CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Crooked Numbers: April... (04/21)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Under The Knife: Comeb... (04/20)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Under The Knife: More ... (04/22)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (04/21)

April 21, 2005

Under The Knife

Superstars

by Will Carroll

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

It's been an interesting week at UTK headquarters. I won't bore you with the details, but I will say what an odd feeling it was to see my name and words in Sports Illustrated. It's a magazine that's truly at the pinnacle of its field, and I was honored that they wanted to excerpt The Juice. Still, what I do best and most is dig into the injury information and that's what we'll do here.

Powered by my readers, on to the injuries ...

  • You didn't have to be a doctor, trainer or even a medhead to look at the picture of Nomar Garciaparra, writhing in pain just outside the batter's box, and know that it was bad. Garciaparra strained his groin severely, needing assistance just to leave the field.

    Painful as it might have been, initial pain is not always an accurate indicator of the severity of an injury. Garciaparra will have an MRI on Thursday to determine the extent of the tear. That will tell us just how long he'll be out, though early indications make it seem unlikely that Garciaparra will avoid the DL. Rumors were already circulating that the Cubs and Phillies might get together on a deal for Placido Polanco or Chase Utley if the injury is serious.

  • A couple of reports came out of San Francisco yesterday that were negative for Barry Bonds. On the injury front, it was said that Bonds was "healing slowly" and that his timetable was still unclear. Felipe Alou was very vague in his quotes. Nothing in these reports seems new. From the second surgery and word from both Bonds and the Giants medical staff, everything was going to be done conservatively and with no hesitation to slow things down. I don't see how that has changed, so my target date is still May 15, though pushing that back a couple of weeks wouldn't surprise me in the least.

    The other report tells us something about Bonds' loyalty and less about his common sense. Bonds is reportedly working out with Greg Anderson...the same Greg Anderson currently under indictment (though working on a plea bargain at last report) in the BALCO case.

  • I'll often use the word "cascade"--a term I recently was reminded that I took from network science--to describe how one injury can affect the body so much that it causes other injuries. The same is true for teams; one injury often creates a cascading effect that forces them to make moves, to consider trades they wouldn't otherwise, or to shift people around on the diamond. Sometimes, it just changes plans. If Elmer Dessens is unable to go due to a shoulder problem, the Dodgers have Brad Penny at the ready. They'd hoped to keep Penny away from Coors Field, but circumstances are what they are. Penny appears ready, whenever his 2005 debut occurs.

  • The first step in the return of any pitcher is merely throwing. It's the basic skill of the game, standing and tossing the ball to someone a distance away. Whether it's a catch with your pop or 60 feet, six inches of pure heat that sounds like silk ripping, it's a simple beauty.

    Eric Gagne took his first step back by playing catch in the outfield. It's a ways off from dominating hitters again, though certainly a positive. Gagne will continue to throw, testing both his elbow and knee, progressing to long-toss and eventually pitching from a mound. This will take a matter of weeks most likely, so based on what we know now, Gagne might be back towards the middle of May.

  • Things have been going pretty well for Joe Mauer. He's had no setbacks with his knee since spring training. His manager is discussing expanding his usage behind the plate and sending down the fourth catcher, indicating some degree of confidence. This is all positive news; just remember it's the long term that worries me about Mauer and catching. Can he hold up as a catcher? Sure, for some period of time. It could be six weeks, it could be six years, but worse than me not knowing is the Twins not knowing. It's up to them to make sure that he's the most valuable he can be while he's a Twin; as a hometown guy, you have to think they want him long term.

  • The Palm Springs Angels of Anaheim got some slugging back--they hope. Dallas McPherson was brought back from Triple-A and immediately went into the lineup for the Angels. Going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts wasn't exactly what the Angels were hoping for, but it's part and parcel of McPherson's game. Personally, I see McPherson and see Russ Branyan with a back injury.

  • The M's may get a look at the "outfield of the future" sooner than we expected. With Scott Spiezio heading to the DL with a strained oblique, Shin-Soo Choo was called up. A grouping of Choo, Jeremy Reed and Ichiro Suzuki would look pretty good to a lot of M's fans and better if Chris Snelling was the fourth outfielder. Spiezio was injured on his only hit of the season, a delicious bit of Morrisettian irony, if not the real kind.

  • The Devil Rays have moved Rocco Baldelli from the 15-day to the 60-day DL. This isn't a setback. Instead, it's merely a procedural move allowing them to call up an emergency starter--John Webb--without materially affecting their 40-man roster. Baldelli is still on track for a return around the All-Star break, though he has yet to start baseball activities.

  • Add Agustin Montero to the illustrious list of violators of the new major-league drug prevention policy. His early defense that he used a prescription drug doesn't hold a lot of water, given what we know about the policy. While there are prescription drugs that would cause a positive test, there are also defined procedures for getting "therapeutic waivers" for their use in a medical setting. The New York Times notes that the suspension will cost him $4,918. I'm waiting for someone to note that all three players that have tested positive have been Latin; I can find no other common thread.

  • Just a further note on Magglio Ordonez. I was reminded that the escape clause for the Tigers has a second trigger. If Ordonez finishes the year on the DL, the Tigers can void the remainder of the contract.

  • Quick Cuts: Manny Ramirez left Tuesday's game with a slight quad strain. No one seemed concerned, least of all Manny. The best pure hitter in the game will get the occasional time off to keep him healthy Wade Miller will have another rehab start on Saturday, probably in Double-A Portland. Depending on results and schedule, he could be with Boston for the next start, though one more rehab outing is likely A.J. Pierzynski has been surprisingly quiet in all respects so far as a White Sock Joe Borowski was able to throw for a second consecutive day from the mound. He'll have an X-ray and then the team will decide where he goes for rehab Kudos to Richie Bancells for his great work in recognizing the signs of a stroke in coach Elrod Hendricks. The Orioles trainer may have saved Hendricks' life and certainly reduced chances that the stroke will continue to impact Hendricks Jonathon Ledecky is one of the bidders for the Washington Nationals. I had no idea what that kid was up to these days or that "Jerry Maguire" made that much money. "Did you know Nick Johnson's head weighs sixteen pounds?"

Related Content:  The Week In Quotes,  Quad-a

0 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Crooked Numbers: April... (04/21)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Under The Knife: Comeb... (04/20)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Under The Knife: More ... (04/22)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (04/21)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Baseball Therapy: Trading Ryan Howard For No...
Premium Article What You Need to Know: July 30, 2014
Fantasy Article Dynasty Dynamics: Who We're Selling at the D...
Eyewitness Accounts: July 30, 2014
Premium Article Scouting the Draft: The Cape League All-Star...
The Lineup Card: Nine Last-Minute Trades
Premium Article Moonshot: Separating the Phenoms Who'll Make...

MORE FROM APRIL 21, 2005
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: April 14-19, 2005
Premium Article Crooked Numbers: April Fools
Premium Article Prospectus Today: Commanding Performance

MORE BY WILL CARROLL
2005-04-26 - Premium Article Under The Knife: Spring Cleaning Edition
2005-04-25 - Premium Article Under The Knife: Look Deeper
2005-04-22 - Premium Article Under The Knife: More Bad Cubs News
2005-04-21 - Premium Article Under The Knife: Superstars
2005-04-20 - Premium Article Under The Knife: Comebacks
2005-04-18 - Premium Article Under The Knife: New Week, New Pains
2005-04-15 - Under The Knife: Apathy
More...

MORE UNDER THE KNIFE
2005-04-26 - Premium Article Under The Knife: Spring Cleaning Edition
2005-04-25 - Premium Article Under The Knife: Look Deeper
2005-04-22 - Premium Article Under The Knife: More Bad Cubs News
2005-04-21 - Premium Article Under The Knife: Superstars
2005-04-20 - Premium Article Under The Knife: Comebacks
2005-04-18 - Premium Article Under The Knife: New Week, New Pains
2005-04-15 - Under The Knife: Apathy
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2005-04-28 - Prospectus Triple Play: Cleveland Indians, S...
2005-04-22 - Prospectus Triple Play: Arizona Diamondbacks...