The playoff races have been de-zombified, and Team Entropy was on the prowl, looking for meaningful baseball going into the final game.
Welcome to Team Entropy! Grab a seat on the couch, and here, have a beer. You've been invited to this party because after almost exactly six months and 160 games of regular-season baseball, you've suspended the need to root for a specific team and are working for the greater good, more interested in maximizing the amount of end-of-season chaos the remaining schedule can produce. The amount of season, even, if it comes to a 163rd game—or two.
Darwin Barney and Allen Craig succumb to knee problems, Brandon Lyon takes one step closer to season-ending surgery, and Eduardo Sanchez strains a shoulder.
Darwin Barney, CHN (Left knee PCL sprain)
Headfirst slides are more dangerous than feetfirst slides, especially at home plate, but they are necessary at times in order to avoid a tag. As Barney slid headfirst to score the winning run on Monday night, he landed on his left knee and tried to push off it at the same time to avoid a tag. While he was successful in scoring the run, he also felt his leg go numb.
Barney finished the game, but he woke up the next day with a very sore knee. After consulting with the Cubs’ medical staff, he was sent for an MRI, which confirmed the Grade I posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury. Barney was subsequently placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Jose Reyes' thyroid condition does not appear to be serious, but Joe Nathan could be facing surgery.
It's the first UTK of the season. Normally, I do these on Fridays during spring training, but there was just too much misinformation out there on a couple of these cases to wait for the end of the week. I'm excited about another season—my ninth!—of doing UTK, a run that will cross the 1,000-column mark sometime in May. As always, I'm trying to be better at it, to get you the information you want in a readable, understandable way. To help, I'm making a few changes. My continued quest for a quick way to put an expected return date shifts now to what you'll see below. After the player's name, you'll see the condition and the ERD. The ERD is a very, very, very rough guess, based on the best information at the time. It's designed to be more of a "quick look" than a definitive time frame, so it will change from day to day if the information has changed or if a team gives better guidance. I think having the condition readily available will help as well for those of you that just skim UTK.
I swear I'll quit talking about Moneyball at some point, but I honestly think it's the Ball Four of my generation. It's really that good. Anyway, I spoke with a friend yesterday who works in baseball, and he said something that absolutely stuck with me: "The whole book is an indictment of what we see." And that includes injuries too--perception and accepted wisdom are sometimes tough to fight.
Something as simple as sliding is a good test. You'll remember a couple weeks ago, I came across some research that showed head-first slides had a lesser rate of injury and an equivalent level of severity than feet-first slides. Again, what our eyes tell us is different. Tonight we have two players in key defensive positions--guys that scouts would almost universally have "great hands"--injuring their best, perhaps only, tools by sliding headfirst.
Anyway, I spoke with a friend yesterday who works in baseball, and he said something that absolutely stuck with me: "The whole book is an indictment of what we see." And that includes injuries too--perception and accepted wisdom are sometimes tough to fight.