The history of Major League rehabiliation assignments made in a Trenton Thunder uniform is lengthy and interesting. You’ve got names like Derek Jeter, Roger Clemens, Bret Saberhagen and Gary Sheffield. And then you’ve got guys like Lee Tinsley, Gabe White, Shawn Chacon and Steve Karsay. It’s clearly a bit of a mixed bag.
Lance Berkman, a five-time Major League All-Star, is likely to be found in the former list of injured players finding their way back in the minor leagues. He’s also become the 30th player to rehab with the Trenton Thunder during their 17-season histrory.
Here’s the complete list…
TIGERS ERA (1994)
RED SOX ERA (1995-2002)
Lee Tinsley, 1995
Ken Ryan, 1995
Bret Saberhagen, 1997, ’99-01
Bill Haselman, 1997
Tom Gordon, 1999
Bryce Florie, 2000-01
John Valentin, 2001
YANKEES ERA (2003-present)
Derek Jeter, 2003
Bernie Williams, 2003
Jose Contreras, 2003
Nick Johnson, 2003
Gabe White, 2003
Kevin Brown, 2004
Kenny Lofton, 2004
Steve Karsay, 2004
Felix Heredia, 2004
Felix Rodriguez, 2005
Carl Pavano, 2006, ’08
Hideki Matsui, 2006
Gary Sheffield, 2006
Shawn Chacon, 2006
Octavio Dotel, 2006
Robinson Cano, 2006
Roger Clemens, 2007
Phil Hughes, 2007
Jeff Karstens, 2007
Brian Bruney, 2008, ’09
Jose Molina, 2009
Alfredo Aceves, 2010
Lance Berkman, 2010
(Some information via the Thunder media guide)
I’ve covered Lofton, Rodriguez, all three Pavano starts, Matsui, Dotel and all of them from Cano on down. Since this idea came from looking through photos of old rehab games…well, here are some of those shots — all of them are my original photos, and a few have never been seen before.
Kenny Lofton. This was not the easiest photo to get, so someone had might as well finally see it.
Carl Pavano. This is back when he got hurt all the time and wasn't pitching pretty well in the big leagues like he is now for Minnesota.
Hideki Matsui. Combine the fact that this was during the playoffs and it created an absolute (Japanese) media circus, and it's fair to say this contributed to my current attitude on rehabs.
Octavio Dotel. The thing I remember most about Dotel was his second appearance, which was unannounced. Was interesting to show up at the yard and unexpectedly get to see him pitch again.
Robinson Cano. Bill Masse said it best: "For all the bad things you hear about baseball with the steroids and the black marks on the game, Robby Cano is what's good about baseball."
Roger Clemens. Oh my goodness gracious! It was amazing to be there for it then, it still is now. Just an amazing day. Technically, however, this wasn't a rehab...it was a part of a series of "tune-up starts" he made in early-mid May after coming back to the Yankees.
Phil Hughes. His rehab appearances came after holding the Texas Rangers hitless shortly after getting called up to the big leagues.
Jeff Karstens. Karstens pitched his rear end off to make the big league team in 2007, but broke his leg on a line drive back up the box. Things haven't really gone right since.
Brian Bruney. I wish he didn't come back in 2009. I had such positive memories of his 2008 stint, in which he caught the first pitch, joined broadcaster Steve Rudenstein on the air for a few innings and gave me a one-on-one interview while scratching off a stack of instant lottery tickets about five hours before game time.
Jose Molina. He went 0-for-9 with two walks in three games and didn't speak to reporters before the game. It was about as fun as it sounds...
Alfredo Aceves. Two years after a brief stint in Trenton, Aceves was back for three appearances. The first two went much better than the last one, and he's currently in Scranton, continuing his lengthy rehab stint.
Lance Berkman. He played in the first of two games for Trenton last night, going 2-for-5 with a run scored and a strikeout.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com