Under The Knife: Kershaw's hip issue leaves Dodgers in quandary
There's no real use of the DL in September, so this time of year gives us a unique opportunity to get near-final injury stats while baseball is still being played. I won't even hint at the likely
Powered by far too much caffeine -- seriously, I would fail MLB's test right now by a lot -- on to the injuries:
News that Kershaw's hip strain is actually a torn acetabular labrum is about the
Hamilton had an injection of lubricant into his knee last week and it seems to have made a difference. Hamilton has been mostly healthy in putting together a season in which he's hit 42 homers, but questions of wear have come up more often. Hamilton's next contract could depend a lot on health and availability much more than things he did a decade ago. The need for
Beltre strained his shoulder on a great diving play Wednesday night. The Rangers took a precautionary scan, but there was no severe damage. Essentially, Beltre just overextended his shoulder, but was strong enough that nothing moved out of place. The muscle got the worst of it, leaving him sore. The pain is in his left shoulder, so it shouldn't affect his throws, but the Rangers are keeping him at DH for the time being. This is mostly a precaution. Beltre is always a streaky guy, but watch to see if he gets his power back over the next couple days.
Chapman has had a couple of side sessions and could beat that ERD, but the Reds don't have to rush him back. The lead they have will allow them to rest Chapman and anyone else they want to, especially if it helps set up the rotation for the playoffs. Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos could probably use a short outing to help themselves, too. Chapman's side work has gone as expected, leading Chapman to think he'll be ready as soon as Tuesday. Don't read too much into velocity when he does come back since he's bound to be a bit hesitant to really let loose.
Carpenter had a second, 95-pitch simulated game on Saturday that went as well as it could have. Observers say Carpenter had good stuff and no issues during the session. He also had no unusual pain or swelling, no issues with his hand and recovered well between outings. The Cards will slot him back into the rotation later this week, though they haven't said exactly when yet. The Cards are waiting to see if Jake Westbrook will be back or if they'll give Lance Lynn another start. If Lynn shifts back to the pen, he'll be Carpenter's shadow for that start. The other benefit of getting Carpenter back this week is that they'll face Houston, which is as close as you can get to a rehab start at this time of year.
This one is a bit confusing. McCann has tendinitis in his hamstring tendon. We could call this inflammation, a knee problem or a strained hamstring. The key here is that this is less a traumatic issue than one that's insidious and requiring maintenance. The downside is that the Braves are fighting for a Wild Card slot and finding places where they can rest McCann is difficult. They didn't have a choice over the weekend, but it seems like even that small respite helped. There's always a worry with the Braves because of the influence of Chipper Jones, who pushes to play through injuries and often ends up hurting himself worse. His teammates unwisely follow him time and again and end up paying for it in a lot of cases.
Mauer returned to the Twins lineup on Sunday, playing first base. Mauer has played a few more games at catcher than he has at 1B/DH -- 68 to 62. That's an excellent balance, though Ryan Doumit isn't the expected kind of platoon-mate. That's not to say that GM Terry Ryan has planned this out or has much concern for the kind of plan that I (and others) have advocated for Mauer. In fact, Mauer's shift to first has been more about covering for Justin Morneau than keeping Mauer healthy. The big downside is that this is a chronic situation, with the SI joint the focus of the problem. As he ages, it's going to get tougher and tougher to maintain this situation and have him catch, so having a GM that doesn't focus on sports medicine makes it even tougher. At this point, I have to suggest fantasy owners not keep Mauer and let him go to someone else in the draft. It's better that someone else supports Maalox than you.