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September 26, 2011

Collateral Damage

Crunch Time

by Corey Dawkins and Ben Lindbergh

Peter Moylan, ATL (Right shoulder torn labrum and rotator cuff) [AGL: 10 (93 DL), ATD: TBD (-.092 DL)] (Explanation)
Moylan can’t seem to catch a break in 2011. After missing four months following surgery on a troublesome disc in his low back, his shoulder started to click on him during normal next day throwing after last Monday’s appearance. Clicking can be indicative of several different problems, ranging from swelling to full blown cartilage tears. However, over this past offseason, he underwent an MRI that revealed tearing in his rotator cuff and labrum.

A recent repeat MRI on Thursday revealed that the tearing has worsened and may require surgery. He will see noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews down in Birmingham for a second opinion, and it sounds like he will need surgery. Surgery will almost certainly put him out for most of the 2012 season, barring some unexpected good news. He doesn’t have to have surgery, but he is risking significantly more damage in his shoulder if he chooses to pursue the rehab route. 

Denard Span, MIN (Headache) [AGL: 1 (TBD DL), ATD: -.070 (TBD DL)]
Have you ever known someone whom you thought should be encased in bubble wrap for protective purposes? The Twins medical staff may need to consider that form of preventative medicine with Span in light of his most recent injury. Span was driving his Range Rover to the airport after Thursday’s win and collided with the car in front of him, which was driven by Danny Valencia’s fiancée (with Valencia in the passenger’s seat).

Span was traveling about 10 mph, and the car sustained minor damage, but he developed a headache afterwards. Valencia suffered minor whiplash, and his fiancée was checked by a doctor but is reportedly doing well. Span has already been on the disabled list twice this year because of concussions but returned to action on Saturday. It bodes well that he was able to return so quickly, since it essentially rules out a new concussion.

Daric Barton, OAK (Right shoulder surgery—labrum) [AGL: 12 (97 DL), ATD: TBD (+.022 DL)]
Barton underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder on September 12th to fix a tear in his labrum. He believes he injured it in the first week of the season, which could certainly help to explain his subpar season. Shortly after being demoted in July, the torn labrum was found, and he tried to rehabilitate it conservatively. That ultimately failed, and he needed two anchors placed into the bone to hold the torn piece in place.

Barton chose to have the procedure performed arthroscopically in order to decrease the overall rehabilitation time. Even with a shortened recovery, he’s still not going to begin throwing until January, but he should be just about ready for spring training. Barton was never a big power hitter, so the injury shouldn’t hamper him at the plate as much as it would others, but it could affect his throwing, since the injury is to his dominant throwing shoulder.

Miguel Cairo, CIN (Right shoulder surgery—debridement) [AGL: 5 (84 DL), ATD: TBD (-.041 DL)]
The 37-year-old Cairo has been dealing with right shoulder soreness for some time now. The pain reached the point where it was simply too much to endure, so he ended up undergoing surgery on Friday, officially ending his season. Deemed a “clean out” procedure, it involved cleaning out some bone spurs, scar tissue, and possibly fraying of the rotator cuff and labrum. This is almost always done arthroscopically in order to minimize the time lost and patient comfort during recovery, which should put Cairo in line to come back by the start of the 2012 season.

Tim Hudson, ATL (Dehydration)[AGL: 1 (TBD DL), ATD: -.014 (TBD DL)]
Not all muscle cramps/spasms are the result of fluid imbalance, but whenyou have to go to the hospital and get five bags of IV fluid, it’s safe to say you’re dehydrated. Hudson has had troubles with dehydration in the past—especially during his first few years in Atlanta—but has managed it well over the last few seasons with a specific pre-game routine.

Hudson’s routine is very precise and involves timing his meals and also taking IV fluids before the game when the conditions call for it. On Friday, a shorter-than-expected rain delay threw all the plans out the window, and he was forced to pitch without his normal pre-game IV fluids. In the sixth inning on Friday night, cramping and dehydration forced him out of the game and to a local hospital, where five bags of IV fluid were administered. Luckily, his condition did not progress into heat exhaustion or worse, so he should be able to make his next start for the Braves as they desperately cling to their wild card lead.

Scott Atchison, BOS (Right groin strain) [AGL: 4 (28 DL), ATD: -.020 (-.009 DL)]
With all of the issues the Red Sox are having in the standings, the last thing they need is another player getting hurt and further handcuffing them with limited options. In the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader with New York, Atchison exited prior to the start of the eighth after slightly straining his right groin on a warm-up pitch. Given the fact that he was also shaking his arm, there may have been something else going on as well. Regardless, the loss of Atchison will leave the Red Sox bullpen even thinner at a time when he is needed most. He’s day-to-day for now, but if the Red Sox don’t make the postseason, he may have thrown his last pitch in 2011.

Flesh Wounds: Major League Baseball has been asking teams to place players on the disabled list if they’re injured and out for the season in order to compile more accurate injury statistics. As a result, Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, and Tsuyoshi Nishioka were all placed on the disabled list over the weekend despite being officially shut down earlier… Jason Bourgeois has been dealing with a mild case of left wrist inflammation over the weekend… Todd Frazier thought he broke something in his left hand when Joel Hanrahan hit him with a fastball during Friday’s game. X-rays were negative… Asdrubal Cabrera suffered a bruised elbow after getting hit by a pitch on Saturday… Cliff Pennington had to be scratched from Saturday’s start with tightness in his oblique… Felix Hernandez had to leave his Saturday start after taking a Michael Young line drive off his right forearm. X-rays were negative… Trevor Crowe strained his left shoulder during Saturday’s game and was shut down for the year… Matt Holliday finally returned to the lineup after missing 10 days… Kris Medlen was activated from the disabled list after coming back from Tommy John surgery… Michael Cuddyer continues to deal with nagging injuries. His latest is right groin tightness that pushed him out of Friday’s game but wasn’t bad enough to keep him out of Saturday’s game. He’s going to be day-to-day down the stretch…. Justin Upton left for precautionary reasons after being beaned by Tim Lincecum. There has been no diagnosis of a concussion yet, as he’s passed all his tests so far, but he will be reevaluated today…  Miguel Cabrera left Sunday’s game in the eighth inning with lightheadedness but felt better after the game. He should be fine down the stretch… Ryan Kalish was brought up and placed on the 60-day disabled list with a bulging disc in his neck… David DeJesus suffered a right hip contusion in yesterday’s game and is day-to-day… Tommy Hanson is continuing to experience soreness in his shoulder. The pain is now located near the shoulder blade, which puts the remainder of the season at risk… Carlos Gonzalez, Carlos Quentin, and Brendan Ryan are all likely done for 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:  Denard Span,  Surgery,  Shoulder,  Miguel Cairo,  Torn Labrum

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