When you imagine the awful accident that will someday result from a broken bat, you probably think about the pitcher first, then maybe the baserunner coming down the third base line, then a corner infielder, and then maybe a fan. But, of course, the catcher is closer to that bat than all of them, and it actually only takes a little bit of imagination to see how a broken bat could theoretically endanger a catcher. Or, if you have no imagination, a GIF.
The Royals' bullpen suffers a couple of blows, and the pain around the rest of the league is plentiful.
Carlos Quentin, San Diego Padres (Right Knee Surgery)
Quentin has had a difficult time staying healthy, and he’s starting his injury train early this year. The outfielder will undergo arthroscopic surgery today to fix a torn meniscus and remove loose bodies from his right knee. Meniscal injuries can cause pain, swelling, or a clicking sensation depending on the type, size, and location of the tear. If left untreated, meniscal tears can lead to arthritis. Loose bodies can also act as irritants and lead to arthritis.
The procedure is straightforward. The surgeon will remove the loose bodies and try to stitch the torn meniscus back together but will most likely have to trim the torn portion because the tissue is degenerated beyond repair. Standard recovery is four to six weeks, but it could vary if there are additional injuries not seen on the MRI. With the recovery expected to be four to six weeks, we should see Quentin back in mid- to late April. When Quentin returns to the outfield, his knee might flare up or swell.
Which teams are likely to see significantly more production from their new players at positions in need of improvement?
Teams don’t always have to make a major move in order to improve over the winter. Sometimes merely subtracting someone who played poorly can affect our expectations for a club. Occasionally, a series of seemingly minor moves can make a major cumulative impact. And at other times, there’s an obvious in-house fix for a roster’s flaws in the form of a player returning from an injury, being promoted from the minors, or switching to a position where he’ll be of more use. The Rays went from last place in 2007 to first place in 2008 without acquiring an outside player more accomplished than Troy Percival. Some off-season overhauls don’t start making headlines until the regular season is well under way.
Still, the moves that make us dream about how good a given team can be when players report to spring training tend to be the ones involving established talents. When we’ve already seen what a player can do, it’s easy to picture him doing it again in a different uniform. Naturally, the more a team struggled at the new player’s position last year, the more exciting the upgrade. But it’s easy to get carried away and overstate the improvement. Assessing the impact of a high-profile player addition requires more than a little imagination and mental arithmetic.
The Cubs kick off the Epstein/Hoyer era by finding DeJesus, the Royals hope for a Broxton bounceback, the Rockies sign Ramon Hernandez, and Jeff Mathis gets some new catching competition in Anaheim at the cost of Tyler Chatwood.
Full predictions and ballots for the senior circuit, plus who might be on their way to winning it all.
Yesterday we started our predictions miniseries with a look at the American League. Opening Day means that it's time for our National League and World Series picks.
Each author's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division, plus the results of our preseason MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting. Coming off of their win on the season's inaugural night, BP likes the Mets to take the NL East again, and sees a three-team horse race in the Central.