Jacoby Ellsbury (fractured ribs, ERD 7/1)
Peter Abraham pretty much tells you everything you need to know in his Boston Globe article. That leaves me with… well, not much to add. The statement issued by the Red Sox is tiptoeing around the fact that twice they missed something when it came to Ellsbury. This is a world-class medical staff and this could have happened to anyone, but it did happen to the Red Sox. Ellsbury came out pretty strongly earlier, but was able to get back on the same page… or should we say get back in line? Ellsbury's two distinct rib injuries—separate areas and separate traumas—leave a lot of holes in how this played out. Right now, Ellsbury will head to Tempe to work with the API team to try and get him back to a point of comfort and function. That's going to take at least a couple of weeks and will likely require a rehab assignment to get him some swings. We could be looking as long as the All-Star break before we see Ellsbury back in the Sox' lineup.

Nate McLouth (concussion, ERD TBD)
This might be the year of the collision. While Ellsbury, Jeremy Hermida, and all those that have challenged the wall and lost might disagree, the one that scared me the most was the collision between McLouth and Heyward. They were running hard and there was a major size discrepancy. It's one thing to hit the wall, but the wall is stationary. Heyward is built like a wall and was closing fast on a guy who's built more like a high school freshman. Joe Simpson did a great job tying together a near-miss earlier in the game with the one that ended up with McLouth's heels in the air and his head striking the turf hard. He stayed down but never lost consciousness. Unfortunately, he's still having headaches and some sensitivity to light, two classic signs of post-concussion syndrome. The Braves will give McLouth a couple days to see if things clear up, as the Pirates did for his former teammate Ryan Doumit. Concussions are very scary things and unpredictable. Now, we just need to figure out why "I got it" seems to have stopped working this season.

Edinson Volquez (Tommy John surgery, ERD 7/10)
For those of you counting, Volquez has missed about 45 games while suspended. Of course, he's been rehabbing, playing in extended spring training games, and doing pretty much everything he would normally be doing, aside from cashing checks. He's been clocked in the mid-90s and seems to have the stamina to go 50 or so pitches when he gets a rehab start on Saturday. It's not the first day he's eligible to come back, as some have reported. Actually, he could have started a rehab assignment during the suspension, the way Manny Ramirez did last season. No, Volquez wasn't going to be ready any faster and really, that's the story here. Clomid wasn't going to help his recovery, but you really have to buy his story to say that his rehab was clean. No matter, this is the way baseball handles it and Volquez will be back at the All-Star break. The only question now is where he slots in. Watch to see if the Reds build his stamina up and point him toward the rotation, which could cost Mike Leake some starts as they try not to tax him (smart) or if they try Volquez in the pen to build him up and strengthen a weakness (also smart).

Todd Wellemeyer (strained quad, ERD 6/28)
Next time you hear someone complaining that a guy's not hustling down the line, point to this. Wellemeyer is headed for the DL with a quad strain suffered as he was trying to leg out a hit. I'm not giving anyone an excuse to be lazy, but this, to me, is a lot like tennis. If you go over to the local park or even a high school match, you'll see people running around line to line, coming up just short of the ball and panting as they try to get their wind back. Watch Wimbledon later this month and the pros will stop and let the ones they know they can't get to go by. Baseball has never seemed to get that concept, valuing grit and hustle so highly. Wellemeyer's quad strain won't keep him out much more than the minimum, but it's the kind of small thing that can cost a good team. The Giants should be able to deal with this pretty well, largely because they don't have much in the way of ticky-tack injuries.

Jimmy Rollins (strained calf, ERD 6/20)
J.A. Happ (strained forearm, ERD 6/25)
The facilities are getting quite the workout down in Clearwater, a fact that can't have the Phillies medical staff happy. Rollins is down there now and will begin another stint of rehab games on Monday. That timeline means that, as expected, the Phillies are being just a bit more cautious with Rollins than he would like. It's not enough to knock him way back; we're talking a couple days extra, but hopefully just enough to know that his calf isn't going to go sproing again. Rollins is going to be limited and self-limited, so don't expect anything in the way of steals until the All-Star break. The key for him now is defensive range. Observers say that in drills, Rollins isn't having much trouble with lateral motion, but doesn't seem confident in his ability to pivot or plant and throw. Those are two skills we'll have to watch for starting Monday. The Phillies are also watching Happ closely. After a disappointing first rehab outing with Single-A Clearwater, he'll step up to Double-A Reading on Sunday. The Phillies aren't tipping their hand about how they'll bring Happ back, but that's a bit of cart before the horse. Happ is going to have to show something in his next couple outings to prove his stuff has come back from his forearm issues before that's any sort of decision.

Derek Holland (strained shoulder, ERD 7/15)
Holland didn't make it through his bullpen session, only throwing 17 pitches before waving it off. The shoulder pain is different than the numbness he had before, but it's no better. Any thought of this being a transient problem that would go away with simple rest and treatment is gone, and the young starter is now facing a much longer process. The biggest issue right now is figuring out the problem. Many are pointing to the symptoms and saying thoracic outlet syndrome. If that's the case, something is in the water in Arlington because there's no other explanation for what's going on there. The Rangers medical staff will regroup and try to figure out what's causing the issue for Holland. In the meantime, Tommy Hunter is holding onto the rotation slot nicely, which has to make the bad news on Holland sting a bit less.

Todd Helton (vision)
Huston Street (strained shoulder, ERD 6/13)

Helton might have LASIK surgery over the All-Star break. He didn't offer much in detail as to why he's discussing having the operation, but maybe he read something about it and thought it would work for him. Losing 100 points off his batting average might be a better reason for checking. Helton hasn't committed to it, and in my personal experience, a couple days of adjustment might be pushing it a bit. My eyes took about a week before I was fully comfortable with the changes, but those changes were pretty significant. Helton, who as a ballplayer can be assumed to have very good eyesight, might have much smaller changes. It's worth noting. The issue isn't elective for Street, but the news is good. He was scheduled to pitch yesterday and today in Triple-A Colorado Springs. While his performance wasn't great, it's more how he recovers and comes out today that will determine whether the Rockies activate him. Right now, even if activated, he's not going right back to closing. The shoulder is still an issue, and even back in the pen, Street's not in the clear.

Jeff Suppan
Fans often wonder why teams are so reluctant to just cut players when they under-perform. They might be getting an object lesson in why. It appears that Suppan is headed to the St. Louis Cardinals—or rather back—where a reunion with Dave Duncan might result in a short-term turnaround. Anything positive is going to be as much a knock on the Brewers in the public eye as it is another feather in Duncan's cap. At worst, Suppan soaks up some innings and costs the major-league minimum salary. With nothing physically wrong and nothing mechanically wrong—or at least I'm assuming that Rick Peterson had exhausted his toolbox trying—I'm not sure what Duncan can do, but he's done it over and over with players similar to Suppan. Heck, he did it with Suppan once before.

 Quick Cuts: Vicente Padilla did well in his rehab start and will make one more. If that goes well, he'll slot back into the Dodgers' rotation late next week. … Former Diamondbacks first-round pick Jarrod Parker is scheduled to pitch in minor-league games sometime during August. He'll be about a year post-Tommy John at that point. … Miguel Montero is expected back this weekend. The D-backs will immediately use him as the starting catcher, though expect extra rest. … Bud Norris will make a rehab start on Saturday … Jose Tabata had some hamstring issues, but didn't look like it legging out a double in Thursday's game for the Pirates … Kevin Youkilis left with "mild back spasms" on Thursday. He's not expected to miss any time. … John Maine will start a rehab assignment in Double-A on Sunday. He's expected back quickly if things go well. … Rick Ankiel is at Triple-A Omaha rehabbing. He's expected back in Kansas City in a week or so. … Gil Meche tested his shoulder on Wednesday and it didn't go well. He'll try once more over the weekend, but then things get serious. … J.J. Hardy hits the DL with his chronic wrist problem. There's no timeframe for his return. … Jeremy Jeffress is back from his second drug suspension and headed for the bullpen. The flame-throwing Brewers propsect has the stuff to succeed there and he won't have off days, which could be a big help … Daisuke Matsuzaka blamed his illness on some bad sushi. What happened to the personal chef he got as part of his Red Sox contract? … Never thought Dick Vitale would make it into UTK, but he did. He's day-to-day with bruised ribs. How much different would baseball be if it had a Dick Vitale-type on the call of big games instead of Joe Morgan? (Love him or hate him, he promotes his game!)   

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I can hear it now regarding Vitale:

Pitching tonight is Stephen Strasburg. He's a diaper dandy baby!

He throws the pitch, and it's 96 MPH fastball baby. Did you see the elevation, the velocity, the movement?!! He's the real deal baby!
I'm a recipient of LASIK (and ecstatically happy about the results) rather than an expert on it, but isn't it just fundamentally weird to be getting this over a long weekend? Part of it is that the recovery is by no means instantaneous. Yes, if the procedure goes normally, you can see well enough to drive the next day. There is a big difference between driving and picking up a 100-mph baseball coming out of a pitcher's hands. I could never do the latter, of course, but it did take some weeks before my vision was reliably 20/20 again. There were days when it slipped to 20/30 or even 20/40 -- and a hitter simply can't have that happening.

Second, I presume that Helton is wearing contacts. My doc, whom I recommend highly (Coleman Vision of Albuquerque), wanted me out of contacts for several weeks before he did the procedure, to make sure the geometry of my cornea had stabilized from the pressure the contacts exerted. For several reasons, I would guess that this would be less of an issue with Helton, but still, can he really go from contacts to LASIK that quickly? Or have I missed something and he's wearing glasses to play now?

And no, reports say he doesn't wear contacts. Greg Maddux did it between starts, but he just needed to see signs.
Not running hard to first is like a tennis player not running back to ready position BEFORE his opponent hits the ball back- it is not the equivalent of notrunning aftera ball you can't get to once it is hit.
Fielders bobble balls and make bad throws- not running to first makes these contingencies irrelevant.
Im not saying dont run, I'm saying there's times when not sprinting makes sense.
Risk/reward is what should be evaluated, not level of hustle. How often is a guy going to bobble a ball enough to allow a pitcher to beat out a grounder? Even if he gets on, he then increases his risk of injury further by being on the basepaths.

Definitely makes sense to take it easy on batting/running activities.
"How much different would baseball be if it had a Dick Vitale-type on the call of big games instead of Joe Morgan?"

Different maybe but I wouldn't necessarily say better. I'm not a fan of either Vitale or Morgan but I don't think an analyst's job is to promote.
Any word on Mike Sweeney? He was actually playing pretty well before he got hurt.
With Wellemeyer going down, does this allow the promotion of Baumgartner?
One observation and one thought with respect to Beltre/Ellsbury, Heyward/McLouth and Hudson/Span collisions:

1. One player from each pair was new to their team this season. Limited full-speed reps and relative lack of familiarity with their fellow fielders' range/tendencies would presumably increase the risk of a miscommunication/fielding collision.

2. I don't have the fielding stats in front of me, but the fielders involved in some of these especially scary collisions seem to have above-average fielding range. Haven't thought this out completely, but I would have to think this could increase the chance that you get a high-speed collision with fielders at the edge of their fielding range (where each is straining to make the play). At the margin, I have to believe that the odds of the type of play involving the collisions between Hudson/Span and Beltre/Ellsbury collisions are greater than the odds of a similar Punto/Span or Lowell/Ellsbury collision the previous year (because Punto/Lowell wouldn't have been physically able to venture so far into the outfield).