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June 7, 2005

Under The Knife

Draft Day

by Will Carroll

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I'm not going to kvetch about the lack of television coverage this year. MLB.tv and XM Channel 176 will give me all the draft coverage I need. Whether you're listening to Jonathan Mayo's great work or watching along with the boys at Baseball America, there's plenty of interest and plenty of ways to feed that interest. You know where I'll be for a good portion of the day.

Powered by the shock of Apple switching to Intel and the pig flying past my window, on to the injuries:

  • Rockies fans don't know whether to laugh or cry. As the story began circulating that NL Rookie of the Year candidate Clint Barmes had broken his collarbone and was done for the season, people wondered if the story--that he'd fallen while carrying groceries--was true. I have no reason to question Barmes or the Rockies. Barmes has been portrayed as a stand-up guy, and while I don't know him, people that do say he's broken up about the accident. Barmes went directly to the 60-day DL and will have surgery as soon as Tuesday to fixate the clavicle. If there's any consolation, it's his non-throwing shoulder. Best wishes from the UTK staff to Clint Hurdle as well, dealing with some off-field issues.

  • If you're looking for a snapshot of the Braves organization, it's the Chipper Jones injury. Not that he was carried off, not that he's fought through multiple problems and stubbornly resisted rest, but that he'll be replaced by the #1 prospect in the minors, Andy Marte. John Schuerholz often has something like this just waiting for such a moment and when there's not a blue chip, he plays Reanimator and conjures up the last hurrah of Julio Franco or Mike Remlinger. Jones continues to insist that he'll be on the DL for just the minimum. It's not likely he'll get Pipped, but you have to admire his competitiveness.

    There is late word from the AJC that Jones may need surgery to repair a torn ligament in his foot. This is considered a worst-case scenario and the MRI scheduled for today should provide much more information.

  • It was one of the more violent collisions in recent memory and Johnny Estrada seems to have taken the worst of it. Darin Erstad crushed Estrada on a close play at the plate, forcing Estrada out of the game and to the hospital for observation. Estrada has a possible concussion, pain in his neck, and is generally sore, meaning he's not only out for Tuesday's game, but depending on his response, could be headed to the DL. Much is being made of Erstad's college career as a football player, but remember, he was a punter at Nebraska. It's not like he kicked Estrada in the head.

  • Any time a guy with a history of hamstring tears like Alfonso Soriano has even a slight pull, there's great cause for concern. Even with a Jones/Marte type situation in Texas (Ian Kinsler is ready), the Rangers don't want to mess with their streak. Soriano's latest strain is very minor, so the time he misses is more precaution than anything else. The biggest worry is that the scar tissue that rebuilt his hamstring is not where this problem is. The weakness extant in the muscle structurally is, of course, the biggest worry.

  • What do Justin Morneau and Kelvim Escobar have in common? Other than a bone spur in the elbow and a major-league career, I can't think of anything. Morneau was diagnosed with the spur after an MRI. As with Escobar, the Twins will treat the symptoms rather than the cause, hoping to keep Morneau and his power bat in the lineup until he gets whooping cough or something. (I kid.) There's little way to judge how Morneau will play once he gets the cortisone and the swelling goes down. Morneau is reported to have a very high pain tolerance, which should help. Watch to see if he needs more injections and more time off. The Twins, oddly, have no real backup at first base. One option might be Doug Mientkiewicz, who the Mets have been shopping while they try and upgrade.

  • The Yankees' struggles have conspired to make Jaret Wright and his injured shoulder something of a phantom. Wright continues to make slow progress from an injury considered at the time to be relatively minor. Well, relative to being out all season with yet another surgery, a couple months off is minor. Somehow, I'll bet George Steinbrenner is more a glass-half-empty guy. Wright could be back on a mound late next week, making the All-Star break a best-case return.

  • It often seems a bit odd that there's a disconnect between an athlete going on the DL and their subsequent surgery. Beyond the typical scheduling issues--go ahead, try setting up a complex shoulder surgery with a top orthopod--there are medical issues as well. Jeff Bagwell is ready to have his shoulder redone this week in hopes that he'll be able to play in 2006. Best wishes to Bagwell as he goes under the knife.

  • The Dodgers are expecting Milton Bradley back after his 15 days have lapsed. The odd finger sprain isn't preventing him from taking some cuts and keeping up his cardio. There's still some chance that he'll need a few extra days and no one seems very sure of how the injury will respond to a baseball workload, so tread lightly here for the first few days he's back. Speaking of the Dodgers, has anyone noticed that J.D. Drew has played in 48 of his team's 53 games?

  • The Indians are planning for Kevin Millwood to come off the DL and start on Friday. However, they have Jason Davis as a Plan B. Both pitchers will prep as if they will start, though Davis could be waved off mid-week and be made available in the bullpen. Millwood has had a quick, uneventful return from a groin strain. The Indians certainly need his stabilizing influence in the rotation, and for him to be healthy just in case the right offer comes along for the disappointing Indians to improve themselves longer-term.

  • Dave Miley may be on the hot seat and Jim Leyland may be on John Allen's speed dial, but Paul Wilson doesn't seem in any rush to return. The titular Reds ace is still limited to an interval throwing program. It appears that the Reds are using this DL stint as a chance for Wilson to regroup, work on his pitching, and hopefully come back in a better physical and mental state. Even that might not be enough to help the Reds escape a high draft pick next season. Glass half full, I guess.

  • Quick Cuts: First showing on my house today. Any tips? Better, anyone need a nice townhome in suburban Indy? If Matt Morris has a new pitch that's a combo of the splitter and cutter, can anyone resist calling it a "slutter?" Todd Greene was rumored to be moving (Mariners?) but instead, he's shifting to the DL with a strained hamstring Damian Miller will miss a series with a groin strain, but not hit the DL. The Brewers designated Gary Glover instead Kevin Brown fell while covering first base and there are reports that his pitching shoulder is sore. While Brown thinks he'll be fine for his next start, the Yanks are prepping Chien-Ming Wang ... Scott Rolen took BP before Monday's game. It's good progress, so if it seems slow, it's only because the Cardinals have no need to rush ... If you ask Roger Cedeno why he's on the DL, the answer could be entertaining You might have noticed the column yesterday being late and ending with an ellipse. Man, you missed a great rant Everybody's a draft guru today: Upton, Gordon, Tulowitzki, Zimmerman, Braun, Romero, Maybin, Bruce, Clement, Pelfrey. Back tomorrow.

Related Content:  Clint Barmes

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