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August 22, 2006

Under The Knife

Intro? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Intro

by Will Carroll

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No time for an intro--big news coming tomorrow--so on to the injuries:

  • Mark Hale of the New York Post got the scoop: Tom Glavine will miss a week, not the rest of the season, after tests indicated that there was no blood clot in his pitching shoulder. Instead, the coldness in his fingers was the result of an exacerbation of an existing condition, called Raynaud's phenomenon (Gotta like a condition called a "phenomenon.") This condition, one Glavine has dealt with for years, causes the body's response to cold to get out of whack. The condition can be treated with medication, meaning that Glavine should miss one start. The Mets are expected to replace Glavine with Oliver Perez, who has been reborn in the Mets system after a trade in July. This is great news for Glavine and for the Mets, whose postseason hopes seemed to hang in the balance.

  • The schizophrenic Phillies weren't contenders when they traded away Bobby Abreu, then they were again when they acquired Jamie Moyer. I'm not sure where that leaves them now, as Tom Gordon heads to the DL. Gordon has a tired shoulder and wasn't expected to play for the current series; after discussions, the decision was made to send him to the DL. Gordon admitted to the team that he's been fighting through pain for the better part of the second half, pushing the team to enforce a longer rest as well as allowing them to replace him in the pen. Gordon's return, like so many at this time of the year, will be greatly affected by the team's status. In the longer term, Gordon should have no trouble returning to his level; this is a fatigue-based problem. Arthur Rhodes will continue as closer in the interim.

    The Phillies are more concerned about Aaron Rowand. Rowand has a way of running into things--on Monday, that thing was Chase Utley. Rowand got the worst of it and injured his ankle. Replays made it look like a sprain, though Rowand was taken for x-rays. There are no reports at deadline on the results of those images, though indications from team sources are that they did not believe there was a fracture. Rowand will miss time with a sprain, though there's no indication on just how serious the injury might be. Rowand's playing style is already taking a toll on him. The Phillies are lucky this wasn't worse for their team; one collision could well have taken out two of its three best players.

  • After a weekend where the outfield of Fenway made for nice grazing ground for the horses of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the focus has now moved to blame and excuse. The media is looking to find a cause, whether it's the loss of Jason Varitek or the lack of trades, but baseball isn't simple enough for such explanations. In another week, we should get a better idea since Jason Varitek will be back. Team sources think that Varitek will be back around September 1st, though the sweep this weekend has done nothing but strengthen Varitek's resolve to get back out on the field. Watch for him to start taking batting practice later this week and to begin pushing for a return as DH. Manny Ramirez is also hurting, though not significantly. Ramirez left Monday's game as a precaution after his hamstring tightened up. Team trainers worked on the leg, but were unable to get Ramirez comfortable and elected to take him out. This shouldn't be a long-term problem. The trainers can get more time and techniques before and after a game than they can in game. And let's face it: Manny's not a runner.

  • The Tigers are juggling their pitching a bit. Mike Maroth will make one more rehab start, in Indianapolis on Wednesday, while the team figures out where the various pieces and parts fit. Maroth should slot back into the rotation, while one of the starters shifts to long relief. Maroth has had only minor problems during his rehab, mostly involving recovery from his starts rather than any residual pain from his elbow surgery. Roman Colon heads to the DL, opening up that bullpen slot, after experiencing spasms in his neck and upper back. There have been some rumors that the Tigers had been using Colon as bait to acquire a veteran reliever, something sources tell me remains a possibility.

  • Need sometimes trumps injury when it comes to baseball. The Padres looked to be pushing Chris Young to the DL after he strained his shoulder, but losing Clay Hensley and Chan Ho Park have caused the team to reconsider. Young, a player who wants to succeed in the second half, will get his shot at avoiding the List if he can throw a good side session, one that will come Wednesday or Thursday. If this was football, we'd be listing Young as "doubtful," though I wouldn't be surprised if Young were able to gut it out on the mound. I worry more about the possible exacerbation of the rhomboid injury than I do about the talent gap to Young's replacement.

  • Darin Erstad is taking grounders at first, admitting finally that his ankle/foot problems will not allow him to return to CF this season. Erstad is unlikely to rejoin the Angels until rosters expand and sources tell me that Mike Scioscia has been very clear with Erstad that he's not guaranteed any playing time, at first or anywhere. Erstad is still facing surgery in the offseason to clean up those bone spurs that have cost him most of the season. Don't be surprised to see Erstad re-sign with the Angels on an incentive-laden one year deal.

  • Despite having his last rehab start rained out, the Jays will bring Gustavo Chacin back on Wednesday. That decision wasn't about injury so much as it was about Shaun Marcum getting crushed in his last start. Chacin did not look fully recovered from elbow problems during much of his rehab so keep your expectations low. While Chacin appears to have recovered enough to avoid the shadow of Tommy John, the problems come on the heels of a 200 inning year in which he saw a sixty inning increase. He defines the "danger zone" workload increase, one we're seeing around the league again and again.

  • Quick Cuts: The Japan Times is reporting that Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Seibu ace who dominated during the Classic, will be posted. I was able to talk with several front offices about Matsuzaka and all agree that his posting will be in the $20m range with a salary demand "not unlike Jose Contreras now, maybe more," according to an AL executive. Everyone I asked about Matsuzaka asked two questions: what is a gyroball and how much damage has his arm taken with his insane workload? Marcus Giles may hit the DL. His left hand remains too swollen and painful to play Chan Ho Park is headed back to the DL with a recurrence of his intestinal bleeding. It's as scary as it sounds Derrek Lee took batting practice on Monday, according to sources. He looked "normal" Kyle Farnsworth was able to throw on the side and should be back in the bullpen A big new glove for Justin Verlander appears to have fixed the tipping. Good to see him back on track Injury-prone Cesar Izturis will head to the DL with a strained hamstring John Gibbons is day-to-day. Brilliant.
Related Content:  The Who,  Gustavo Chacin

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