innings for Class AA Harrisburg (Penn.). His fastball touched 94 mph, and he could be in the majors by sometime next month. The Nationals are opening the 2nd half on the road against the Braves.  C Ivan Rodriguez took between 35 and 50 swings off a tee at Turner Field on Friday, doing his first swinging since going on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle on July 7. The Nats are opening the 2nd half of the season with the best record they’ve had coming out of the All-Star break since 2005.  Against the Braves this season, the Nats are 3-3. 

3B Placido Polanco was placed on the 15-day disabled list with back inflammation, retroactive to July 5. “I’m probably about 90 percent now,” he said. Polanco planned to hit Saturday. He is eligible to return from the disabled list July 20 when the Phils visit the Chicago Cubs. 1B Ryan Howard was refreshed by the All-Star break, odd as it might have seemed since he wasn’t selected for the game despite generating 72 RBI, tied with Price Fielder for the National League lead. CF John Mayberry Jr. has set a career high for RBI in his last two games. He had four in the 14-1 victory over the Braves before the All-Star break and five Friday night in a 7-2 victory over the Mets.