It's been a very quiet few days, which hopefully isn’t indicative of a calm before the storm. Now that the season is really winding down, even mild strains can be season-ending, something we’ll see in two cases today. Due to the decreased volume of injuries, we will monitor our twitter timelines to ensure that we answer any questions that may pop up.
Shin-Soo Choo, CLE (Strained left oblique) [AGL: 4 (24 DL), ATD: -.010 (+.007 DL)] (Explanation)
Fresh off the disabled list, Choo didn't even make it past the first inning before re-injuring his oblique while swinging on Thursday night. Unfortunately, Choo has discovered that oblique injuries can linger just like hamstring injuries can. Between his fractured thumb and oblique strain, Choo has missed over 60 games this year so far due to injuries. The timing of this one is most unfortunate, because Choo will now be done for the season and focus on 2012.
The strains themselves rarely last over the winter, but the conditions that helped create the problem can. Muscle imbalances or altered hitting mechanics can set the stage for repeat injuries in the future if they are not addressed properly. Choo will have the time to do so in the offseason and will try to put 2011 behind him for good.
Johnny Cueto, CIN (Strained right latissimus dorsi) [AGL: 19 (43 DL), ATD: +.201 (-.007 DL)]
Cueto is likely done for the 2011 season after straining his right latissimus dorsi on Wednesday night. It's not necessarily that the severity of the injury is so great, but rather the fact that there are only two weeks remaining in the season. Cueto had responded well up to this point after missing 47 days earlier in the season with shoulder inflammation. The latissimus is such a big muscle that it is vital for pitchers for several reasons, including the fact that it helps to restrict external rotation at a critical instant in the pitching motion, and also that it provide a significant amount of internal rotation force, which is very strongly tied to velocity.
Matt Holliday, STL (Right middle finger tendon inflammation) [AGL: 4 (TBD DL), ATD: +.011 (TBD DL)]
After some initial concern that Holliday might be done for the year, it appears that he will miss only four days as a certainty. The tendon on the palm side of the middle finger that is giving him trouble is almost certainly one of the flexor tendons. This affects his ability to bend the finger, as well as his grip strength. If the inflammation goes on long enough, the tendon can deteriorate and become more prone to rupturing in the future. Holliday is supposed to miss at least another three to four days before getting back on the field.
Flesh Wounds: Rafael Furcal strained his right knee and is day-to-day, much like almost everyone else right now…Sam Fuld strained a tendon in his right wrist on Wednesday night. He's not available to hit yet but can come off the bench to pinch-run… Justin Berg will undergo Tommy John surgery Friday… Johan Santana is officially out for the season… Brendan Ryan has been battling neck stiffness since Tuesday's game… Corey Brown ended up needing surgery to clean out the staph infection in his leg. It was a success, but Brown is now out for the year as he recuperates. Not a bad tradeoff when you think about it… Justin Smoak suffered a very mild groin strain and is day-to-day… Ryan Sweeney strained his right quadriceps during Wednesday's game and is also day-to-day… Joakim Soria is battling a strained right hamstring, and he may end up missing the rest of the year if he is not careful.