Losing Joakim Soria isn't a death blow to the Royals' ninth-inning hopes.
When is losing your closer—not long ago considered one of the best closers in the league—not a big deal? What if you have a possible replacement on your roster whose rookie season was historically good?
Bob Dutton, the Royals beat writer for The Kansas City Star, reported on Friday that Joakim Soria had decided to undergo Tommy John surgery and would miss the entire 2012 season. Soria previously needed a UCL replacement procedure in 2003 while in the low minors with the Dodgers, three years before the Royals plucked him out of the Padres’ farm system in the Rule 5 draft.
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.
Offering at least one reason to tune in to each potentially talent-challenged team when you're flipping through your MLB.tv options this season.
Bad teams have been much on my mind lately. Blame it on being an A's fan, blame it on marrying into a Mets family, blame it on my generally sour personality. Irrespective of the cause, I find myself less intrigued by the powerhouses or the teams in tight races for the playoffs than by the squads that will come out of the gate slow, dawdle through the dog days, and finish in a muddle of obscure Triple-A players crowding the expanded September rosters as they fight for 2013 jobs on what will likely be yet another mediocre team.
If you're a fan of one of these franchises, you'll probably watch them whatever happens. But what will the rest of you watch on the nights when your team is off, or long, lazy weekend afternoons? You can always tune in to see the Yankees and Rays face off in a game with playoff implications for the umpteenth time, but if you're like me, you get a little bored seeing the same (really good) players over and over. Let me present, then, a team-by-team list of reasons to tune into a game at which more casual fans might turn up their noses. Call it the Every Team is Special list.
The Mets' injury parade drags on, while the Brew Crew might lose an important hitter for the start of the season.
Ike Davis, New York Mets (Valley Fever)
Davis, who is on the mend from a 2011 ankle injury, has been diagnosed with “likely” having valley fever. Valley fever is a soil-dwelling fungus typically found in southwestern United States and northern Mexico, and it grows during rainy periods. The spores can break off and be inhaled whenever the soil is disrupted. Valley fever is generally benign, but more severe cases can include pneumonia, lung nodules, or the fungus spreading to other parts of the body. In severe cases, oral antifungal medications are used.
Davis underwent a routine chest x-ray during his spring physical, but the results were determined to be abnormal. After consulting multiple pulmonary and infectious disease specialists, he was diagnosed with a mild form of valley fever. He is not on any medications, but he must try to avoid extreme fatigue. Conor Jackson also had valley fever, but Davis is expected to make a full recovery without missing any time.
The Royals have a working bullpen for once, and, unlike their high-pedigree prospects, it's full of pitchers with strange backgrounds
Slowly but surely, the youth movement in Kansas City is starting to take hold, as Royals fans are just beginning to see the first glimpses of the long-awaited prospect pool we’ve all heard so much about. The recent promotions of Eric Hosmer and Danny Duffy are merely the first, with players like Mike Moustakas, John Lamb, Wil Myers, Mike Montgomery and many more not far behind.
Even though the team has gotten off to a surprising .500 start, 2011 is still seen as a transition year, with some sightings now but with the bulk of the youngsters expected to arrive in 2012-13. That is why this year’s team is still stocked with placeholder types like Jeff Francis, Bruce Chen, Melky Cabrera, and Chris Getz, there mainly to fulfill the team’s obligation to play games in 2011 and possibly serve as trade chips at the deadline.
The White Sox' utility man, one of the players in the Moneyball draft, discusses entering pro ball, life as a pro player and his playing style.
Mark Teahen has gone from Moneyball to mainstay to moveable part. One of the players taken in Oakland general manager Billy Beane’s famous 2002 draft, Teahen is now a part-time infielder/outfielder in Chicago after spending five seasons as an everyday player in Kansas City. Teahen, who has hit .268/.330/.416 in six big-league seasons, talked about his career path when the White Sox visited Fenway Park in early September.
This season was a wash but there is good news because the farm system is loaded.
Kiss 'Em Goodbye is a series focusing on MLB teams as their postseason dreams fade -- whether in September (or before), the League Division Series, League Championship Series or World Series. It combines a broad overview of this season from Buster Olney, a take from Baseball Prospectus, a look toward an immediate 2011 move courtesy of Rumor Central, and Kevin Goldstein's farm system overview. You can find all the teams on one page by going here.