No time for an intro.
Powered by an overtime win for the Oilers, the Randy Johnson game in the PIP, and trying to follow the advanced techniques used on Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, on to the injuries:
- The Orioles are killing me, Smalls. Just killing me. Jay Gibbons is back on the DL with a compensation injury to his knee. Gibbons tried to play with the bum knee (or, according to a team source, was demanded to play) and ended up just hurting himself more. Gibbons lasted a grand total of two days after coming off the DL, a clear sign that he wasn’t ready. According to Gibbons, he “can’t run … can’t cut,” two skills you like to see, even in a DH. I’d like to say that Gibbons will be out for four weeks while his posterior cruciate ligament heals, but I’m really not sure what the O’s will do. Surgery isn’t normally performed for anything short of a complete PCL tear, but playing on a compromised knee can lead to more instability, or even tearing of other supporting ligaments.
- The Red Sox sent Matt Clement back for more tests on his spasming right arm. Most are blaming the problem largely on fatigue, yet the condition hasn’t improved with rest–he had ten days between starts–making some wonder if there’s some other underlying problem. The quotes from Clement to the Boston Herald give pause: “It’s a dead feeling,” he told them. “It’s something that slows me up and scares my body.” It sounds a bit like the nerve problems suffered by Chris Carpenter and Brad Penny, just before the real problems started. Oddly, Clement’s velocity was in the range of his normal output, yet his control was off. That normally means the problem is in the elbow, something no one has yet suggested.
- Barry Bonds will get a taste of what life would be like if he were in the American League as we head into interleague play. Bonds has missed several games over the last two weeks with a very mild oblique strain, in addition to the chronic knee and back problems he’s had for years. As a DH, Bonds is likely to play nearly every game, giving him more chances than he’s had for much of this season to hit home runs. He had a pretty solid one last night against the D-Backs. While this stretch of hitting won’t affect much in the way of stats or injuries for Bonds, it could give him a taste for the ‘position’ he could be playing next year if he chooses to leave the Giants.
- The Dodgers made their off-season moves knowing that Cesar Izturis, their throwback shortstop, would be coming back from elbow surgery at some point. Most expected it to be around the ASB, giving the team plenty of time to assess their options and reconfigure the infield. The Dodgers now have about a week to figure it out for sure. Izturis has been playing 2B and SS during his rehab, leading many to think that Jeff Kent will be shifted to third base–where Bill Mueller is still missing–so that Izturis can make the shorter throw from 2B. Izturis hasn’t shown that he needs the babying, though this appears to be the smart move. There’s no reason to think that Izturis will be overly impacted by the injury once he’s activated.
- If you watch the Marlins–and given the crowds and ratings, few of you have–you’d see an interesting team that’s regularly entertaining if not regularly good. They have power and speed, and plenty of talent but no consistency. One of the keys to their season is just surviving it, making sure that the players who will be a part of the next winning Marlins team make it through the year and stay healthy. Hanley Ramirez is playing through a mild back injury, the result of hard play over the weekend, and his swing suffered. Look for him to get some rest to make sure that his swing doesn’t get changed while he’s healing. Mike Jacobs was getting his slugging dialed in just in time to sprain an ankle. He’ll miss a couple games with the injury.
- The Big Hurt was one of the best nicknames in an era of dying nicknames. Sadly, it’s all too appropriate as he nears the end of his amazing career. Frank Thomas left Wednesday’s game with an aggravation of his quad injury, increasing the likelihood that he’ll head to the DL. The move was likely to be made anyway, giving Thomas time to heal while the A’s play in NL parks. Remember, the time off is already factored into projections; the bigger issue is whether or not the rest will be enough to rejuvenate him and keep him playing into late summer.
- Yankees fans–and owners–are understandably frustrated with Carl Pavano. One injury after another, usually involving setbacks and confusion, have marked his time with the Yankees. His latest problem–bone chips–is the easiest to fix of all the pitching injuries. He will begin throwing again this week and could re-start his rehab in a week. Pavano had some effectiveness during his aborted comeback with the bone chips in place, so we’ll be watching him closely during this round of work and minor league starts to see how he’ll break down next–or if he’ll finally live up to the big contract.
- Over the past couple days, columnists and bloggers have attacked my report on Rich Harden. The biggest difference I’ve seen is that the bloggers have e-mailed or called me with questions, while the columnists just fire away without the benefit of clarification. While this is a situation where I hope I’m wrong, we have plenty of cases of pitchers going from elbow sprains to Tommy John with the intervening step of a rehab (though remember I said that it’s certainly worth trying). The most recent case is Julio Santana. The Phils reliever went on the DL back in May, tried his best to come back, but his elbow couldn’t make it and he’ll have Tommy John soon. The Phillies have moved on, so the surgery doesn’t really affect things for the current combination.
- Quick Cuts: Mark Prior throws a side session today, then the Cubs decide if his next start will be for the Chicago Cubs or the Iowa Cubs … I’m starting to hear rumblings of not one, but two upcoming sales of teams. This could get interesting … Ken Rosenthal has a great take on why the Jason Grimsley situation has such poor timing … The Rays placed Tyler Walker on the DL, confusing their bullpen situation again. Walker’s elbow strain is not considered serious … Xavier Nady is close to a return after an appendectomy. He’s played well in a couple rehab starts and figures to push Lastings Milledge back to Norfolk … Horacio Ramirez is unlikely to make his Saturday start. He’s still feeling the post-concussive effects of the comebacker off his head. With John Thomson leaving last night’s start with a blister, the Braves rotation is in a bigger mess … If you were waiting on Dustin Hermanson to come back to the White Sox bullpen, stop. The White Sox had stopped waiting long ago, knowing his back problems have likely ended his career.