Stoneburner to return to Thunder on Friday
Just in time for the stretch run, the Thunder’s rotation is about to get a boost. Graham Stoneburner, who has been out since April with an injury to his neck and right shoulder, will take the ball this evening in the second game of the weekend set against Richmond.
Before the injury, Stoneburner, one of the organization’s better young arms, looked like he was going to be a vital part of Trenton’s staff. Then he got hurt, opening the hole that Craig Heyer has filled.
On his way back, Stoneburner rehabbed seven times between the Gulf Coast League and the Florida State League, spanning 33 innings. In his last start Sunday, he allowed just two hits over seven innings, more than showing that he was ready for a second test in the Eastern League.
The Thunder also welcome back DeAngelo Mack from the disabled list, where he’s been since July 10 with a badly bruised hand. Before hitting the shelf, Mack was hitting .246/.360/.395 with five doubles, four home runs and 17 RBIs.
He enters an outfield mix that includes Zoilo Almonte, Ray Kruml, Damon Sublett and Melky Mesa. One of those four is a candidate, along with third catcher Ryan Baker, is likely to land on the disabled list today to make room for Stoneburner’s return to the roster.
One pitcher you won’t see on the roster any time soon is Grant Duff, who is out for the season with shoulder troubles. After having his elbow surgically repaired last offseason, Duff threw just nine innings this year before being placed on the DL on June 15. Over the last two seasons, he’s thrown just 46 2/3 innings.
NOTES: It was Jewish Heritage Night yesterday evening at Waterfront Park, and Gary and Lenny’s New York Deli was on hand to cater the festivities. The Thunder’s mascots, Boomer and Strike, wore Hebrew lettering (their names, presumably) on the back of their costumes for the occasion. With the trade deadline nearing, scouts from the Rockies, Mariners and Phillies were in the crowd. … Attendance last night was 6,113.