Sprains, soreness, and surgeries abound in the latest spring action.
Taylor Teagarden, Baltimore Orioles (Low Back Soreness)
A recent MRI of Teagarden’s sore lower back raised concerns, so he visited a specialist for another opinion. A CT scan was ordered to better assess the area, but the O’s haven’t released an official diagnosis yet. MRIs can give us good information, but they don’t always give us everything we need. The CT can give a much clearer picture of the bone structure, which leads one to believe his injury may be related to the vertebra.
The good news is that there has been no talk of surgery yet. The bad news is that there is still no definitive timeline for his recovery. Some are speculating he will be out a week or so while others are speculating it will be much longer. No one really knows until we get an accurate diagnosis.
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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.
We finally learn what's really ailing HanRam, Josh Johnson is done for the year, J.D. Drew is up to his old injury tricks, and Jair Jurrjens' season is in jeopardy.
Hanley Ramirez, FLO (Left shoulder instability) [AGL: 16, ATD: +.030] (Explanation)
The full extent of Ramirez's problems have come to light, and as we expected, he was dealing with more than a simple sprain. It's now been reported that the MRI has shown shoulder “instability,” and Ramirez will be meeting with team physician Dr. Lee Kaplan to discuss the options from here. One thing needs to be cleared up, though: shoulder MRIs don't directly show instability. They reveal injuries and findings consistent with instability, such as sprains of certain ligaments or tearing of the capsule.
The reports of Ramirez not having any structural damage are also somewhat misleading, given the anatomy and lack of bony stability in the shoulder. There can be soft tissue injuries that don't allow a baseball player to function, but they aren’t considered structural issues. The diagnosis of instability relates to symptoms associated with abnormal looseness of a joint and is somewhat dependent on subjective reports of popping out of the shoulder, pain, and other symptoms. It's not like looking at a knee MRI and seeing a torn ACL.
Who will get the ball to Brad Lidge in Houston? What would Larry Walker's career look like if he stayed healthy? Was 2004 a breakout for sinkerballer Ryan Drese, or is he the next Derek Lowe? Answers to these questions and more in today's Prospectus Triple Play.
The real question is, who will get the Astros to Lidge? Here's what some of the contenders for the setup spot did in 2004:
The Cards' decision to make Albert Pujols the everyday first baseman opened a hole in left field, and no matter who stands out there on April 5, it's going to be hard to argue that it's been filled. None of the candidates for the platoon--and it will almost certainly be a platoon--has anything resembling a track record of success. Kerry Robinson and So Taguchi are fifth outfielders who bring defense and some speed and little else. Mark Quinn and Ray Lankford combined for 76 major-league at-bats in 2003. Emil Brown hasn't played in the majors since 2001, but he's 8-for-14 with two homers so far, so he's in the mix. I don't think there's an acceptable solution here.
Bill Stoneman and Mike Scioscia get rewarded for 2002. The Indians and Rangers swap pitching prospect for hitting prospect. The Yankees grab Armando Benitez in a non-Sierran move. The Jays get a steal in Stewart-for-Kielty. These and other tidbits, plus a full array of Kahrlisms, in this edition of Transaction Analysis.
Welcome to the first installment of Top 10 Prospects, Baseball Prospectus' weekly look at the 10 best prospects currently active in the minor leagues. Every week, David Cameron will look at those prospects who display the best combination of long-term potential, current performance, historical performance, and minimal risk. He'll also include a weekly list of Honorable Mentions, and Rising and Falling prospects. Dig in to find out who made the list.