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July 2, 2003

Under The Knife

Eruption

by Will Carroll

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Trades. I'll just snicker at the deals made Tuesday and wait for Chris Kahrl to tear Kenny a new one. You know it's bad when BP intern Jason Grady gets to inform Carl Everett that he's been traded. Seriously, that's how it happened in the eighth inning. I'll stick to the injury beat tonight, mostly.

  • I heard someone describe getting an injured player back as like 'making a mid-season trade.' Ummm, no. Losing a player to injury, then getting him back is not additive. At best, it gets you back to the place you thought you'd be later than you expected to be there.

    On that note, the Diamondbacks are back in the race after an amazing run--and yes, they've done it without Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. Schilling looks like he'll win the race back, but he may be rushing himself slightly. He's due for a rehab start on Wednesday and the Snakes think he'll get in one start in the majors before the ASB. Johnson, as we've known, will head to Triple-A one night later with his first MLB start just after the ASB. Johnson made it through his side sessions with a minimum of problems, so things are looking up in the desert.

  • I guess the Rockies read UTK Tuesday and decided they'd better do something with Shawn Chacon. I think they had an idea something was wrong well before reading my column, however. Chacon heads to the DL with an elbow strain, but an MRI ruled out major damage inside his pitching arm. Chacon's been pitching way over his head, but it stinks to see a guy come back to earth like that.

  • When you look up "cascade" in the dictionary, there should be a picture of J.D. Drew. His knee problems have led to hip and ankle injuries. His hip injury has now caused problems in his surgically repaired right knee. Add in back injuries and a swing he's had trouble getting on track and you wonder why the Cardinals don't drop him on the DL and try to get him healthy. Oh, that's right, it's far too logical for TLR. We knew Drew would be slow coming back, but it may be 2004 before he's close to full-go.

  • When you're fat, you'd better pitch like David Wells or Bartolo Colon. If not, you don't get much slack. Ruben Quevedo has eaten and pitched his way out of Milwaukee, making his latest moves even more inscrutable. Instead of reporting to Triple-A Indianapolis, he's decided his shoulder hurts and he wants to go on the DL. This is a bush move to stay out of the bush leagues. If Quevedo had perhaps mentioned anything about shoulder problems before he got his ticket to my fair city, he'd have a pittance of credibility. But he didn't and now he doesn't. Ruben needs to be a stand-up guy like Glendon Rusch, and do his work to get back to where he wants to be. (Quick BPR Note: You'll want to hear what Rusch has to say about luck and pitching. Stand-up guy.)

  • I bet Josh Beckett can win a lot of games with this kind of run support. Ninety-one pitches is reasonable, and in line with his rehab program; his velocity was good, and his command was near expected levels. It was a successful first start back, and hopefully the Marlins will keep him closer to this level of work than the one that put him on the DL to begin with.

  • I said it before about Chacon, so I'll say it about Javier Vazquez. He doesn't look right. His velocity is only down slightly and I didn't get to see his last start yet, but in the highlights, his mechanics look choppy and his results are certainly below what he's been able to do in the past. I'm worried.

  • The old joke about 'it only hurts when I breathe' is true for the M's closer, Kazuhiro Sasaki. There's quite a bit of discussion about how out of shape he is, which is surprising since he's been out only days, not months. Sasaki's rumored August return is just guesswork until he gets to a pain-free state and can do anything. Rib fractures are notoriously slow healing and frought with setbacks. Of course, the rest is probably doing his shoulder some good, and the Mariners aren't exactly collapsing without him in the pen despite the best efforts of Arthur Rhodes and Jeff Nelson.

  • Would it be bad to drop Bobby Higginson on the DL and hope that the insurance pays off his contract? For the Tigers, no, not really--but I don't think they're hoping that's the scenario. Higginson may not be the type of player (or contract) the front office wants, but he does fit in well with the coaching staff's idea of the type of player they need to teach the youngsters.

  • Quick Cuts: Late news on Dave Roberts: strained hamstring, more details as I get them. The current most valuable person in LA is suddenly Stan Johnston...Rey Sanchez was brought off the DL and will step into the 2B slot for the Mets...To answer several questions, the 60 day DL really is just a procedural move--a player can only be placed on the 60 day list if the 40 man roster is full. This is usually the reason why players who are out for extended periods are left on the 15 day DL...John Olerud's hamstring is not considered serious by the M's and he should be back in just days...Bernie Williams was seen running the bases. He'll be ready just after the ASB...Casey Fossum is just about ready for a rehab assignment after letting the tendinitis in his shoulder settle. He's likely coming back to the pen, though the Byung-Hyun Kim move leaves the possibility open...Diminished skills? OK, Frank Thomas, I apologize.

Thanks to the boatloads of BP Premium subscribers who called in on the "closer song" question today. The best suggestion (besides my own) was Van Halen's "Eruption."

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