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 Transaction Analysis: ... (07/29)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Under The Knife: Heroe... (07/29)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Under The Knife: Uppin... (08/01)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Prospectus Today: Too ... (07/30)

July 30, 2005

Under The Knife

An Ugly Injury

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.

Danys Baez. Alfonso Soriano. Matt Lawton. A.J. Burnett. Sorry, it's a reflex now. Just because the baseball world is focused on the trade deadline doesn't mean the injuries stop. Those are just as important, if not more important, than any trade that will be made. In fact, I'll bet that more runs will be lost to injuries during this week than will be traded by the deadline. Now, I just have to figure out how to calculate that.

Powered by nothing. I'm just running on pure adrenaline for about the next six hours, after which I'll start back on some coffee. Anyway, on to the injuries ...

  • It was an ugly injury. Torii Hunter ran into the Fenway triangle, extended his leg towards the angled wall and misjudged it. As his foot hit the padding, his weight stuck the cleats into the canvas cover and sharply everted (forced out the sole of) the foot, tearing tendons in his ankle. His first grasp was just below the belly of the gastrocnemius (calf muscle), making me (and several e-mailers) immediately think "Achilles tendon tear." Adding to that fear was Hunter's apparent lack of pain as he was carted off the field, since the Achilles is not very innervated. X-rays came back negative for fractures and avulsion, but an MRI on Saturday will be the true test. At minimum, Hunter will miss a month. Eversion sprains affecting the tibiotalaer, tibionavicular and tibiocalcaneal ligaments are uncommon, about 10% of sprains, and slow-healing. That's the best-case scenario. An Achilles tear for a speed player on turf? That's about as worst-case a scenario as the Twins could have.

  • The worst-case scenario for Frank Thomas isn't what it might have been for the Pale Hose five, six or seven years ago. Thomas is out for the season with another related, but not overlapping, fracture in his foot/ankle. Yet the Sox are still in the dominant position and arguably aren't much worse. Thomas was certainly a factor this season, swinging for the fences to keep the pressure off that bad wheel. A .285 EqA shows he can still hit, but the 1.3 WARP3 shows that he wasn't there enough to make a big impact. Still, his 8.3 VORP is higher than what his likely replacement, Carl Everett, has put up in three times as many plate appearances. Thomas holds a player option for next season and no one has ruled out a return, though it looks decreasingly likely that Thomas can do much more than what he did this season. The White Sox did keep Harold Baines around for a long time.

  • The Cubs are excited about the possibilities they see for August. Rich Hill is getting another start, Jerome Williams is solidifying his spot in the rotation, and Matt Murton is playing like the sparkplug the team desperately needed. They're hoping that three additions from the DL will continue to push the team towards another wild-card battle royale with the Astros. Scott Williamson will be pushed to the bullpen after a near miraculous recovery from Tommy John surgery, and Kerry Wood will join him in the pen after a short rehab stint at Double-A. Attendance at West Tenn should be nice over the next week as Wood and Nomar Garciaparra visit. Garciaparra was expected to go to Triple-A Iowa, but they're on a west coast swing. Sending Garciaparra out there would prevent them from calling him up quickly, something the Cubs seem ready to do. How they integrate these moves, especially figuring out how to best use Wood in the pen, will go a long way in determining how much chance we have of seeing red ivy again.

  • Wade Miller is having what Red Sox sources describe as "mild shoulder fatigue." (Of course, Sox sources are under all kinds of fatigue themselves.) Miller's comeback from his shoulder problems made this type of small problem likely, if not inevitable. The fact that he's been able to put together a useful season in the #5 slot (9.3 VORP in 14 starts that average 5 2/3 innings) has been even more valuable than numbers show in light of Curt Schilling's absence. The reduced strikeout rate is the one stat that's worrisome.

    The Red Sox are also figuring out how to best bring Matt Clement back into the rotation. The flexible Tim Wakefield will take his next start and Terry Francona will work with Clement and Dave Wallace to decide what day Clement figures to be mentally and physically ready. At this stage and given test results, it's the former of those challenges that will be most pressing.

  • Jose Valverde is finally getting his velocity and movement back, though it's still not what made "Combos" one of the top minor-league relief prospectsa few years ago. Brian Bruney's struggles and the slow comeback of the rest of Arizona's injured relief corps opens the door of opportunity for Valverde. Labrum survivors have a tendency to fade, so don't get too excited about Valverde in the short term. Still, he's another data point in the continuing push away from "labrum as death sentence."

  • Quick Cuts: 121, 119...anyone getting the idea that Dusty Baker is working with the number 120 in his head lately? Roy Halladay could pitch today if needed, said J.P. Ricciardi. The plan is for him to take the mound again next weekend Adam Eaton may have thrown some breaking balls in his sim game, but none were game quality, according to Eaton. "Frisbees," another observer called them. Eaton still feels he'll be able to start at some point this season. ... Jay Powell of the Braves fell to the ground on just his second pitch of the night in a scene reminiscent of Tom Browning's broken arm. No word yet on the extent of the injury beyond "significant." Powell is done for the season.

Thanks for the kind words on yesterday's UTK. Some asked why I didn't mention Wade Boggs or Jerry Coleman. Honestly, in my baseball life, those two didn't mean much to me. I respect the work they did, but neither touched me in any real way. I hope everyone understands this is no slight to two deserving Hall of Famers.

Be sure to check out this weekend's BP Radio. Our guests were Paul DePodesta, Buster Olney and Chris Kahrl in what was a lively show heading into deadline weekend.

0 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (07/29)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Under The Knife: Heroe... (07/29)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Under The Knife: Uppin... (08/01)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Prospectus Today: Too ... (07/30)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Fantasy Article Deep Impact: Week 20
Fantasy Article The Stash List: 18th Edition: The Final Ques...
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Monday, August...
Premium Article What You Need to Know: August 19, 2014
Notes About Baseball: Rain Delay Theater: Ba...
Premium Article Going Yard: Four Impressive High School Hitt...
Premium Article Baseball Therapy: Becoming An Adult f/x

MORE FROM JULY 30, 2005
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: July 29
Premium Article Prospectus Today: Too Good for the Bubble

MORE BY WILL CARROLL
2005-08-01 - Premium Article UTK Special
2005-08-01 - Premium Article Under The Knife: Upping the Workload
2005-07-31 - Premium Article Will's Mill: Deadline Weekend
2005-07-30 - Premium Article Under The Knife: An Ugly Injury
2005-07-29 - Premium Article Will's Mill: Friday's Rumors
2005-07-29 - Premium Article Under The Knife: Heroes
2005-07-28 - Premium Article Will's Mill: T-Minus Four Days and Counting
More...

MORE UNDER THE KNIFE
2005-08-04 - Premium Article Under The Knife: Not-So-Swift Justice
2005-08-03 - Premium Article Under The Knife: Looking for Leadership
2005-08-01 - Premium Article Under The Knife: Upping the Workload
2005-07-30 - Premium Article Under The Knife: An Ugly Injury
2005-07-29 - Premium Article Under The Knife: Heroes
2005-07-28 - Premium Article Under The Knife: The Picture is Fuzzy
2005-07-27 - Premium Article Under The Knife: Precautionary Limp
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2006-02-17 - Fantasy Article Team Health Reports: Minnesota Twins
2005-08-02 - Prospectus Hit List: Week of July 31