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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Do early-season phenoms fade once the rest of the league learns to stop giving them pitches to hit?
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Every team has positions that seem to chronically drag them down, but these teams ought to consider addition by excision.
When it comes to playoff races, every edge matters. Yet all too often, managers and GMs fail to make the moves that could help their teams for reasons rooted in issues beyond a player's statistics, allowing sub-par production to fester until it kills a club's post-season hopes. Back in 2007, I compiled a historical all-star squad of ignominy for our pennant race book, It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over, identifying players at each position whose performances had dragged their teams down in tight races: the Replacement-level Killers. The concept has been revisited on a more or less annual basis here at Baseball Prospectus, both bymyself and by my colleagues, with an eye toward what teams can do to solve such potentially fatal problems.
The 2006 class is a tough one to beat among a strong recent group of rookie classes.
Earlier this week, the folks at Beloit College released their annual MindsetList, a document designed to explain the cultural differences between the incoming class of college freshmen and the older faculty hired to teach them. The idea is to highlight the small and large ways the world has changed in the last 20 years by mentioning things that were true during the life span of oldsters that were never true for those under 20, e.g., the existence of things like a telephone cord, a country called Czechoslovakia, and a baseball commissioner not named Bud. For me, a man who fervently hopes Jamie Moyer comes back next spring to ensure I won’t have to face being older than every major-league ballplayer, this is always a time to reflect on youth and age, both in life and in baseball—especially so this year, since the current Mindset List includes a reference to the term Annus Horribilus, which I happened to use in last year’s BP Annual, but which I now know dates me almost as much as saying “23 Skidoo.”
Not much to see here other than sorting out some corner spots and back ends of rotations.
In a wee bit of roster oddity, the AL West has both some of the most and least compelling job fights going for it. Whereas every other team in the junior circuit has a meaningful battle for a frontline job-as opposed to the inevitable, smaller combats for back-end bullpen assignments, bench roles, backup catchery, or the like, TA's bread and butter for 15 years-the short stack has one club that has no meaningful job fights, the Angels.