Longtime terrible hitter Jeff Mathis has shocked everyone by hitting well in 2012. Well, everyone but Gregg Zaun.
Former Practically Perfect Backup Catcher and current Rogers Sportsnet analyst/plus-plus website proprietor Gregg Zaun tweeted something last December that seemed very silly. So silly, in fact, that I remembered it roughly eight months longer than I remember most tweets. But now that we're two-thirds of the way through the season, what Zaun said is starting to sound slightly more persuasive.
Kyle Lohse is headed for surgery on a rare arm injury, along with other medical news from around the major leagues.
Kyle Lohse (compartment syndrome in forearm, ERD 9/1)
After reading Joe Strauss' story on Lohse, I erased most of what I had written about the Cardinals right-hander. Not because it was wrong, but because Strauss hit it out of the park, like an Albert Pujols homer. There's barely not a need to add anything here, but I have one thing that Strauss doesn't have—my injury database. There was one other pitcher with this diagnosis and it's both recent and convoluted. Noah Lowry was diagnosed with compartment syndrome, had the surgery and got no relief. Instead, he needed a second surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. Last I heard, he was getting ready to throw back in spring training, but I'm not sure if he ever did. That's not something Lohse or the Cards are going to want to hear. Lohse's visit to the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic found him to have compartment syndrome in his forearm. I'm assuming that world-class facility both knew of Lowry's case and checked for that possibility. Still, it's hardly a surprise that it was so tough to diagnose. The recovery time from surgery is estimated at around seven weeks for motocross riders, who evidently get this from the combination of leaning on their arms, the vibration and stress, and the twisting motion of the throttle. For a pitcher, it's all guesswork. Lohse is likely headed for surgery in the very near future with little chance that he'll get back this season. I'm not ready to say "done for the season," but the Cardinals are going to have to operate under that assumption as they look in-house and out for a replacement.
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Optioned RHP Kam Mickolio to Norfolk (Triple-A); recalled LHP Brian Matusz from Bowie (Double-A). [8/4]
Traded C-S Gregg Zaun to the Rays for a PTBNL or a cash settlement TBDL; purchased the contract of C-RChad Moeller from Norfolk (Triple-A). [8/7]
Checking back in with a team covered earlier in the season proves illuminating for Jonah Keri in this week's Game of the Week.
When we last left the Indians seven weeks ago, for
instance, the team looked like a fringe playoff
contender, buoyed by a solid core of offensive talent,
above-average starting pitching, and players such as
Aaron Boone and Casey
Blake who by dint of sheer regression to the
mean figured to add to the team's second-half success.
Yet that day's column focused
more on the demise of Randy
Johnson as a top-flight pitcher than on a
possible Cleveland playoff run.
David Eckstein's miserable season for the Angels runs into injury. The White Sox add Scott Sullivan to a good-looking bullpen. The Expos grab Todd Zeile in their desperate attempt to fill the third base void. Cliff Floyd's injury allows the Mets to look at Jeff Duncan. The Giants could get crushed if they start Dustin Hermanson in the playoffs. These and other transaction news and Kahrlisms in this edition of Transaction Analysis.
The Royals finished the season with just three potential free agents, and
already had the foresight to re-sign the least enticing one, Brent
Mayne. With a midnight deadline looming on December 7, the Royals were
able to come to terms with Luis Alicea, for essentially the same
money as last year: $800,000 with incentives.
We were not at all prepared for the response the column received. We had no
idea there were so many Royals fans out there. Actually, judging from the
volume of e-mail, most of our readers weren't Royals fans at all. Why would
so many otherwise sane baseball fans read a column that discussed, in
excruciating detail, a team they didn't even follow?