This week's mailbag includes a question about trading for Stephen Strasburg, among many other topics.
Writing to you all the way from Ghana, and although I have to watch games on tape delay and have ABSOLUTELY no one to talk ball, with there are some perks. For instance, I just picked up Jose Valverde on waivers right after Leyland said that he would be the closer as the rest of my fantasy league mates drifted of to a West Coast sleep. Always give me half a day where I know the rest of my league will be sound asleep, and I can pick apart the waiver wire in peace.
The regular season kicks off, but the Mariners have already suffered multiple casualties.
B.J. Upton, Tampa Bay Rays, (Lower Back Soreness)
Upton was still feeling the effects from his collision with Desmond Jennings in the outfield two weeks ago; Tampa Bay elected to place Upton on the disabled list to allow him to fully recover. The injury is being listed as lower back soreness, but the root cause of the soreness could be related to muscle strains, ligament sprains, or even bone bruising in his spine.
Strains and sprains can last for more than a few weeks but usually heal just fine. When there is a collision between two diving fielders and soreness lingers, concern about a bone bruise in the spine rises. In severe cases, this trauma can cause small fractures, but usually the player is in a lot more pain than Upton appeared to be in. While the Rays do not believe Upton’s injury will necessitate a long recovery period, they’re refusing to nail down a timetable.
David Robertson battles a staircase while other players nurse their respective wounds.
David Robertson, New York Yankees (Right Mid-Foot Sprain)
Not all injuries occur on the baseball field. Robertson was moving boxes, missed a step, and fell down a flight of stairs. He went for an x-ray Wednesday night; the result was negative. An MRI was used to confirm a mid-foot sprain, but Robertson needed further tests, including a CT scan and a weight-bearing x-ray.
This combination of testing raises the concern for a Lisfranc injury, the same one that felled Chien-Ming Wang in 2008. The CT can provide a very detailed picture of that joint, including a 3-D reconstruction. The standing x-ray is the tip-off, though. The MRI reveals a mid-foot sprain in severe Lisfranc injuries, while the CT may or may not reveal a fracture in the area. The standing x-ray most likely won’t show a fracture, but it will show if there is any increased space between the bones, indicative of instability in the area. When there is instability, there is a significant risk of severe long-term damage if the area does not heal through conservative measures or surgery. Without knowing the results of all of the tests, we cannot definitively say surgery is necessary.
Do early-season phenoms fade once the rest of the league learns to stop giving them pitches to hit?
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.