July 15, 2011
Jose Bautista, TOR (Right ankle sprain) [AGL: 2 (29DL), ATD: +.001 (-.004DL)] (Explanation)
Any time one of the league's leading power hitters makes an early exit from a game, it's going to be big news. Bautista left last night's game against the Yankees with a twisted right ankle after sliding hard into third—maybe it's time for Major League Baseball to start using the Little League-style breakaway bags. (Joking.) Preliminary x-rays were negative, but the Jays will likely move on to an MRI as a precaution. He will probably miss at least a few days based on the injury description and the AGL above, but since the MRI was ordered, there is at least some chance that he’ll go on the disabled list.
Josh Johnson, FLO (Right shoulder inflammation) [AGL: 38, ATD: -.034]
Johnsonstill hasn't started throwing again after being placed on the disabled list on May 17th, and he’s looking less and less likely to do so anytime soon. The injection in late June appears to have calmed the inflammation down, but not enough for Florida to feel comfortable advancing his rehabilitation. It's apparent that the Marlins are going to be very cautious while coaxing him through each level of the throwing program.
Each team has its own program, but all of them involve being able to make repeated throws on flat ground pain-free at set distances before beginning to throw off the mound. Intensity, number of pitches, and breaking pitches are all mixed in at predetermined times according to the program, which determines how quickly the player can return. President Larry Beinfest said that the Marlins “hope” Johnson will pitch again this year, which certainly shouldn’t give Johnson and Marlins fans warm and fuzzy feelings inside. If Johnson does start throwing tomorrow, he's still going to take several weeks to progress through every stage. One thing is for sure: the longer he is unable to resume throwing, the more likely it is that he’ll require surgery.
Carlos Gonzalez, COL (Right wrist contusion) [AGL: 1, ATD: -.013]
Gonzalez ended up missing four days before returning as a pinch-hitter and defensive replacement last week. Still feeling residual soreness in his wrist, he underwent further testing to reveal the deep bone bruise in his wrist. Most contusions of the hand and wrist are the result of pitches gone awry, and the majority of players with that type of contusion return within two or three days, but we all saw the replay of Gonzalez's catch. Wrist contusions tend to be a little more problematic than hand contusions because of the difficulties in having the modalities reach the appropriate area. Gonzalez will try to get back on the field today; if he can’t, he’ll inch closer to the disabled list.
Brett Anderson, OAK (Tommy John Surgery) [AGL: 121 ATD: -.001]
Anderson tried to avoid surgery as long as he could, but after a PRP injection failed to work as well as was hoped, he underwent Tommy John surgery yesterday, ending his season. As we’ve discussed, there is no guarantee that PRP will work, and it may only delay the inevitable. The post-recovery TAv difference (or lack thereof) stems from the fact that we're currently treating injuries that cross seasonal lines as separate entries in the database, although the progression of surgical and rehabilitative techniques over the last decade may have helped to minimize the operation's aftereffects. The timeline for recovery hasn't changed dramatically in the last few years, though, so we won't see Anderson until mid-2012 at the earliest.
John Jaso, TBA (Right oblique strain) [AGL: 23, ATD: +.010]
Jaso become the latest—and the 22nd, but hey, who's counting—to strain an oblique and end up on the disabled list in 2011.To put it in perspective, there were 25 trips to the disabled list for the same issue in all of 2009, and 22 in all of 2010. Needless to say, we will likely be blowing last year's number out of the water. Jaso will likely only miss about three weeks, consistent with the AGL for positional players. Pitchers tend to take more time, to ensure that their mechanics aren’t jeopardized.
Flesh Wounds: Miguel Cabrera left the All-Star Game with tightness in his right oblique. Perhaps thanks to his Superman-like physique—kidding, of course—he has stayed relatively injury-free over his career. He should be back within a few days... Brian Roberts was cleared by a concussion specialist to increase the intensity of his workouts. He will continue along with the protocol agreed upon earlier this year... Denard Span has been cleared to begin a rehab assignment following his concussion... Ike Davis is running out of time to avoid surgery on his ankle that would turn his season into the proverbial pumpkin. If another cortisone injection this week does not work in the next three weeks, he will likely undergo surgery... Chipper Jones is aiming to return on July 25th following meniscus surgery. We wouldn't bet against his returning in a shade over the minimum... Lonnie Chisenhall was back in the lineup last night, a week after fracturing a maxillary sinus... Julio Borbon may end up needing surgery on his ankle to tighten or reconstruct the ligaments, which would cost him a few months... David Price's turf toe isn't going to cause him to miss a start against the Red Sox tonight... Speaking of the Red Sox, Carl Crawford will start his rehab assignment tonight and should be back early next week... Kris Medlen has been forbidden to throw for six weeks because of continued pain in his elbow as he comes back from Tommy John surgery... Charles Blackmon underwent surgery on a broken metatarsal in his left foot on Monday. The AGL for at injury is 50 games, so a six-to-eight week estimate would puts him right in line.
Corey Dawkins is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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Ben Lindbergh is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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