Pudge Rodriguez and Jorge Posada’s great seasons have been lost in the shuffle in Florida and New York. Reggie Sanders, Jason Kendall and company have caught fire in the second half in Pittsburgh. These and other news and notes from the Marlins, Yankees, and Pirates in today’s Prospectus Triple Play.
Barry Bonds is good, and everyone seems to know it. Dusty Baker prefers speed to power. And Doug Glanville apparently isn’t a fan of The Osbournes. All this and many more quips in your Monday edition of The Week In Quotes.
The strained hip should have been a signal. People came out of the woodwork, claiming that Mark Mulder had been experiencing pain for weeks, but again, the leakproof A’s kept the information out of the hands of everyone who follows injury information. Mulder’s injury, as you know, is a stress fracture, not a muscle strain–but what does that mean? The definition of stress fracture is clear cut, but the specifics of Mulder’s acetabular fracture are much less clear. First, we have no clear cut facts from media reports or sources. Second, the information is a bit unclear. Most reports have the fracture in the femoral head, or acetabulum. Most stress fractures of this type happen at the femoral neck. Add in the note from Susan Slusser that Mulder cannot golf and could have “broken his leg,” and the signs point to the neck again.
Bottom line: Mulder is, for all intents and purposes, done for 2003, both regular and post-season. But what does this injury mean to Mulder’s future? Hip injuries are notoriously slow to heal due to poor blood flow in the area, but I haven’t heard anyone trotting out the Bo Jackson comparisons yet, and hopefully they won’t. With proper healing on a normal timeframe, there’s little to indicate that Mulder couldn’t return for 2004 fully healthy.
Anybody else think Russ Ortiz looks a little like Pete Vuckovich?
Ortiz was credited with his 18th win yesterday, which gives him three more Ws than any other National League pitcher. Now, while there can be a lot of legitimate debate about who the best hurler in the NL is this year, Ortiz really shouldn’t be part of any of it. His win total is entirely a function of durability and a great Braves’ offense, which has scored 134 runs in his 179 1/3 innings pitched, good for third in the league in run support. In most other categories, he’s unimpressive: 11th in Support-Neutral Wins Above Replacement, 13th in ERA and 19th in strikeouts (with a poor 121/83 K/BB ratio).
This is a weird year in the NL. The best pitchers in the league by Support-Neutral measures are all lacking in the traditional statistics, mostly because almost all of them have spent time on the disabled list or been hampered by insufficient run support.