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September 16, 2003

Under The Knife

Gone Till November

by Will Carroll

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No long, drawn out introduction tonight. I'm trying to get things together on the thing I've been wanting to announce for a couple days now; hopefully, we'll have plenty of announcements regarding the Toronto Feed in the not-so-distant future, along with announcements on feed(s) south of the Mason-Dixon. Try and be patient. In the meantime, here are the injuries for you...

  • One of the problems that can arise with a lower-revenue team is depth, but the A's have always been able to find a spare part--either on the open market or in Sacramento--to fill the gaps and step up. With Jose Guillen dealing with a wrist problem that I am told is similar to the one Doug Mientkiewicz is fighting through, and with Chris Singleton dealing with a disc problem in his lower back, the A's will test that depth, coming down to their last few outfielders. In the playoffs, a threesome of Jermaine Dye, Terrence Long, and Billy McMillon won't inspire much fear, but it's capable and the A's still have Eric Byrnes on the bench. This is yet another obstacle for the A's--but in the playoffs, anything can happen, right?

    UPDATE: Guillen's diagnosis became public after deadline last night: he has a broken hamate bone. I'll have more on this injury tomorrow, but suffice it to say for now that everything I said about his playing time remains true.

  • Trot Nixon is still about a week away from returning to the Red Sox lineup as the team battles for the Wild Card slot. Nixon's calf is making progress, but team sources say that he's still experiencing "catches" when he runs above a certain effort level. Given their current lineup, moving Nixon to DH isn't an option, but there's been some internal discussion about trying him at first base. Outside of a change in the current situation--like a positional move or another injury--Nixon is likely to be back in the lineup for the weekend series against the Indians.

  • As expected, Melvin Mora tore his MCL in Toronto, but the news could have been much worse. The MRI returned only a partially torn ligament, and it is likely that Mora will be able to avoid surgery. Once the swelling is reduced he'll begin an intensive rehab program, and will make a final decision on surgery by November. Why November? To give him time to recover in case surgery is necessary. All indications are that he should be able to avoid the knife and be ready for spring training. More importantly, Mora should retain his versatility and mobility.

  • When Randall Simon made the diving catch and threw to Matt Clement in stride, I cheered for two reasons: 1) Because it was a great play by my new favorite Cub, and 2) Because I knew right then that Clement had no residual problems with his groin. I did get clarification on the groin/calf mix-up, and it makes a bit more sense to me now. Clement was hit in the calf by a batted ball during his start on September 3rd. Running the bases afterwards, his changed gait caused a cascade which led to the strained groin. The muscle tends to tighten up on him after running, not pitching, so as long as his mechanics stay compact--always a problem with Clement--he should be fine.

  • The White Sox have been relatively healthy all season, and that has been a big part of their success. Keeping the Alomars and Carl Everett on the field can't be completely credited to Herm Schnieder and Steve Odgers, but don't discount their roles either. Carlos Lee has been a big part of their success--someone I wish I hadn't traded in my Scoresheet League, but then again, I am ahead of Nate Silver right now: something that will go on my resume in gold lettering--and he should miss minimal time, if any, with a mild sprain of his right ankle. The off-day helps, but other than a mild short-term power drop, he should have no problems.

  • Quick Cuts: J.C. Romero has a four-stitch reminder to look before sitting. He was stabbed by a tape shark left on the Twins bench. There's a reason those things are usually tied to something in the training room...I don't care if Jose Contreras wins the rest of the season--this picture is worth every penny they pay him, at least to me and my sick sense of humor...Cliff Lee will undergo routine hernia surgery soon, and will be ready for spring training, where he'll contend for a roster slot...Luis Ugueto was called up today, meaning the drinks are on Nate Silver all night!...Class move by the Cubs to retire Ron Santo's No. 10. If Cooperstown isn't smart enough to take him, the Cubs will keep him. I had the honor of interviewing Ron on Baseball Prospectus Radio earlier this year. Great guy.

Back tomorrow...

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