Morrison played in his first minor-league rehab game this season with High-A Jupiter on May 20. He has played in six games for Jupiter, and he served as a designated hitter in three of those games and played first base in the other three. He took the next step in his rehab assignment by moving up to Double-A Jacksonville on Tuesday. Morrison is recovering from surgery on the patellar tendon in his right knee, the second time he has undergone that type of procedure on it. In the spring, I wrote about him being worthy of a disabled-list spot. At the time, I was optimistic he'd be playing for the Marlins at this point, but alas, he is not. Morrison doesn't have an exact target date for his return, but Joe Frisaro reports that it could be around June 10.
A slew of injury updates and a few uncertain closer scenarios take center stage in the latest auction values update.
Next weekend, Jason Collette, Paul Singman, and I will be representing Baseball Prospectus in Tout Wars. Jason will be in the AL-only pool, Paul will handle the mixed format, and I will tackle the NL-only side. Just like with LABR, there will be plenty of updates based on how the experts profess their opinions with their bid prices.
For now, let’s get right into this week’s updates...
Joba clears up the confusion about his injury, while Logan Morrison continues to be plagued by knee troubles.
It’s mostly Flesh Wounds today, but there are a few important things to discuss.
Sam Fuld, Tampa Bay Rays (Right Wrist Inflammation)
Fuld’s wrists have not had a good spring. First, Fuld missed about a week near the start of spring training games with right wrist inflammation, but his current wrist soreness appears to be much worse. One of the tendon sheaths in his right wrist is irritated because it’s popping in and out of place. When there is tendon instability, it loses the mechanical efficiency and strength. It’s quite painful when it subluxes.
Tommy John surgery claims several more pitchers, and Joba Chamberlain suffers an extremely gruesome ankle dislocation.
Ryan Madson, Cincinnati Reds (Tommy John Surgery)
On Friday, one of the most surprising bits of news with the greatest impact was that Madson needs Tommy John surgery. Madson had battled elbow trouble throughout the spring, but it looked like he was turning a corner as recently as last week. Unfortunately, in the few days prior to his scheduled debut, he suffered a setback and was sent to Dr. Tim Kremchek for further evaluation. Dr. Kremchek found that the ulnar collateral ligament was torn (some of it off the bone), and that the tear appeared to be recent because of the amount of bleeding present.
Madson signed a one-year deal with the Reds over the winter after his four-year deal with Philadelphia fell through. Madson’s injury throws everything in flux for the Reds’ pitching corps, but for now, Sean Marshall is the heir apparent as closer. General manager Walt Jocketty has not ruled moving Aroldis Chapman back into a bullpen role this year but insists nothing is set in stone. The only sure thing is that Madson will miss 2012 and will have a hard time convincing teams to sign him next winter as he completes his rehabilitation.
The punches keep on coming for the Mets, while other players deal with various sprains, bruises, and soreness.
David Wright, New York Mets (Partial Rectus Abdominis Tear)
Things just got worse for the Mets. After further tests, Wright was diagnosed with a partially torn rectus abdominis muscle toward the left side of his abdomen, which is in the same areas as the obliques. The treatment won’t be much different from oblique treatment; Wright will initially focus on rest and modalities like ice and gentle motion. Wright will then move to strengthening exercises and, eventually, baseball-related activities.
Wright’s soreness lingered longer than expected, so he had an ultrasound-guided injection to help calm the inflammation. The third baseman feels like he should be back in time for Opening Day, but that might be overly optimistic when you consider his comps are Ryan Zimmerman (who needed surgery) and Kevin Slowey (who didn’t). Both missed a little over two months’ time because of their partial tears, but the range of a “partial tear” is quite large. It looks like Wright will be back before the two-month mark, but we need to keep the extended timeline in mind. Both hitting and fielding can aggravate the injury, so we will have to wait and see how he responds to those activities.
Roundtable discussion of the pressing questions facing the NL East teams as we approach the start of the season
1) After a disappointing sophomore campaign, what can we expect of Jason Heyward going forward?
MJ: Jason Heyward had an injury-riddled sophomore season in Atlanta, but there is a lot to like about his chances at a rebound campaign in 2012. His offensive line was deflated by a .260 BABIP, but his peripherals were once again stellar. His 11.6 percent walk rate represented a regression from 2010 but cannot be considered poor, and his .162 ISO likewise dropped from the previous year but did not experience a precipitous fall.
Counting on a player to transition from teeny bopper to Bash Brother at age 27 isn't a good fantasy strategy.
Twenty-seven. Oh, the age of 27. As you might be aware, age 27 gets a lot of attention in fantasy baseball circles, often cited as a “magic” number when a hitter reaches his physical peak and is most likely to break out. It doesn’t take much effort to stumble upon a fantasy writer who discusses this theory, heraldingtheupcomingseason’scrop ofage-27ers.
The theory goes that because a player is reaching his physical peak, he is most likely to have a career year during his age-27 season. Unfortunately, most of the support offered for this theory comes in the form of conjecture or anecdotal evidence. I wrote an article last offseason at THT that examined whether age 27 actually is the prime age for breakouts. Unsurprisingly, I found that it wasn’t. Of course, this won’t stop people from continuing to write about it, as they see a player like Rickie Weeks post a 29-home run season in 2010 at the age of 27 and assume that the age is somehow magical. But these people ignore the age-27 players who stumble, such as Adam Lind in 2010, and the players who break out at other ages, such as Jose Bautista at age 29. Anecdotal evidence is never sufficient and can often lead to season-sinking assumptions.
Bryce Harper, Logan Morrison, Matt Joyce, and Nick Markakis highlight this week's Keeper Reaper.
Scoresheet baseball is a completely different animal from standard fantasy baseball; it's a simulation, with the goal to win games (with actual box scores, batter-pitcher matchups, etc., as opposed to points and categories). But good ballplayers are good ballplayers, and participation in a mock draft starting last Saturday (http://bit.ly/rGQ4xS - Scoresheet drafts are very slow) has led to lots of discussion among the mock drafters about the relative “keeper values” of players. In standard Scoresheet, up to 13 players can be kept (more if you include minor-leaguers), and participants tend to play for the long term, though NBC Sports' Matthew Pouliotwrote about how now-GM Alex Anthopoulos turned a 49-113 disaster into a 111-51 champion the next season. With 32 picks in the books as of this writing, the outfielders taken so far are going to be guys with immense long-term potential, but stay tuned as the draft progresses (ever so slowly).
In other news, yes, Ryan Braun is still a keeper, though it's best to keep up on the ever-growing number of versions of Jay Jaffe's Ryan Braun reports to be sure (up to version nine as of now).
Catching up with players who are recuperating from their time on the operating table this winter.
Injury news is slow this time of year, but it’s not nonexistent. Almost all of the news nowadays involves surgeries that were either planned or were complete surprises and the result of a new injury.
Tim Hudson, ATL (Low back herniated disc surgery) Tim Hudson underwent surgery on a herniated disc in his low back on November 28. His back has been bothering him off and on over the last few years but never to the point where he thought he would need surgery. During off-season workouts, his pain started to increase significantly, and not too long afterwards, he underwent surgery, which was most likely a microdiscectomy. This procedure is more successful than earlier operations and requires a much shorter recuperation period. Hudson should be able to resume throwing in about six weeks, which will give him enough time to go through his preseason program and be without limitations at the start of the season.
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria would like to make a smash as the Fish move into their new park, but the team would be better off making only minor moves.
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria wants people to forget about the Florida Marlins, forget about Sun Life Stadium, and forget about a miserable year that saw the team spend 92 of the final 105 days of the season in the cold, dark cellar of the National League East, only its second last-place finish since Loria purchased the team, unopposed, from John Henry in 2002.