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August 29, 2011

Collateral Damage

The Irene Edition

by Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

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With Corey’s laptop battery the latest casualty of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene, we’re in for a shorter-than-usual edition of Collateral Damage today. Thankfully, the injury gods have cooperated.

Michael Brantley, CLE (Right wrist surgery—hamate) [AGL: 51, ATD: +.044] (Explanation)
After trying to battle through right wrist inflammation for several weeks, Brantley finally ended up on the disabled list on Friday. All of the basic tests were negative or inconclusive, but clearly something was causing his continued pain and inflammation. When his wrist first started bothering him back in early August, it looked like a typical case of tendinitis and was treated as such. The problem is that the wrist can act like the shoulder, in that tendinitis often masks injuries to other structures. Brantley's wrist responded to treatment over the first few weeks, when he was in and out of the lineup, but it began presenting differently to the medical staff over subsequent weeks.

The root cause of all his problems was an injury to the hamate bone, which now requires surgery.  Brantley was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Friday, but the Indians quickly transferred him to the 60-day disabled list on Sunday, indicative of the upcoming surgery. The surgery will end his 2011 season, but he should be fine for spring training.

Tommy Hanson, ATL (Partially torn rotator cuff) [AGL: 55, ATD: -.022]
The reason for Hanson's continued soreness and ineffectiveness was finally discovered after further examination revealed a partially torn rotator cuff. The undersurface of Hanson's rotator cuff was affected, which is the most common type of tear seen in throwers. Even though the rotator cuff is vital to a pitcher's health, small partial tears do not require surgery.

Hanson will reportedly be lucky enough to avoid surgery and instead focus on a strengthening program to address weakness and muscular imbalances. He is going to try to return this season, if only for the playoffs, but the best thing for his long-term health would be to skip the rest of the season and look ahead to 2012.

Carlos Lee, HOU (Right ankle sprain) [AGL: 2 (29 DL), ATD: +.001 (-.003 DL)]
On Sunday afternoon, Lee smacked a double but then had to leave the game with a right ankle sprain. Most ankle sprains are mild—Lee's reportedly is, too—and tend to heal after a few days of treatment. They also don't affect performance significantly, as evidenced by the above lack of change in TAv. It certainly looked like the ankle would hurt Lee for a few days as he limped off the field, but he’s day-to-day for now and not expected to end up on the disabled list.

Flesh Wounds: Francisco Liriano's shoulder appears to look similar to its condition in previous examinations and likely has some wear and tear in it, causing his continued problems. That’s not enough to go in for surgery automatically, but it may come to that if it continues to give him problems... Andre Ethier says he has been playing with an injured right knee all season and will require offseason knee surgery...  Even though Joe Mauer thought he'd be ready to go on Saturday, his neck started to worsen after taking batting practice, leaving him unavailable to pinch-hit... J.D. Drew is improving but thinks his shoulder will bother him for the rest of the year… Erik Bedard's left knee was sore at the beginning of Saturday's start before loosening up during the course of the game... Juan Gutierrez has been dealing with a sore right elbow on top of his right shoulder inflammation, further delaying his return... David Hernandez was lucky to leave Saturday's game with only a right ankle contusion after being struck by a line drive off Alberto Gonzalez's bat... Alex Rios bruised his right hand on Friday night diving back to third base and remains day-to-day... Shin-Soo Choo had to leave Saturday's game with a recurrence of his left trunk soreness. There remains the possibility of a trip to the disabled list... Hanley Ramirez is doing well in his rehabilitation starts and will likely be activated on September 1st... Nate Schierholtz couldn't play through the pain and discomfort from the hairline fracture in his foot and was placed on the 15-day disabled list... Carlos Quentin did end up needing to be placed on the disabled list for his sprained left shoulder... Colby Rasmus also ended up on the disabled list because of his right wrist, putting him out until the second week of September at the earliest... Tsuyoshi Nishioka is dealing with trunk soreness in the area of his left oblique. While he feels he is about 80-90 percent and can play, manager Ron Gardenhire is taking extra precautions... Ryan Mattheus was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday with right shoulder tightness, a condition he has been battling for the last few weeks... Jason Bay's right shoulder has kept him out of the lineup since Wednesday. The Mets are insisting it is nothing major after an MRI on Friday, and he will continue to be listed as day-to-day... Josh Tomlin was placed on the disabled list with right elbow soreness, retroactive to August 25th... Johan Santana is still trying to return this season, but time is running out... In an effort to limit his innings after his comeback back from Tommy John surgery, the Nationals have shut down Jordan Zimmerman for the rest of the year. 

Corey Dawkins is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Corey's other articles. You can contact Corey by clicking here
Ben Lindbergh is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Ben's other articles. You can contact Ben by clicking here

Related Content:  Surgery,  Shoulder

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Focus: Bourjos... (08/29)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Collateral Damage: Som... (08/26)
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Premium Article Collateral Damage: See... (08/31)
Next Article >>
Divide and Conquer, NL... (08/29)

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