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March 14, 2012

Collateral Damage

Spring Uprising

by Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

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Taylor Teagarden, Baltimore Orioles (Low Back Soreness)
A recent MRI of Teagarden’s sore lower back raised concerns, so he visited a specialist for another opinion. A CT scan was ordered to better assess the area, but the O’s haven’t released an official diagnosis yet. MRIs can give us good information, but they don’t always give us everything we need. The CT can give a much clearer picture of the bone structure, which leads one to believe his injury may be related to the vertebra.

The good news is that there has been no talk of surgery yet. The bad news is that there is still no definitive timeline for his recovery. Some are speculating he will be out a week or so while others are speculating it will be much longer. No one really knows until we get an accurate diagnosis.

Tim Byrdak, New York Mets (Left Knee Meniscus Surgery)
The spring training injuries keep piling up for the Mets; almost one-third of their camp is ailing. Byrdak is the latest victim. He underwent surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee yesterday and will be out for four to six weeks, meaning the Mets will have to find someone to replace the lefty coming out of the bullpen in the short term. While it is possible that Byrdak will be back in time for Opening Day, it’s a stretch, and he would have to have a very speedy recovery. He might not be placed on the disabled list, but he almost certainly won’t be ready for the first week of the season.

Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves (Right Knee Soreness)
Nobody would blame Chipper if 2012 was his last year; his recent comments about his future sparked a media frenzy. After realizing people were taking those words seriously, he quickly changed his tune. It doesn’t change the fact that he is battling several aches and pains, including the right knee that gave his trouble last year. Chipper is what Chipper is. He is going to miss some time, but it’ll be nickels and dimes throughout the year. Right now, there is no reason to be any more cautious with him than you normally would be with him at this time of the year.

Craig Gentry, Texas Rangers (Left Wrist Sprain)
After making it back from a mild hamstring issue, Gentry sprained his left wrist yesterday while making an unsuccessful attempt to catch Jack Hannahan’s line drive. From the camera angles available, it did not look like a severe injury, but his reaction showed how painful it was. After walking off the field under his own power, he was taken for x-rays, which were negative.

In 2010, he broke his right wrist after running into an outfield wall in Triple-A Oklahoma City and underwent surgery a short time later to have a pin inserted to stabilize the fracture. This time it is not nearly as bad; Gentry was diagnosed with a mild sprain and is considered day-to-day.

Ryan Sweeney, Boston Red Sox (Left Quad Strain)
The Red Sox are also dealing with a number of injuries; Sweeney added a left quad strain to the mix today. Sweeney was considered one of the front-runners for the starting right-field job, but this could give Cody Ross a step up in the competition. Sweeney has a history of leg injuries, including a strained right quad that cost him the last two weeks of the 2011 season with Oakland. Yesterday, Sweeney said his quads were stiff before the start of the game but felt better after being tested by the medical staff. In the top of the third inning, the quad stiffened up a bit more and Sweeney was removed from the game. Quad strains don’t usually take as long as hamstring strains, but even one or two weeks could push Sweeney down the depth chart to start the regular season.

Laynce Nix, Philadelphia Phillies (Bruised Ribs)
Nix barreled into Detroit catcher Bryan Holaday on Sunday but appears to have gotten the worst of it. Nix bruised his ribs, and while the injury isn’t considered serious, the Phillies are going to be careful not to push him back too early. If they are too aggressive in putting him back in the lineup, Nix will be at a higher risk for oblique injuries. Bruised ribs can be very painful because it’s impossible to give them a complete rest. The ribs expand and compress with every breath. Like any bone, there can be tiny fractures that don’t show up on x-rays, but it does not sound like Nix is having too much difficulty at this point. He’s likely going to be out a few more days, but the injury shouldn’t affect him in the regular season.

Juan Perez, Milwaukee Brewers (Partially Collapsed Left Lung)
Perez was fine on Saturday, but he came into camp on Sunday with chest pain. Tests revealed he had a partially collapsed left lung. These things can happen spontaneously, and that appears to be the case here. Players can end up staying in the hospital for up to a week, and usually wait a little longer than that to get back to baseball. The good news is that there should be no long-term effects in terms of baseball performance.

Flesh Wounds
Both Victor Martinez (knee surgery) and Brett Anderson (recovery from Tommy John surgery) have been placed on the 60-day disabled list. … Joe Saunders had x-rays on his left shin after being hit by a Carlos Santana line drive. Results were negative. … Dan Burawa strained his oblique and will be out for some time. … Kendrys Morales developed tightness in his calf after running recently; he’ll take it easy until the issue is resolved. The ankle itself has responded well so far. … Casey Blake is suffering from a stiff neck and will likely miss a few more days. … Speaking of the Rockies, Hector Gomez strained his right groin and is day-to-day. … Adam Dunn is dealing with a stiff neck, but he does not feel that it is a major setback. … Mike Napoli still has groin soreness, something he reportedly deals with every spring. … Mike Moustakas is dealing with right knee soreness after being hit by a pitch. He should be fine within a few days. … The Diamondbacks are not rushing Stephen Drew to be ready for Opening Day. … Brad Lincoln is day-to-day as he battles calf soreness. … Steve Pearce wanted to be like his old teammate and is dealing with a calf strain of his own; he’s day-to-day. … Allen Craig does not expect to be ready for Opening Day. … Felix Pie has some neck stiffness after crashing into the outfield wall on Sunday. Consider him day-to-day. … Kyle Blanks has soreness behind his left knee. … Russell Mitchell hyperextended his arm and will be out for a few days. … Drew Pomeranz had to leave his outing early with right hip tightness.

Corey Dawkins is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Corey's other articles. You can contact Corey by clicking here
Stephani Bee is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Stephani's other articles. You can contact Stephani by clicking here

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The Lineup Card: 12 Gr... (03/14)

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