Under the knife -- wrap
Normally, my daily Under The Knife and UTK Wrap columns cover the 10 biggest injuries in the game. For today's Wrap, though, there are just too many to cover. I'm going 17 deep today, to make sure we get all the important injuries that could affect who's in and who's out for the playoffs in here. Since it's already running long, I'm not going to ramble. Powered by
So the Mariners knew what this was all along. Bedard has been pitching with a torn labrum and cyst inside his shoulder since July, yet the Mariners kept trying to trot him out there. That's to say nothing of the times he pitched with pain prior to that. You'll pardon me for cringing a bit at the word "prior" in the previous sentence, because that's exactly what this situation reminds me of.
About halfway into the e-mail flood that happened last night, reader
Word came from sources in Tampa that Crawford won't make it back for the final series as planned. At least, he won't be hitting at that point. There's some question about whether Crawford would be valuable enough as a pinch-runner and defensive replacement to be on the playoff roster, for which that last series would serve as an audition. I don't think anyone has any real question about Crawford's ability, least of all
The Rays will also be without Riggans for the rest of the season, including playoffs. Riggans had surgery to remove an infected bursa sac in his knee. It's the same procedure undergone by
Things aren't getting clearer in the bullpen either. One doctor I spoke to joked that Percival "has had enough epidurals so that he could give birth comfortably now." Percival's back problems aren't a laughing matter to him or the Rays as they try to hold on to the AL East and set up their bullpen for the playoffs. Another epidural this week is really about the last one he could safely have this season, according to an unofficial count. The Rays bullpen has options, but if they're going to shorten the pen for the playoffs, it will be interesting to see how they construct it out of a couple starters pushed back, some specialists, and guys like
You'd think with all these injuries that the team would be struggling, but no, they're not. Even with a number of name players out and the division long since clinched, the Angels just keep winning. They're 7-3 through the last 10, though two of those losses came against the White Sox, the one winning team they've faced in September. Good teams beat who you put in front of them, and despite the injuries the Angels' depth -- largely homegrown -- is doing enough to win. Of course, when the calendar flips, the team needs to not only have its best players healthy, they need to know who their best players are. Right now, it would seem that as many as four spots on the playoff roster are in doubt. With
Just nine days since having an ORIF (open reduction, internal fixation) procedure -- one you and I would call having a screw inserted in the wrist -- Quentin has his cast off. That's a pretty good sign, but it's still quite a ways from swinging a bat in anger. The White Sox will be watching closely as
People don't whisper about
Carpenter is done for the season, one that barely got started, but there hasn't been a whole lot on the why. Carpenter is reportedly out with "nerve issues", though the team is clear that it is not a recurrence of the ulnar neuritis that caused quite a scare last spring. There's some rumors, which I could not confirm that the problem is in his shoulder, but given the symptoms we know - weakness and an inability to recover -- it would suggest that it may be a problem in the
While newspapers seem to be curling up and yellowing like last week's news itself, creative (but poorly designed) outlets like WEEI.com are doing more and getting results. (I can't wait to see what justification the BBWAA uses on this one.) Rob Bradford
By the sheer volume of e-mails, I think everyone not in the path of Hurricane Ike was watching Lincecum's pitch count. There was an interesting internal discussion about the value of a shutout, Lincecum's long-term health and his general Freakness. Let's look at the facts: Lincecum threw 138 pitches, an average of just over 15 per inning. His high for the game was 22, in the first inning. He was coming off a 127-pitch game and had a 132-pitch game three starts ago. He followed that high-count outing with a 92-pitch game where his effectiveness was down, but came right back with the aforementioned effective 127 -itch game. He lived at 92/93 on his fastball all game and didn't appear to be "reaching back" in later innings. In fact, it seems that he was "pitching to contact" and trying to go for quick outs rather than strikeouts in later innings. While I'm not big on the value of a shutout, I'm not sure that Lincecum was taxed by this. Just after the game, I wondered if the Giants might be thinking of shutting him down and that's still not the worst idea, especially given that
I told you Zambrano would be helped by the extra day's rest. I had no idea that a no-hitter would be coming. He dominated the Astros in Milwaukee -- now there's an odd sentence, completing the game in 110 pitches. He was clearly refreshed by the time off and perhaps by the cortisone in his shoulder, throwing 95 in the first inning and getting as high as 97, via Gameday. Of course, the key was that his elbow was higher. On most pitches, it was right at the level of his shoulder and didn't dip as low as previous. He was very consistent to the naked eye, so I'll be interested to see if PFX agrees. The worry is that, as before, he'll come off the DL rested and relatively pain-free, then slowly the inflammation will work its way back in. If the Cubs medical staff can get him through the playoffs before that happens, they'll deal with the consequences. The 110 pitches, in context, is tough to figure. He was cruising and 110 isn't that high for Zambrano in normal circumstances. These aren't normal circumstances however, so I'd have liked to have seen more caution. His next start will be the tell. I'm also relatively sure that he threw the first no-hitter ever thrown in the first game off the DL. Even Baseball Reference doesn't have that!