So everyone spent all day curled up next to his or her XM, right? Listening to the MLB draft is both interesting and about as entertainment-savvy as watching paint dry. Forget the hype of the NFL or the bombast of the NBA–the most exciting things beyond the pace are waiting to hear Tommy Lasorda’s overexcited voice and listening to hosts butcher the pronunciation of Jack Zduriencik’s name (It’s Zyur-EN-chick). We’ve got good draft coverage now between MLB and XM, so now, let’s work on jazzing this thing up a bit, OK, boys?
Oh, how did I do with my picks from yesterday? Five of the first six dead on and nine of the top ten correct names if not order. That’s not bad, though I’m no draft guru like Rany Jazayerli.
Powered by the Pixies, on to the injuries:
- It is never a good sign when one of the best doctors in baseball can’t give a solid diagnosis. That’s what has happened with Dr. Joe Chandler and Chipper Jones. An MRI of Jones’ foot was inconclusive, so Chandler has sent his third baseman on to a specialist. Jones will travel to Charlotte later this week for that; hopefully some direction can be found in that meeting. No one is ready to say that Jones will or will not need surgery. Everything is on hold until there’s a solid diagnosis. Reports from people close to Jones say he’s very negative and was hoping he could have the surgery and get back out on the field in August.
- It’s hard to relate a pulled left hamstring to a sprained right knee. For Carlos Guillen, already dealing with post-surgical problems on the right side, there’s likely some involvement of that with his new left-side issue. As I’ve said many times in this space, small changes often have significant impact and not always in the way we expect. Guillen is likely to head to the DL to heal both the hamstring and the knee. Guillen and Lance Berkman are definitely making us re-think the ACL recovery period. It’s one thing to get back on the field in a certain amount of time and entirely another to return to previous levels of function.
- As bad as it looked at the time, the Cubs have really gotten lucky with the injury to Mark Prior. His arm has progressed to a stage where he’s not only throwing, he’s throwing long toss. Prior is pain-free at a very early stage and the swelling is gone. The medical staff is watching him very closely, as should be expected, and is ready to back him off at the slightest sign of anything negative. It’s still impossible to give any sort of timetable for a return. The best sign is that Prior is significantly ahead of even optimistic projections.
- Clint Barmes had successful surgery to fix his broken clavicle. At a minimum, he’s looking at three months. I don’t think saying his season is done is much of a stretch from there. Sure, the Rockies could put him out there and try to make a case for Rookie of the Year if no one has stepped up to beat his gaudy numbers, but that’s about all one could hope for here.
- Jeff Bagwell also had “successful” surgery Tuesday. It’s hard for me to use the term without knowing the results; for surgeons, successful means “woke up afterwards.” Reports from the surgery sounded interesting; they were able to perform the capsular release–a loosening of the structure that holds the shoulder’s various parts together–remove some bone chips, and look at what remains of Bagwell’s shoulder. After all that and a three-month rehab, Bagwell is given at best a 50/50 shot of returning. One Astros source told me “it was the only bullet left in the gun. It was this or retire.”
- A bit of clarification on Johnny Damon…several people wrote to me asking why an injury to his non-throwing shoulder would affect, you know, his throws. This time I wasn’t wrong, just not very clear in my explanation. Damon, according to my source, needs to get his glove arm up, much like a pitcher does, to get full force on his throws. The shoulder injury restricts that, restricting his throws. Sorry for the confusion.
- Quick Cuts: Omar Vizquel missed Tuesday’s game after having a wisdom tooth pulled. He’ll be back without a significant effect … Shawn Estes left his start in the sixth with an apparent injury to his pitching hand. No late word on the injury, so watch closely … Expect Brian Roberts to miss the rest of the week. Anyone have a complete list of who’s using those new Nike contact lenses? I’ve figured out most of it, I think … Greg Aquino is throwing and could be back in the D’back pen soon. They have some live arms, but no real roles right now … Wily Mo Pena is back from the DL. Yawn … Rafael Furcal‘s shoulder is bothering him so much that he may hit only right-handed. I’m unsure how that type of change affects anyone, let alone Furcal.