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March 23, 2012

Collateral Damage

Spring Soreness

by Corey Dawkins

Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants (Right elbow soreness)
After finally appearing to be over his 2011 elbow problems, Wilson developed soreness in his right elbow, which has to have everyone concerned. He missed over a month last season due to a strain of the flexor muscle mass on the inside aspect of his elbow. In addition to contributing to force reproduction levels necessary to throw the ball in the upper 90s, the flexor mass is an important stabilizer to the ligament, made famous by Tommy John (with an assist from Dr. Frank Jobe).

Velocity is one of the factors that have been associated with injuries to this ligament in throwers. Whenever a pitcher experiences multiple bouts of elbow pain within a year’s time, there has to be concern about some underlying cause, whether it is ligament, cartilage, or tendon damage. Wilson was able to throw in a minor-league game on Thursday and kept his velocity in the upper 90s. He’s not out of the woods yet, but for now, he’s day to day.

Carlos Marmol, Chicago Cubs (Neck pain)
Marmol left Tuesday’s game with soreness and tingling in his hand. Initial reports called it a hand cramp. Further questioning also revealed that he had tightness in his neck, so Marmol was sent for an MRI to rule out any major injuries. The purpose of the MRI of the neck and shoulder was to look for anything that might be putting pressure on the nerves traveling down the arm.

Luckily, the MRI was negative for any significant damage, and Marmol has recovered from all of his symptoms. The MRI results are good news, but numbness and tingling is a rather specific symptom and needs to be closely monitored (although Marmol did say that he’s had cramping before). If we hear any reports of recurrence of those symptoms when he returns to throwing, a big red flag should be raised.

Orlando Hudson, San Diego Padres (Groin strain)
Just one day after getting back to baseball activities on Tuesday, Hudson had to be placed on the shelf with an aggravation of his strained right groin. He felt something tug in the same area while grounding into a double play and is day to day. Groin injuries can often recur, though other injuries, such as sports hernias, can produce similar symptoms. There is no timetable for Hudson’s return.

Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles (Left shoulder soreness)
Britton, who’s been dealing with soreness and inflammation in his pitching shoulder, recently saw Dr. James Andrews, who felt that there was no major structural damage. As a result, he had PRP injections on Wednesday in hopes of decreasing the inflammation that has plagued him for over six months.

Britton will definitely start the season on the disabled list, but it remains to be seen exactly how long he will be out. Six weeks is typical for PRP injections, but that’s if the body responds well, which Britton’s has not done so far on its own. He won’t pick up a baseball for another week or so, but therapy will be conservative in order to avoid exerting any major forces across the healing area. We should know a lot more about his return in approximately three weeks.

Flesh Wounds
Charlie Blackmon
was scratched from the lineup because of inflammation in his right big toe. He is day to day right now… Dustin Pedroia was forced to leave the game on Thursday because of a right bruised forearm… A.J. Burnett was able to throw a 52-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday and is expected to throw a simulated game on Saturday. So far, he is definitely ahead of schedule… Emmanuel Burriss has been limited recently because of hamstring tightness. He is day to day… Michael Brantley will also be rested for a few days to deal with a tight hamstring… Scott Sizemore underwent successful surgery on Wednesday for his ACL and should be ready for 2013… Eric Thames was held out of Wednesday’s game because of leg cramps, but he was able to return on Thursday… Zack Wheeler will miss his next start because of a sprained ankle he suffered while slipping on a staircase on Sunday… Neftali Feliz felt his shoulder was improved and will not have an MRI. He felt good with his long toss, and the plan is to throw a bullpen session today… Jason Kubel is dealing with some quad soreness and is day to day.

Sergio Romo (elbow inflammation) should return to spring training games today… Manuel Pina was officially placed on the 60-day disabled list after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus early in spring training. He is expected back in late April or early May… Salvador Perez was also placed on the 60-day disabled list following his meniscus repair. He is not expected to return for three months… Josh Johnson was up to 96 mph in Tuesday’s start, which is very encouraging… Ramon Hernandez left Tuesday’s game with a bruised left knee and is day to day… It may be another week before we see Reid Brignac on the field. Plantar fasciitis can be very difficult to treat once the foot gets inflamed… Rafael Perez was able to make his spring debut on Wednesday after experiencing shoulder inflammation and struck out two batters… Brad Hawpe was able to return from his most recent hamstring tightness…  Jed Lowrie is day to day after fouling a ball off his left foot on Tuesday… Mike Trout was able to make his debut on Tuesday following a mysterious illness… Mike Morse is still not responding to treatment and had a PRP injection to see if it would improve his symptoms. It is looking less likely that he will be ready by Opening Day… Corey Hart was hit in the head with a bar in the weight room and needed eight stitches to his ear on Tuesday. At least his knee is doing well.

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

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<< Previous Article
The BP Wayback Machine... (03/23)
<< Previous Column
Collateral Damage: Fil... (03/21)
Next Column >>
Collateral Damage: The... (03/26)
Next Article >>
The Stats Go Marching ... (03/23)

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