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Scratch a few names from Wrigleyville's nine, there's no stay on the DL sentence for the Mexicutioner, and sensible solutions from the Red Sox and Rangers.
Aramis Ramirez (45 DXL)
The Cubs have lost Ramirez for what they say will be a four- to six-week period, but let's take a look at the injury and see why I think it will be more. On first glance, the dive doesn't look like much, but it's one of those incidents where the wrong force applied in the wrong direction pushed the head of the humerus completely out of the "cup" of the glenoid fossa. Not only that, but it stayed out, requiring it to be reduced (popped back in) by a Brewers physician. That's not a good thing. With the video and multiple angles, we also know exactly how the head popped out. The force was up and back, almost at a 45-degree angle. If you watch the motion of his humerus as he lands on it, it's impossible not to see it, and given that motion, several people who I spoke with worried that he would have Bankart lesion, a type of shoulder defect that can not only be problematic to fix, but can cause further dislocations. Ramirez did have a similar type of injury, then called a separation, that may have predisposed him to this, though he's made similar plays on hundreds of occasions, I'm sure. It was simply the wrong force at the wrong time. It's not the dislocation itself, but the possible (probable?) internal damage caused by moving the humeral head out of place that has me thinking that this is going to go around the six- to eight-week mark, and even more if surgery is necessary.
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The Yankees and Red Sox have positions with overlapping injury issues, while the Pirates catch a bad break behind the plate.
Xavier Nady (30 DXL) Hideki Matsui (0 DXL)
It's important to note what is and what isn't going on with Nady's arm. As easy as it is to confuse 'sprain' and 'strain,' it's also become too easy to confuse the usage of 'sprain' and 'tear.' Too often the word tear is used in place of
'rupture,' which means a complete tear or loss of structural integrity in a particular anatomical structure. While any sprain is by definition a tearing of ligament fibers, not every sprain is a rupture. So the question is not whether Nady's elbow is damaged, but if it is too damaged to be able to rehab and heal. There are examples of those who have played through significant elbow sprains, with Albert Pujols taking center stage. By Nady's not having Tommy John now, the hope is that the surrounding structures can be strengthened enough to allow a weakened ligament to not be overtaxed, and to have natural healing give additional strength. The downside for Nady and the Yankees is best exemplified by Pujols' case-throwing is the activity that is going to have to be avoided and/or adjusted for. That was easy enough for the Cardinals, running Edgar Renteria out deep to take cut-off throws from left field, and then moving Pujols to first base to limit it further, but the Yankees don't have that kind of flexibility. If Nady is only a DH, the current roster becomes even less flexible, and the concurrent problems with Matsui's knees might do more to open up that slot. Even without playing the field, Matsui's knees are swelling up and need to be drained at a far more aggressive pace than the Yankees had anticipated. That's leading to some talk that Matsui might need time away, or the possibility that he could retire, rather than having a more extensive surgery. Nady is expected to be rehabbing the elbow for the next three weeks, giving the team time to figure out what's up with Matsui, before any decisions need to be made.
The Indians slugger's at Haf-strength, plus the Big Z's timetable and the King's sprain.
Carlos Zambrano (15 DXL)
Zambrano appears to be ready to come off of the DL at the minimum. After a side session before Sunday's game after some flat-ground work on Saturday, he'll still have to make it through his side session on Tuesday without any problems. Zambrano is eligible to come off the DL on Friday, and that appears to be the goal, putting him back in the rotation in time to face the Cardinals. Even with the quick return, look for Zambrano to be monitored carefully and kept to a reasonable pitch count. The Cubs will be watching his arm angle closely, and the slightest hint of drop will lead to a quick hook. Zambrano might not like the attention or the limits on his pitches and innings, but when he got the big extension from the team, his long-term health became more important to them than his short-term frustrations. Despite Piniella's barking at Sean Gallagher, it looks like it will be Sean Marshall who will be bumped from the rotation with Big Z's return.