I hope John Erhardt will forgive me stealing a TWIQ nugget, because this is too good to let pass. “The Hawaiian kids that won the Little League World Series got some prizes. They win KFC for the year and fifty-two six packs of Pepsi. I think they might be healthier if they just used steroids.” — David Letterman.
Powered by a sense of humor about it all, on to the injuries…
- Even if Dusty Baker still hasn’t received the memo, the season is over for the Cubs. Matt Lawton is gone, his left-field crutch is headed to Atlanta, and Kerry Wood has been shut down.
Wood, as expected, will have shoulder surgery on Wednesday. He’ll head to Cincinnati, the new Mecca for pitching injuries, where Dr. Tim Kremchek will correct his frayed labrum and look for other damage. If all goes as expected, Wood will be back in time for spring training, though not at 100%–much in the same way that Matt Morris wasn’t ready until the season really started. A frayed labrum is not the same as a torn labrum, so watch closely to see how the surgery is reported to have gone. Wood has been throwing well with good velocity, certainly the best sign that he just needs a “scrape and tape.”
- After two appearances in the minors, Keith Foulke is headed back to Fenway. Foulke won’t go back into the closer role immediately, according to team sources, but is likely to be used in pressure situations. Remember that Foulke not only had the left knee problem, corrected by surgery, but will have surgery after the season on his painful right knee. Since his push leg is still problematic, watch his velocity, which has been slightly below normal during his rehab and not quite good enough to make his change-up effective. He showed no ill effects from being hit on his pitching elbow during a simulated game.
The Red Sox are also waiting on images taken on Johnny Damon. He was hit on the left hand by a pitch Monday night and left the game.
- Here’s a new one for you: “progressive running program.” Calls to several UTK advisors didn’t help clarify the term, especially when used in reference to the workout program of Barry Bonds. The best I can figure is that Bonds is moving from sprints and agility drills to longer runs, building stamina. That’s definitely a good sign. Some reports have him ready to start baseball activities later this week. Since a minor-league rehab stint is impossible at this point, there’s no way to tell how long Bonds will need to get his swing game-ready. The Giants certainly don’t have anything to lose by letting Bonds set his own pace. I’ll stick with my call that Bonds will make a cameo appearance this season, to avoid any suggestion that he was playing under Jordan Rules this season.
- The White Sox placed Joe Crede on the DL, a surprising move due to the date. Crede broke the tip of his right middle finger last week on a bunt attempt, an injury that will heal in a couple of weeks. He’ll even regain some function before then. Geoff Blum will move over to third in the interim.
Even though it created room for Scott Podsednik‘s return, the transaction’s timing is a head-scratcher. There’s some speculation that, like many teams heading into the playoffs, the Sox might be “setting up” a guy on the DL to exploit the Francisco Rodriguez loophole. Christina Kahrl will go into this more in TA, I’m sure, so the short answer is that teams can use the DL to sneak someone onto the playoff roster. You normally do this with some scrub, not the starting third baseman, so there’s more digging to do here.
- How many days has it been since we were told it would be 30 days to the National’s sale? They keep losing pieces, and Jim Bowden has been looking less like a miracle worker and more like a future ESPN employee over the last month. Ryan Drese, picked up for nothing, is now looking like that’s what he may be worth. A torn labrum may be the explanation for his sudden downturn, so Dr. Lewis Yocum will likely be digging around inside his shoulder at some point in the near future. The conservative rehab that the Nats espoused a few days ago appears to have reversed. If you’re harboring hopes for Drese, send those hopes to sea.
- Quick Cuts: Next on Fox: “When Green Beans Attack!” Jake Peavy cut his non-pitching hand on a can of green beans. A couple stitches later, he’s not expected to miss his next start … Jeff Bagwell starts his rehab at Double-A Corpus Christi on Tuesday. He’ll be activated over the weekend and will serve as an extra bat. Brandon Backe, who will make two starts, will join him there. Good times at Whataburger Field … Julio Franco had X-rays on his sore right elbow Monday. No results available, so watch his usage … Jeremy Bonderman got shelled one start after getting hit on the arm. He wasn’t lifting it as he normally does. Yes, getting pegged by the comebacker altered his mechanics … Good to see both Brian Giles and Dave Roberts play Monday night after what could have been a terrible collision.