Under The Knife: Strasburg offers reminder that heat is a threat
Tom Verducci's annual list of pitchers with worrisome workloads has been attacked by some, but the
If you listened to
Well, there goes the argument that a comebacker hits a pitcher infrequently enough to excuse the lack of protective gear. Days after Andy Pettitte was lost for two months, Hellickson took a nasty liner off his shin from the bat of Prince Fielder. Just the idea hurts, and Hellickson is lucky that his leg is still attached, let alone not fractured. It's a matter of inches, fractions, geometry, physics and dumb luck -- all things that could be made irrelevant by a cheap, unobtrusive piece of equipment. Hellickson was removed from the game, but should make his next start. If there's any sign of limp or favoring the leg, they'll push him back. Hellickson was just coming off the DL, so if there's any positive here it's that he looked fine up until he took the hit.
The Rays got some more good news when Price made his scheduled work on Sunday. His back didn't appear to be any issue, according to both reports and sources, so he's expected to make his next start. Price has responded well to similar issues in the past, so he's a safe start in all formats.
"Fine." "Progressing." These are the kinds of things you want to hear from your child's first grade teacher, not a contender's 1B. Votto isn't going to offer a comprehensive diagnosis of what's going on with the knee. His description of what's going on and
The Pirates got lucky. The player I've been touting for two years as the best CF in the game -- though Matt Kemp sure made me look a bit silly last season -- came very close to a terrible, perhaps season-ending wrist injury. The
Carpenter's recent rehab work has been back and forth, up and down. He went to Dallas to see a specialist, started up his rehab again, and then let everyone know that he has thoracic outlet syndrome. This is a condition that has caused problems for a lot of pitchers, with Kenny Rogers and Jeremy Bonderman numbering among the well-known ones. This does not always require surgery, so Carpenter's desire to try to pitch through it is possible. It's worrisome that he wasn't diagnosed before this, but it's possible that this is an addition to the previous diagnosis. Carpenter may be tipping that this is his last year and he's going to make one more run at it. One possibility is that Carpenter does what one scout termed the "reverse Wainwright." Carpenter could have issues with stamina and shift to the bullpen, the reverse of what Adam Wainwright did. There are no guarantees that would be any better. Carpenter is the height of risk, but the possibility of having an ace-level pitcher like him back in any capacity is worth it to the Cards as they chase the Reds. It appears that Carpenter has decided it's worth it to try as well. He's still on track for a rehab assignment after the All-Star break.
If you're sensing a theme today, it's "Will repeating himself." I'm willing to do that, over and over, on issues like protective batting gloves and other gear because it's just so simple. Chisenhall might not have been helped by the type of gloves that are on the market today, but if the ball hits an inch lower and we're talking about him trotting to first and back to his position for the next six weeks. Chisenhall is actually a bit lucky, at least relatively speaking. The pitch hit him above the anatomical wrist and broke the ulna, one of the two bones of the lower arm. Derrek Lee is an example of someone who had this and came back, as there tends to be quicker healing and little or no loss of power. It is going to take a while for Chisenhall, but maybe with a longer, "gauntlet" style glove, it didn't have to happen at all.