The Athletics have recently padded their farm through several trades, but will their prospects pan out?
Prospect #1:RHP A.J. Cole Background with Player: Industry Sources Who: He’s a prototypical starter drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 draft by the Washington Nationals. Cole was traded to the Athletics in the Gio Gonzalez deal, and has everything you want in a future major-league starter: size, stuff, and feel for the mound. In his full-season debut in 2011, Cole showed off his combination of polish and power, striking out 108 Sally League hitters while walking only 24.
What Could Go Wrong in 2012: As with any young pitcher climbing the ladder, each step will bring new challenges and adjustments. In 2012, Cole will need to continue his sharp command while focusing more attention on the development of his changeup. With good arm action and precocious command, Cole isn’t likely to fall apart by throwing more changeups. But the changeup is a feel pitch, and it takes time to gain command of the nuances of its utility and execution.
Pablo Sandoval and David Freese suffer fractures, Ryan Zimmerman's return isn't close, and Carlos Lee hopes his bruised baby back ribs ribs aren't broken.
It was a bad weekend to be a third baseman in the National League. It was also a bad time to be Carlos Lee, but then again, that has been the case for much of the last two seasons.
Pablo Sandoval, SFN (Right wrist surgery—hamate)
A hitter's wrist is his lifeline, so whenever it requires surgery, there is a lot of understandable concern. Hamate fractures account for somewhere between two and five percent of all wrist fractures, and are more common in baseball and racquet sports. (Are you picturing Sandoval wearing Wimbledon whites? Mission accomplished, then.)
Domonic Brown goes down, Cameron Maybin hits a wall, and Neftali Feliz gets a lucky non-break.
Not all injuries occur due to poor conditioning, abuse of a pitcher’s arm, or aging. Sometimes, random occurrences are all it takes to knock a player out of the lineup. Ask Josh Beckett, who took a ball off the head last week, or Neftali Feliz, who took a liner off his shin during batting practice recently. Neither of these players had been tagged as high injury risks, but both experienced early-season injuries just the same—it’s important to remember that for all of the projecting of injuries and risk that we can do, sometimes accidents happen.
Colorado loses Tulo but sees Huston Street get closer to returning, along with other medical news from around the majors.
Troy Tulowitzki (fractured wrist, ERD 8/1)
Let's be clear: Tulowitzki fractured the hamate bone, one of the bones of the wrist. There have been various reports over the last few days that have said "broken hand." I'll let "broken" go; it's a colloquial term and most of us aren't confused by it. The hamate bone is one of the most commonly injured bones in the wrist. As yet, there's been no discussion of surgery, so the fracture might not be too severe. In many cases, most famously with Ken Griffey Jr., the hook of the hamate is removed surgically to speed healing. If you'll turn to page 130 in your Carroll Guide ... oh wait, you don't have one yet? What's a bit odd, but not unprecedented, here is that Tulowitzki's injury was caused by a pitch hitting him, rather than the typical "FOOSH" mechanism. FOOSH stands for "fall on out-stretched hand", the typical way that this injury occurs. A hard ball hitting the wrist at high velocity will accomplish it as well, but the forces are distributed differently. Initial images didn't show the fracture, but Tracy Ringolsby's report is a bit confusing, saying the fracture was found by Rockies doctors. I'm not sure if that means manual testing, a different reading by a radiologist, or what, and sources could not clarify. Either way, Tulowitzki is out for six weeks, maybe a bit less. Yes, I think he'll be on the low end of the six- to eight-week range because of the odd mechanism, his drive to return, and the team's need. I'm also sure that Tulowitzki will see the typical loss of power in players coming back from wrist injuries, something that lasts about as long as the initial recovery and in this case, would mean it's reasonable to expect the power loss to go the length of the season. He's still a better option that what the Rockies have available and even better than some mentioned trade possibilities, such as the Dan Uggla deal that Joe Sheehan mentioned in his newsletter over the weekend. Watch for Tulowitzki to be pulling on the reins by the end of the All-Star break and yes, that ERD is correct.