Mike Morse's elbow gets the worst of a collision with a fastball, Hanley hits the DL again,Zack Cozart gets Tommy John, Alex Cobb is out for the season, and Brennan Boesch is a thumb down.
Mike Morse, WSN (Left elbow contusion) AGL: 1 (13DL), ATD: -.023 (+.019DL)] (Explanation)
Even though bruises sound simple enough, they can be debilitating and shut an athlete down for a few weeks or more. In many ways, bone bruises and fractures react the same in times of acute injury, such as when Morse took a Ryan Dempster fastball off his left arm just above the elbow yesterday. If the ball catches you just right—and it looks like it hit this spot on Morse—the ball will actually strike two of the three bones in the elbow. The ulna and its olecranon process is the bone you feel when pushing on the elbow in a bent position. The lateral epicondyle is the bump that is on the outside of the elbow in the same bent position.
Two main points before we move on. First and foremost, until a CT scan is performed, you can't completely rule out a fracture. How many times have we seen an initial diagnosis of a bruised bone in the hand, wrist, or foot that ended up being a small fracture not seen on x-ray? Second, an MRI will tell us that there is swelling in the area, including bones, but it can't rule out what we classically think of as a fracture. It can be helpful in assessing stress fractures, but in an acute injury like this, swelling in the bone from a bruise or from a fracture looks the same on MRIs.
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Juan Nicasio suffers a fractured neck, Jose Reyes' hamstring acts up again, Daniel Murphy has another knee issue, Ike Davis appears to be out for the season, Chase Headley fractures a finger, Alex Cobb has hand numbness, and Jair Jurrjens finally hits the DL.
Bill welcomes a couple of unspectacular but solid options to VP this week while saying goodbye to a hard-throwing youngster undergoing TJS.
Newcomers Brett Cecil, Toronto Blue Jays (15% Yahoo!, 14% ESPN, 27% CBS) In his first three starts since being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas in late June, Cecil looked shaky, allowing 10 runs in 20 and one-third innings. In his three starts since, he has allowed four runs in 22 innings while striking out 17 and walking six. Those most recent three starts were against the Texas Rangers twice (AL's third-best offense) and the Rays—certainly high-quality competition. Cecil plays best in AL-only leagues but could be worth the risk depending on your place in the standings and the categories you need in deep mixed leagues.
Rushing Bryce Harper can only hurt the Nationals, even if the tyro slugger performs well.
As meaningless as 13 spring training at-bats are, Harper’s hitting (.308/.357/.462, two doubles) has fueled calls for him to break camp with the Nats. This speaks highly of Harper’s incredible physical tools and amateur record, because outside of a brief turn in the Arizona Fall League and 13 at-bats in exhibition games this spring, Harper’s professional track record is nonexistent.
Given that frustrated Washington fans are eager to see their club finally shake off its legacy as a ward of the game and the universal desire to get to see the next big thing, it’s easy to understand all of the panting after Harper, and the rationale used to justify the lust is deceptively simple: Hey, if he’s ready, he’s ready, so what harm can there be in advancing the timetable? The answer is equally basic: the major-league game has rarely been kind to teenaged hitters, whatever their talents or apparent state of readiness.
However good Harper looks now, if he plays in the majors this season there is every chance he will not do well. There is a great deal of precedent for pessimism in the brief history of teenaged prospects who seemed to be ready but, once confronted with big-league pitching, were unable to cope. Most of them got their chance long ago, when the reserve clause meant that bringing up a player far from the center of his career didn’t mean losing him at 24. Just 14 players have accumulated 100 or more plate appearances in the majors at age 18 or younger. There are three Hall of Famers in the mix, but none of them showed off their Cooperstown-level tricks during these early campaigns:
This offseason's Alex Rodriguez affair has a historical parallel in the 1916 holdout of a great Red Sox center fielder.
Last week's unexpected reversal in the Yankees-Alex Rodriguez relationship is reminiscent of a contractual dispute that took place during the early years of the Boston Red Sox, an argument which brought a surprise denouement that had wide-reaching consequences for the game.