Under The Knife: Loss of Votto to test Reds depth, medical staff
People ask why I cover injuries. The answer was initially because no one else did, but it's also in my genes. I see injuries and see it in terms of runs, wins and dollars, which are the basis for everything in baseball. The draft doesn't bring in as much talent each year as injuries take away. The draft doesn't cost as much, especially with new spending constraints, as injuries cost team in losses. In this era of parity, a win or even a fraction of a win can be the difference between a flag that flies forever and adding to a legacy of frustration. Fantasy players are the same, throwing up their hands as they lose yet another star they bid for or got in a high round. Injuries aren't everything in baseball, but they're a big part of it. Watch over the next few days about how many column inches are
Powered by a need for rain here in Indy, on to the injuries:
If you're one of those people that buys the argument that Peyton Manning was the Most Valuable Player last year, based on the idea that the Colts completely collapsed in his absence, then the Votto injury is going to give you another chance to make your case. According to
An X-ray showing no fractures in Bautista's wrist isn't necessarily good news. Soft tissue injuries can be just as bad, even worse in some cases. Injuries to ligaments, tendons, and especially to the small cartilage bundles inside the anatomical wrist can be as painful and more difficult to deal with than a "simple" fracture. Bautista had an MRI on Tuesday which should provide some more clarity on what is actually wrong rather than what isn't wrong. The acute nature of the injury is troubling; more soft tissue injuries come on insidiously. The Jays appear to think this is a tendon issue. They'll work on removing the inflammation before trying to figure out how to keep this from happening again. Wrist injuries often cost power, so it will affect Bautista more than most. Even once he returns, we'll need to watch to see when the power comes back. That return is unclear, but a reasonable expectation would be about three-to-four weeks.
Ready for one more big name to get injured? (Yes, injuries are up this season, but the number of injuries to star players is up way more. I have no idea whether that is random, but it seems random.) Braun left Tuesday's game in the seventh with a thigh strain, as reported by the announcers. This comes on the heels of a right Achilles problem, a right groin strain and a right hip strain, so the fact that it's his right thigh shouldn't surprise anyone that understands the concept of cascade injuries. Braun was in apparent pain, so I'll be following this one closely. The loss of Braun for any extended period of time would be devastating to the Brewers' 14 percent
Are we back to curses? Ortiz said the "C" word after leaving Monday's game with an Achilles injury. Ortiz's injury is somewhat reminiscent of Ryan Howard's, though it clearly wasn't as devastating. Achilles strains are normally caused by putting too much pressure on the Achilles through dorsiflexion, where the toes go up. Many don't see where that kind of motion happens in baseball, but it's
The Sox did get Crawford back. His elbow is still problematic and could need Tommy John surgery eventually -- perhaps as soon as the offseason -- but in the meantime he should be able to play. There's going to be a difficult time separating his true level of play from the injury's effects. The problem is mostly going to bother him in the field, so the Sox will have to focus on minimizing those effects and making sure that he stays productive for as long as possible. The early results are positive.
Wrapping up with the Red Sox, Bobby Valentine said he thinks Pedroia will be activated on Thursday. Pedroia's been pushing and his results in batting practice have been pretty solid. The rest seems to have done his thumb good. With Ortiz out and Crawford and Ellsbury back, Pedroia might find himself further down in the lineup as the Sox try to make a playoff push. Keeping Pedroia and the rest of the Bloody Sox healthy is going to be the deciding factor in whether it even has a chance.
Know what you call a fracture that's healed about 50 percent? A fracture. The bone -- in this case, Pettitte's fibula -- is not yet healed. It's making progress and that's good, but this only helps with the timeline. Pettitte's leg is making the normal progress, which is, well, normal. He'll begin putting more weight on it, ramping up his activity, but it's going to be the function which will determine his return. It's that same function that will determine whether Rivera will
The Dodgers put Billingsley on the DL with the vague "elbow inflammation." The Dodgers starter had not one but two MRIs that showed inflammation but no structural damage. The problem is that inflammation doesn't just happen. It's a symptom, not a cause. What that underlying cause might be isn't known here, but we'll assume that the Dodgers have a better idea. That Billingsley was immediately cleared to throw is definitely a positive sign and an indication that his stay could be close to the minimum. The downside is that this could recur, and depending on what that underlying cause is, it could recur quickly. Many had speculated that any significant time lost would force Ned Colletti to make a deal for pitching, but they can probably get by if they want to.