TRENTON – Slade Heathcott has been missing from the Trenton Thunder line-up since Wednesday, and after speaking with the top outfield prospect in the New York Yankees farm system on Friday evening, it does not appear that he will be seen at ARM & HAMMER Park any time soon.
Placed on the disabled list prior to Friday’s game against the Portland Sea Dogs, Heathcott is officially listed as having “lower body soreness,” a general term usually reserved for a fringe player to be stashed on the disabled list. However, Heathcott’s situation has all the makings of a legitimate injury, and a potentially serious one at that. Worse yet, there is silence on all fronts regarding what landed Heathcott on the disabled list, and his outlook for the remainder of the season.
“I have no comment on that right now,” Heathcott told me when asked what led to him being placed on the disabled list.
“I have no idea,” Heathcott added when asked if he thought it was serious. “I’m sorry, it’s all in the air right now.”
Interim Manager Julio Mosquera also declined to provide an update on Heathcott, though one source indicated he believes that Heathcott truly has no idea as to what’s going on with the injury.
Baseball America’s Josh Norris, a former Thunder beat writer, reported on Thursday that Heathcott’s injury was indeed a knee problem once again and that the outfielder would be headed to see Dr. Ahmad in New York.
Though Heathcott did not appear to be limping on Friday, it does not mean all is well with the 23-year-old’s knee. After finishing last season on the disabled list due to patellar tendinitis and a procedure on his meniscus, it appears he could have suffered a setback. It is worth noting that even when Heathcott arrived in Trenton earlier in May, he did not sound as if he felt all his knee problems were behind him. Despite trying to skate the issue of a setback, Heathcott may have confirmed this inadvertently when talking to reporters Friday.
“It is what it is,” Heathcott said when asked directly about re-injuring his knee. “We just have to figure it out and go with it.”
Heathcott has appeared in just nine games with the Thunder this season, joining the team after his recovery from the offseason knee surgery was thought to be complete. During his time in Trenton this season, Heathcott is hitting .182 (6-for-33) with two doubles and four runs scored.