Under The Knife: Teams likely to test Kershaw's pain tolerance
A couple years ago, I put Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti on a list of
There's no such thing as a "little plantar fasciitis," no matter what Don Mattingly would have you believe. Anyone who's felt the pain knows. Anyone who's seen the careers derailed or ended by the malady understands. Hearing that Kershaw is dealing with the issue is exceptionally concerning. However, the results Kershaw is putting up belies the problem. The fact is that this only bothers him when he's running. The motion of pitching doesn't cause much stress to the fascia. It's his left, push, foot, so the stress is mostly lateral. A pitching coach I spoke with said Kershaw is one of the pitchers who really "pulls" his foot, so that there's not going to be a significant weight load. Unfortunately, we don't have really good data on that.
Teams will test him with bunts, or at least make him cover them. At the same time, the Dodgers will have to see whether or not Kershaw is compensating in any way, changing his mechanics and risking that magical left arm.
It's unusual for an owner to
Upton, another target of Kendrick, has no known injury issue since a minor thumb injury in mid-April, but Upton's performance thus far has led many to ask if there's something more than just a slump. Again, there's no evidence to suggest that, but Kendrick's statement and the proximity to Drew's situation are going to raise those questions once again.
Holland has been inconsistent at best this season, his performances on the mound as patchy as his "mustache." (
Don't freak out about the "fractured wrist" nomenclature here. What Konerko has is much more akin to a bone chip in his wrist, a floating piece of something that occasionally lodges itself in the wrong place. The Sox's medical staff have been able to adjust the piece of debris by using a simple variant of lavage. They inject a small solution of saline into the wrist to push the debris away from the irritating position. The technique was described, in humorous terms as "like that game at the fair where you aim at the clown's mouth with a water gun," but it's far more delicate than that. The irritation is minimal in this approach, but it's also a temporary solution. Konerko has undergone this procedure previously and he may have to have it again, but it appears that for now, it's a nice midpoint between pain and surgical intervention that would cost him weeks.
Hamstrings are touchy things. The balance between function and dysfunction is frighteningly close, the tolerances like tweaking the engine of a Ferrari, even when the player doesn't run much like one. Avila is the latest player to re-injury a slight strain. It's a tough balance, especially when the player is likely pushing to be out on the field. Avila's disappointing season has mirrored that of the Tigers and going on the DL isn't going to help pull either out of that spin. Avila is not a speed player, but the hamstrings are key for function in his throwing motion and in comfort. You try squatting for a couple hours and see how your hamstrings feel. As with Matt Kemp, the re-injury part of this will force the team to be a bit more conservative, make him pass more functional tests, which means he's likely not back closer to a month.
Garcia missed a start with an elbow issue, then got torched when he got back on the mound. Now, he has a shoulder issue. The Cardinals have been vague about all of these, but indications are that the elbow issue was minor and had cleared up enough to get him on the mound. Now the question is whether or not that led to the kind of compensatory changes that lead to a cascade injury. Shoulder injuries after an elbow injury is a bad pattern, the kind of following down the kinetic chain that can go horribly wrong. Let's assume -- and be clear that no one, including the Cardinals, knows -- that Garcia was putting as much force into his pitches as normal. He was driving, using his hips and core to create the force necessary for a major league caliber fastball. The kind of