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June 8, 2004

Under The Knife

Beginning to See the Light

by Will Carroll

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The first day of the draft has come and gone, while the baseball world spun around it. Instead of immersing myself in it, I stayed on the move, Nokia in hand, and got to spend a nice day at the ballpark. Jim Rushford and the Red Barons were in town. With a blue sky and a slight breeze, it couldn't have been a better night at the ballpark.

On to the injuries...

  • Randy Wolf will head to the DL as the Phillies activate Billy Wagner. The team doesn't seem overly concerned about the injury. Wolf had similar problems a few years ago and came back quickly. The Phillies think the problem is simple inflammation, and rest (and medication) will correct it, allowing him to miss only a couple starts. Ryan Madson will likely take the starts, while Larry Bowa is asking for a look at Gavin Floyd.

  • The Padres passed on Jered Weaver (smartly, in my not-so-humble opinion) but they'll get two of their own pitchers back soon. David Wells will return from his barstool incident on Tuesday with no expected after-effects (unless you count some new scars). Jake Peavy will also make progress, throwing for the first time since he went on the DL. Peavy may not be the most credible source--RotoWire points out that there's more Kevin Brown in Peavy than makes a medical staff comfortable--but if his arm is truly pain free, he's probably two weeks away from a return. Like Andy Pettitte, there's a chance of recurrence if the injury isn't completely healed, so it's important that the Pads don't let him get ahead of himself. The Pads should also get Ryan Klesko back soon. He's headed to extended spring training and hopes to be back with the team when they head to Yankee Stadium next week.

  • Peter King may be tying his fortunes to the Red Sox, but is it a strategy that will sink his fantasy team? Not if he's got the right Red Sox. The team itself is getting healthy with Nomar Garciaparra expected back on Tuesday. Officially, the Sox are calling it a game-time decision, but it's all but a done deal. Basically, Nomar has to run without pain, take BP, and continue breathing. About a week away is Trot Nixon, who's being held back more by rain than pain.

  • Others are finally starting to see what I pointed out a few weeks back with Bartolo Colon. Colon's velocity has been down significantly, but he's disguised it by throwing more breaking balls and changes. Smart move. Colon is a tough one to judge since he looks to be one of a small class of "coasters"--pitchers who do not throw with full effort on every pitch, especially in the early innings. It's a strategy that was once much more popular, and could explain workloads from previous eras. Assuming Colon's loss of velocity is structural rather than mechanical, I'm not sure what it means for a 'coaster.' I'd venture to say that he'll be able to stay effective a bit longer, but that a structural injury will be amplified by the workload he accepts. In any case, the selection of Jered Weaver takes on new importance, as does the depth of pitching the Angels have collected.

  • The Angels will send Troy Percival for further tests on his elbow on Tuesday. This is a normal step and doesn't mean Percival is any worse (or better) than indicated by previous information. The bone scan is becoming a pretty standard test for arm injuries and advanced ultrasound is coming close behind. New technology simply gives medical professionals more information. As long as it can be read properly and too much noise isn't introduced into the process, it's a good thing for everyone. For Percival, this news is like no news. Whether that's good news is open to interpretation.

  • Quick Cuts: Roy Oswalt is complaining of a "sore side." While it sounds like an oblique, it could be something as simple as Greg Maddux and his "stitch"...If you're looking for a sleeper for your bullpen, look at Jason Childers. He may be no prospect at age 29, but he's effective, has a Barry Zito curve, and could help a team like the Expos. For Peter Bergeron, he's a steal...The Reds got good news when Aaron Harang came up with no structural damage. He'll rest and return around the ASB. In the meantime, we'll get to see if Jung Bong can help the Reds.

Back tomorrow. Last call for the Louisville Feed, and if you're in the Chicago area on Wednesday, I'll be signing copies of Saving The Pitcher in Winnetka. (Whoa, get there early enough and we can taunt Neil Cavuto!)

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<< Previous Article
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