Under The Knife: Longoria nearing return, though on a limited basis
I keep looking at various Olympians and thinking why some team doesn't take a chance on some of them. They have obvious athletic gifts, solid work ethics, and there are some clear overlaps. Fast is fast, and while Usain Bolt isn't likely to end up the next Herb Washington, what about someone like
Powered by a nice test drive of the Scion FR-S this weekend, on to the injuries:
The Rays could have Longoria back by Tuesday, though the key is having him for the long haul once he's back. The hamstring hasn't been tested much during his rehab stint in Durham (AAA), with regular rest and playing DH only. That's by design, as there are rumblings that Longoria could be limited to DH for at least a while, if not the rest of the season. Longoria played on Sunday ahead of an exam with the Rays medical staff and brain trust. The results of that exam, as well as some behind the scenes meetings on just how to deal with his limitations, will determine whether he's activated. Joe Maddon assessed it at 50-50, but it's a bit better than that. Weekly league players should hold off on him, since there is some recurrence risk and he will rest more in the first couple weeks he's back.
Could a HBP really throw off the hard work of a surgeon? That question is one without a real answer, though the anecdotal evidence with Berkman leans towards "yes, it can." It's not so much the actual trauma, but the related pain, inflammation and the inevitable cascade. The slightest changes are adjusted to by the body, sometimes in ways that end up even more injurious. The body is designed for survival, not for optimal sports performance. Berkman's oft-repaired knee spiraled to the point where he needed at least a month off after a HBP. The swelling is both the cause and the effect here, so while the Cards' medical staff couldn't get the swelling out while Berkman continued to play, a couple weeks could be just the thing to get him back on the field. Berkman will become less risky when rosters expand, which is just about when it looks like he'll be back.
I don't pretend I'm always right. But it doesn't take any sort of clairvoyance to know that when a catcher comes up with plantar fasciitis, it's not going to go well in the short term. Ruiz has fought through injuries but this latest is one that he just couldn't fight through. A torn muscle in the foot doesn't sound like good news, but a strain is something that heals in a more predictable fashion than dealing with the lingering issue of plantar fasciitis. It's unclear if Ruiz is dealing with a the strain
The initial reports on Garza were that the triceps strain was as minor as it comes. As the week has gone by and Garza missed a start as well as having two poor side sessions, it's clear there was more to it. One source minimized the injury, asking if I was being spun, which admittedly happens, especially around the trading deadline. I won't detail the conversation or the results, but I evaluate the information I am given and endeavor to make sure that you always get the best information. Garza heads to the DL after those side sessions showed he wasn't ready now to start again. It's a retro move, so he could be back before long, but with the Cubs moves, the biggest motivation is to have him back in time to make a potential waiver deal possible before that deadline passes.
Bonifacio is a lot more important to fantasy players than he is to real baseball, being one of the few true speed threats and carrying multiple position eligibility. The worry has always been with his legs and the ability of his bat to carry him. This season, it's been his thumb that's the problem. A severe sprain necessitated surgery that cost him a month and a half, but it only took a couple weeks before he re-injured the same thumb. The initial worry was that he'd undone the fix and would need more surgery, but it appears that it's merely a moderate sprain and that the surgery held. Bonifacio is still going to miss significant time, but it could be as little as a couple weeks. His 30 steals are probably still enough to keep him high in many drafts next season.
A fractured back sounds bad, but Friedrich isn't facing the kind of danger that his teammate Juan Nicasio faced with his cervical fracture. Friedrich has a very small fracture of the vertebrae, much in the same way that several other players have had over the past few seasons. The best comp is Clay Buchholz, who lost much of the 2011 season but has come back to be physically solid. Friedrich's injury was a cascade injury, the result of him altering his delivery after being hit on the leg by a comebacker. He wasn't protected by the Rockies' modified four-man rotation, or by observation, or by any sort of biomechanical data. Instead, the Rockies didn't know until his back was broken -- quite literally -- and his arm was lost to them. If that's not a cry for a better system, I don't know what is.