Under The Knife: Age may be a culprit in Halladay's troubles
If you're curious about biomechanics,
I could ask -- again -- why other teams aren't doing this, but I've done that before and I'm beginning to come around to the why. For years, people have been frustrated by commentators on TV that they don't like. The best known case of this was probably former Sunday Night Baseball announcer Joe Morgan, but there was never going to be a change because of complaints since the ratings were fine. That wasn't necessarily because Morgan was on the broadcast, but if the ratings are fine, why change? For many teams, a couple injuries a year are tolerable. For most fans, they've come to expect and even understand injuries. It takes some vision or some desperation to make a change and most teams simply aren't there. They're either winning despite the injuries (Yankees) or losing anyway (Royals) so there's just no push for change. We know that the process counts as much or more than the results, but in baseball, that process is often hidden. Processes change very slowly, so this will be very slow. Until then, we'll see if those teams have an advantage.
Halladay may have
An MRI told the Yankees that Gardner's muscle had healed, but with all the issues baseball has had with MRIs lately, it's likely the stiffness that Gardner is still complaining of will win the day. The problem is with his right elbow and as a lefty swinger, he needs a full range of motion and full strength in order to be effective. The worry here is that while the muscle has healed, the underlying issue might still be in effect. Called a bone bruise at the time, Gardner's elbow hasn't made much progress over the month he's missed, in large part because of the ensuing strain. Once he begins swinging again, scheduled for early next week, the Yankees will learn quickly how soon he'll be back.
The Red Sox won't magically have all their problems fixed once Bailey returns, but it can't hurt. Bailey is beginning a throwing program at the Sox facility in Fort Myers with a target return of the All-Star break, but he's been slightly ahead of schedule during his rehab. Bailey's biggest concern is that he's able to execute all his pitches, so he's very literally going to have to work on touch. Stamina isn't a concern for a closer, though recovery is. Bailey's been able to keep his conditioning going, but without throwing it's tougher to gauge what he can and can't do. He's a ways from a rehab assignment, but watch to see whether he has any recovery issues or missed work during the early stage of this process.
Seeing Roberts back on a field is a good thing. He's missed over a year and most of the last two with various injuries, but the concussion is by far the most serious. We've seen concussions take a long time to get over in baseball, Justin Morneau being the most recent and similar example. The worry is that even if the post-concussion symptoms are gone, Roberts' age and time away from the game has reduced him. The O's are weak at 2B, so anything resembling the Roberts of old is going to be a big plus. Expect Roberts to use much, if not all, of the 20 days he has on the rehab clock as he tries to find his swing. From a fantasy perspective, watch the walks to see if he'll be able to get his OBP back where he needs it to be.
Jones' calf strain isn't getting better. Considered day-to-day initially, the bruising has gotten much worse. David O'Brien of the
It's a simple medhead rule -- control is elbow, velocity is shoulder. But that's a generalization and one that is often misused. The wildness recently exhibited by Romero and Bard could be a sign of an elbow issue, a proprioceptive reaction to a weakening ligament. It could also be absolutely nothing, the kind of fluctuation that every pitcher sees unless their name is Greg Maddux. It's still smart to look at these kind of changes and see if there's anything instructive, the same way that teams do. We can't get in and take a look at them physically, but video does wonders. Romero is the most "off" with 21 walks in his last four starts. He's not repeating his delivery, but it seems more like he's tinkering than he's injured. John Farrell isn't the pitching coach, but he's involved and has been known to over-tinker some deliveries. And Bard has 17 walks and his delivery seems fatigued, perhaps a result of the role change. Both pitchers don't appear to be dealing with injury here, but they'd better figure something out quickly.