WASHINGTON -- Hard-throwing top relief prospect Heath Hembree will have an MRI exam on his right elbow after Triple-A Fresno placed him on the disabled list Thursday, CSNBayArea.com has learned.
Hembree, 23, complained of soreness after allowing five runs in two-thirds of an inning Wednesday night. He was diagnosed with a strained flexor muscle in his forearm and will not be able to compete in the Triple-A All-Star Game, Giants vice president Bobby Evans told me.
Hembree had an impressive spring and was dominant in early action as the Grizzlies closer, but Fresno stopped using him on consecutive days at the end of April -- an indication that maybe he wasn't 100 percent. He has 13 saves and a 5.52 ERA in 32 games with a 26-to-15 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 31 innings.
Not only does Hembree's injury cast doubt on his ability to help the Giants down the stretch, but it might take away one of the Giants' more valued potential trade chips as GM Brian Sabean looks to improve the roster in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
Hembree's status will become clearer after doctors examine him and test results are reviewed.