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April 23, 2004

Under The Knife

Dodging Bullets

by Will Carroll

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It's been a busy night at Knife HQ, so let's get right into this...

  • The Indians dodged a bullet Thursday when an MRI showed C.C. Sabathia had only some bicipital tendonitis. Sabathia is someone I've predicted would break down for years now, but he continues to defy me, proving once again that we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to injury prediction. The soreness in his arm doesn't appear to be serious and that it happened while throwing a changeup is likely a red herring. While the irony of having Jeff D'Amico step in when someone is injured isn't lost on me, Sabathia should be able to make his next start.

  • Kerry Wood may not have been praying for rain, but he'll be the biggest beneficiary of Thursday's rainout. The postponement will push his start back to Saturday, giving him two additional days of rest following his 130 pitch workload last time out. While recovery is still a poorly understood area of pitching, there are no negatives to this for Wood.

  • Joe Kerrigan has more work to do with Brett Myers. After missing a start to work on mechanics, Myers continued to struggle Thursday night. While I admittedly did not see the game beyond the highlights (dominated by the Gonzalez/Pratt face-off), Myers was clearly still off mechanically. His elbow was way ahead of his shoulder, much like Pedro Martinez in the middle of last season. If Myers cannot quickly correct the problem, the Phillies will have to consider some of their options in the minors.

  • There's still a lot of work that needs to be done in educating people about pitching injuries. Quotes from Bill Stoneman, the Angels GM, show that this is true even among some of the smarter baseball professionals. Pitching injuries shouldn't be expected and it's a failing of baseball at all levels that it tolerates such attrition. Someone should write a book about this...

  • The Expos don't need more going wrong, but Nick Johnson had a significant setback. After a cortisone shot, he'll miss at least two more weeks. The shot is extremely significant, giving some indication that there is something structural rather than muscular. Given these new facts, I'm less inclined to believe that Johnson will be effective immediately upon his return. Adjust your expectations downward if you haven't already.

  • Garrett Anderson was held out of the lineup on Thusday after his upper back stiffened up. The Angels' outfield depth is beginning to look less problematic and more necessary with this series of minor injuries. Not many details were available at deadline, so keep your eyes on this one over the weekend.

  • Ty Wigginton heads to the DL while the Mets medical staff tries to determine the cause of dizzy spells. Reports vary on the symptoms, from nearly passing out to mild vertigo. Wigginton has been hospitalized for tests, but it is important to find the cause, not just for the Mets, but for Wigginton's life.

  • Two sides to the Lasik coin: While Troy Glaus is crediting the laser eye surgery for his early season success, Rocco Baldelli has the Rays worried that he's not seeing the ball as well after his surgery. There's no definitive study or even survey that I'm aware of showing the effects, positive or negative, of the procedure on baseball skills.

  • Playing good news, bad news with the Mariners is always fun, and usually gets me a nice e-mail from Derek Zumsteg to boot. On the good side of the equation, the Mariners think Rafael Soriano will be back with the club quickly. Soriano's velocity has been up and he's reported no problems with his oblique. On the downside, the first half of the season is another loss for Chris Snelling. His wrist surgery will keep him out until July at the earliest.

  • Quick Cuts: Mike Sweeney was held out of Thursday's game with wrist soreness. The Royals are also getting good reports on Angel Berroa...Shannon Stewart was removed from his last game more as precaution than anything. Cramps in his hamstring forced the move...Yeah, Roy Oswalt needed a new pitch like I needed fewer cellular minutes. That slider is going to cause hitters some problems. Jeff Brantley does a great job breaking this type of stuff down...DMPU: No change...A bad outing in rehab might keep Mike MacDougal down on the assignment longer than expected. He's still weak after battling a virus...More bad news: Peter Bergeron was placed on the DL by the Expos...Tim Stauffer is off to a good start in the minors. Good to see after he cost himself money with honesty last season...Jose Reyes is making progress, but there's no determination on when he'll move up for a rehab stint yet.

Everyone have a great weekend of baseball and get ready for a big Pizza Feed announcement soon.

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