August 26, 2011
Something Strasburg This Way Comes
Ryan Ludwick, PIT (Mid back spasms) [AGL: 11 (TBD DL), ATD: +.009 (TBD DL)] (Explanation)
A diagnosis spasms does not really tell us that much, and it likely isn't the only thing going on. Muscle spasms can be the result of a wide range of injuries, such as herniated discs, rib fractures, arthritis in the spine, or strains of the muscles themselves. There has not been any indication that Ludwick is suffering from anything other than the spasms, but that caveat sticks in the back of our minds. If it is just the spasms, Ludwick should return near the minimum.
Stephen Strasburg, WAS (Right elbow rehabilitation—Tommy John surgery) [AGL: 121, ATD: -.004]
Control is the last thing a pitcher recovers after undergoing TJ surgery, since it’s impossible to replicate the forces associated with pitching in a clinic or weight room. The only way to get the proprioception— the sense of your arm in space and the “feel” of the pitch—is to throw, even though velocity can be improved through strength and conditioning. Pitchers have been trained since their youth to think that velocity is the only thing affected by arm injuries, so it's frustrating for professional hurlers to have their velocity return before their control. Strasburg is going to make one or two more rehab starts before rejoining Washington's rotation. Rest assured that the Nationals will not push him and will have him on a pitch count when he does return.
Ronny Paulino, NYN (Bruised big toe) [AGL: 1 (TBD DL), ATD: +.005 (TBD DL)]
Francisco Liriano, MIN (Left shoulder strain) [AGL: 48, ATD: -.028]
Colby Rasmus, TOR (Right wrist sprain) [AGL: 2 (19 DL), ATD: +.027 (-.032 DL)]
Manny Parra, MIL (Left elbow surgery—Screw replacement) [AGL: 106, ATD: -.011]
Over time, hardware can loosen and back out of the bone, causing pain and inflammation. Sometimes, if it persists long enough, the screw can back out completely and act as a loose body, chewing up the joint and the tissues surrounding it. Since the screw is to be replaced rather than simply removed, the bone still needs to be stabilized. Between the back and elbow, the season has been a lost one for Parra, but he should be ready for spring training, assuming everything goes right.
Flesh Wounds: Joe Mauer was out of Wednesday's lineup with neck stiffness after catching a pop-up earlier in the week... Brian Wilson reported no problems with his elbow after throwing for seven minutes... Adam Jones is still dealing with some soreness in his chest after being cleared of any cardiopulmonary issues... B.J. Upton has been able to pinch-hit for the last few days but still is unable to throw well enough to play the field... Brennan Boesch aggravated his right thumb strain on Wednesday, and the Tigers fear it may be serious... Justin Upton was back in the lineup one day after getting plunked in the left elbow... David Ortiz returned to the lineup 10 days after first missing time for heel bursitis... Ryan Howard returned to the lineup after taking one day off to rest his own foot bursitis... Sergio Escalona was placed on the disabled list with left elbow tendinitis... Jayson Werth strained his groin on Tuesday but was already back in the lineup yesterday for the Nationals... Ryan Mattheus,however, left last night's game with tightness in his right shoulder.
Corey Dawkins is an author of Baseball Prospectus. Follow @CoreyDawkinsBP