Under The Knife: Knee injury could bring end to career for Berkman
We all know
So with a million sabermetric geniuses out there trying to be the next Bill James, Eddie Epstein or Dan Fox, I'm betting one of them could buy into an independent league team. Billy Beane once famously said that his
Berkman popped his right ACL back in November '05 playing in a flag football game. He came back very quickly, and it showed in his batting line, defensive range and pretty much everything else. He's shown no real problems since then, and it's long enough ago that it's hard to associate it with any of his other leg problems. In this latest incident, Berkman was able to walk off the field.
There's also the strict 160-inning limit. the Nats have set for him. With as good as Strasburg has been for a contending Nats franchise, I don't see how they'll keep him to this limit. Do the playoffs count? Managing those innings, whether limited or not, is going to be key for Steve McCatty and Johnson. If Strasburg has even a minor elbow injury, this could be a good time to skip a start or two, pushing those innings a bit deeper into the season. This doesn't appear to be a major injury, but as Kerry Wood's retirement reminds us, nothing comes automatic to even the most talented of pitchers. That even Strasburg is being treated with best guesses and arbitrary guidelines reminds us just how far there is to go.
Jackson is dealing with an abdominal strain. It's a minor strain -- minor being severity, not pain or loss of function. The severity is tipped by the team's response. The Tigers are allowing him to do activities to tolerance, and keeping a retro DL move possible. The specific location of the strain doesn't help, since the timeline for any core muscle tends to be similar. If Jackson isn't ready to go by mid-week, the Tigers will push him to the DL and give him time to heal.
Valverde is in the same situation with his back spasms. The team held him out all weekend and with a planned off-day on Monday, the Tigers think he could be back on Tuesday. They'll be careful with him over the next week, so he could miss some saves if they occur on back to back days or similar. Valverde will be watched closely but sources tell me that they think this episode will serve him well. "It's been a wake up call for him," I was told. Many players take a more serious back injury to get that same sort of affect.
As much as McCarthy might
Lost in Wood's perfect moment -- a strikeout, a tip of the cap to both the crowd and Ron Santo, and his son hugging him at the top step -- and the sweep at the hands of their crosstown rivals, the Cubs did get a bit of good news. Marmol will head to Iowa (AAA) for some rehab. There was a bit of drama about whether Marmol would accept the assignment, but it appears to be a non-issue. Marmol won't work until Friday and then could take much longer than normal as they both do the traditional rehab work and then use the rehab clock to buy him some confidence and workload. That said, Marmol has indicated he believes he won't need much work to be ready. Let's assume it works out somewhere in the middle and watch to see how Marmol's results are in the minors.
The Angels found themselves a bit shorthanded on Sunday, forcing Mike Scioscia to go a bit Tony La Russa on us. Albert Pujols was at 3B for a bit, which makes those in the one-game eligibility leagues happy (though they should be ashamed for playing with that ridiculous rule.) Scioscia was forced into this by injuries to Wells and Langerhans. Wells injured his thumb after