There’s a lot going on in the baseball world, but not a lot in my corner of that world. The relocation of the Expos is getting interesting. D.C.’s bid is all but dead, Northern Virginia is the clear frontrunner, but Las Vegas is catching up quickly. Outside The Lines had a nice piece on it Monday, laying down the plusses and minuses of a Vegas team. Norfolk? Monterrey? San Juan? Um, no. Speaking of Outside The Lines, be sure to check it out tomorrow night when Friend of BP Glenn Fleisig will be on. There should be some nice shots of his facilities at ASMI. Baseball is also getting serious about the World Cup. They’ll be presenting the format soon, but they’ve gone ahead and acquired a level of insurance for the players who participate. It remains to be seen how many owners will let their players participate. For that matter, a lot of players are expressing some reservations. The World Cup is a great idea, but the execution may not come off so well.
Powered by Starbucks Black Apron Kona, on to the injuries…
As if labrum tears weren’t bad enough, research from one of the top hip doctors is about to make us change our vocabulary and our thinking. According to an NATA presentation by Dr. Marc Phillipon–a University of Pittsburgh professor and consultant to the Marlins–groin injuries may be a misdiagnosis. He believes that many injuries described as groin strains are actually hip injuries, most likely acetabular labrum tears. Yes, the hip joint has a labrum, just like the shoulder. Beyond the medical research, is there other evidence that this might be true? Just last season, Ricardo Rodriguez was diagnosed with a groin strain and placed on the DL. After he was traded to the Rangers, he was examined and it was determined that he had a torn acetabular labrum. Rodriguez is coming back well, pitching at Triple-A, so this injury doesn’t appear as serious as a glenoid (shoulder) labrum.
In other words, for all these years, it’s possible that we’ve been treating the symptoms, not the cause. Phillipon is getting good results in his practice, and he’s someone I’m trying to get for BPR.
- Some good, some bad for the Phillies. While the bad news is worse than the good news is positive, I like to think there’s some balance somewhere in this unbalanced organization. Vicente Padilla is down with biceps tendinitis and inflammation in his pitching elbow. An injury to both the elbow and shoulder is downright ugly, indicating he tried to pitch through the damage. Since it’s nearly impossible to tell which was the initial injury and which was the cascade, it’s also tough to gauge the severity. With Padilla, I’d bet it went shoulder, then elbow, which is probably the more positive of the two, long term. Padilla’s out a while–think months, not weeks. Randy Wolf, on the other hand, is ready for Reading. That’s Double-A, as in a rehab start. Assuming all goes well, Wolf will return this weekend against Boston, a tough first assignment. Wolf’s elbow concerns me greatly, so watch his control closely.
- Ramon Hernandez will miss a couple weeks with a strained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. He was placed on the DL just a day after the home plate collision that caused the injury. Surgery won’t be necessary and Hernandez should heal normally. Speed isn’t a big part of his game anyway, and being that it’s the left knee, it shouldn’t affect his throwing as much. The Pads pitchers rave about Hernandez, as did the A’s pitchers, so even in the face of Keith Woolner’s Catcher ERA research, the staff will miss Hernandez while he heals.
- The Giants aren’t having much luck this season with their relievers. While Matt Herges is giving my fantasy team fits (though he was a great late round pick up), they’ve lost Jason Christiansen for a while. Christiansen has come back from Tommy John, but has fallen prey to the shoulder problems that befalls many recoveries. These problems are usually the result of altered mechanics and are seldom serious if caught early. The Giants also don’t expect Robb Nen back this season, though they’ll rule nothing out.
- I finally got a good look at Matt Morris in his last couple starts. While MLB.tv isn’t the biggest picture, it doesn’t look like Morris’ mechanics are off, but there’s clearly something wrong there. There’s rampant speculation that he has a shoulder injury. The loss of velocity–he’s establishing his fastball in the high 80s–sure supports this. The smooth mechanics and normal arm slot make me think it’s a rotator cuff rather than labrum. Keep an eye on this.
- Quick Cuts: No info on Jeff Kent beyond wire reports. He left the game with a finger injury. More tomorrow…Eric Chavez is making good progress. Well, is it fair to call a bone healing “progress”? It’s not like he’s doing anything. He’s expected back just before the ASB, but don’t be surprised if that’s pushed back to after the break…Paul Shuey will do his rehab work in rookie ball, but expect him to move up quickly. He’ll be back in about two weeks…Larry Walker was activated ahead of schedule. The Rockies are looking a bit desperate with recent moves. I’ll leave it to Chris Kahrl to explain it more…Bob Wickman will get a rehab start (yeah, a start) in Akron in order to get his work in early and get out of the way. Expect him to close in Cleveland after the ASB…Chris Hammond heads to the DL with a sore shoulder.
Back tomorrow with all the injuries and a full lineup of this week’s BPR. Brian Kenny of ESPN will be our featured guest and we’re working on several interesting folks from around baseball. As always, questions and guest suggestions should go to firstname.lastname@example.org.