Cubbie Blue Bones And Groans

Dr. Joseph Hecht returns with a new recurring column, a breakdown of injuries to our Cubs and some of our division rivals. --------- Under the Category: Break out the Blue Duct Tape. Kerry Wood’s latest ache is apparently proximal triceps related. He is officially on the DL and back to slow rehab mode although there has been no word on when towel drills will begin. So far no MRI has been ordered but who knows since we’re not getting much information. Baseball Prospectus’ Will Carroll has said: “What’s not so bad is that sources tell me that pain is not in the back of the shoulder, but rather nearer the triceps where Wood has already had problems this spring.” I commented on the situation a few days back on this TCR thread. Included is a nice link to triceps anatomy. Godspeed Woody… ----- Cub Pitcher Juan Mateo will also be on the DL with right shoulder impingement syndrome. This is what can lead to a rotator cuff tear but there is no cuff tear yet. The anatomy involves the acromion or distal clavicle rubbing on the top surface of the rotator cuff (supraspinatus tendon). Basically he rests the shoulder then rehabs with towel drills in his future. Cub Utilityman, Buck Coats will also start on the DL. He had an MRI that revealed a cyst behind the knee which was apparently causing him pain. If the cyst is outside the knee joint, it is usually called a Popliteal or Baker’s cyst (insert residual Dusty jokes here). Carrie Muskat has reported that Coats will have surgery to remove it. If it’s a cyst inside the knee, and is taken care of by arthroscope the problem has a few weeks recovery time. Conversely, surgical removal of Bakers cysts require a significant incision on the back of the knee because the cysts are near the major nerves and artery that need to be protected before the cyst can be removed. If that is what Buck is getting, don’t expect to see him for a few months. (Ed. note : The ESPN.com transaction page indicates that Coats has been sent down to the minors but not placed on the DL, no word on cubs.com though) --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Under the category: Can DLee get justice? Rafael Furcal sprained ankle is just not at a stage where the Dodgers feel safe about putting him out there…the Dodgers are simply being cautious. From the mlb.com article in the above link, Grady Little was quoted: "We have to use common sense. If he starts with any limp, how long will he be at only 80 percent? It could prolong that time. If it takes four or five days into the season to get him 100 percent, you have to consider if it's worth that. You run the risk of having him at 80 percent for three weeks.” BP’s Will Carroll says to expect Furcal to miss minimally the first week and not to expect much base stealing for a few weeks. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Under the category: Pass the Duct Tape to the Division Rivals. The Reds lost OF Chris Denorfia, he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right (throwing) elbow that will undergo surgical reconstruction (ie. Tommy John surgery). He’s out for the year, this is problematic particularly when brittle Ken Griffey shatters something again. ----- Coming back from arthroscopic hip surgery in September 06 done by Dr. Byrd out of Nashville, Cardinal closer Jason Isringhausen has pitched effectively this spring except for back to back innings. Dave Duncan probably will have him on a tight leash all season. ----- Pirate batting champion, Freddie Sanchez is recovering from a grade 1 sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee. They even had him see famed orthopod Dr. James Andrews in Alabama, who confirmed the diagnosis. This injury usually takes 2-6 weeks to resolve and the injury occurred on March 6th so he’ll only miss the first week or two of the season. The Cubs don’t play the Pirates until April 30th so we won’t get any reprieve. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Finally, BP’s Will Carroll reported on Otto the Dog Otto the Dog made it through surgery and appears to be recovering comfortably after a scary incident in spring training. Knowing that his work with the ball was all that was holding him back from being a true five-tool dog, Otto had put in hours this spring trying to improve. It appears he took his work a bit too seriously and ended up with a large piece inside him.The surgery to remove it was successful, but it's clear that not only will Otto start the season on the DL, an equipment change is going to be necessary.

Comments

Does anyone have injury/rehab updates on some of our minor league guys? Petrick, Blasko, Hagerty, Harvey, Johnson. I saw a picture somewhere of Petrick pitching in Arizona, so that's a good sign. I really like that kid.

[...] Also, our associates over at The Cub Reporter had a guest columnist, Dr. Joseph Hecht, that gave us an update on Juan Mateo and Buck Coats… Cub Pitcher Juan Mateo will also be on the DL with right shoulder impingement syndrome. This is what can lead to a rotator cuff tear but there is no cuff tear yet. The anatomy involves the acromion or distal clavicle rubbing on the top surface of the rotator cuff (supraspinatus tendon). Basically he rests the shoulder then rehabs with towel drills in his future. [...]

HONESTLY - I could care less if the guy ever pitches again for the Cubs. Unlike MikeC, or the other proponents here, I don't believe he'll become a closer, at least not this year - if ever.

I am SO TIRED of the "IF'S!!!" Time to move on and see what Lou's healthy squad can do on the field, in the REGULAR season.

What's up with Marshall?

Plug for the TCR predictions 2007. Please see the post if you haven't made your's yet. Deadline is Monday at 11 am Chicago time.

Agreed E-Man. I'm tired of reading stuff about the health of these two. Wood may become an alright closer but for how long until he has another problem. As for Prior, if he throws good in AAA then give him a shot. I don't know how many good starts I would give him until I pull him up. Five maybe. But I'm ready to throw all the Wood/Prior crap out the window and play ball.

[...] Howie Klein wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptUnder the Category: Break out the Blue Duct Tape. Kerry Wood’s latest ache is apparently proximal triceps related. He is officially on the DL and back to slow rehab mode although there has been no word on when towel drills will begin. … [...]

The E-Man says:

March 31st, 2007 at 4:04 pm #

HONESTLY - I could care less if the guy ever pitches again for the Cubs. Unlike MikeC, or the other proponents here, I don’t believe he’ll become a closer, at least not this year - if ever.

I am SO TIRED of the “IF’S!!!” Time to move on and see what Lou’s healthy squad can do on the field, in the REGULAR season.

===============================

E-MAN: I (finally) did get to see Jose Ceda pitch in a game, for Peoria versus Daytona in a ST intrasquad game, and he threw five shutout innings alternating gas and Uncle Charlies and he was virtually unhittable. Lots of Ks.

Conversely, Mark Pawelek was really bad. No command. He hit Daytona DH Alberto Garcia on the forearm with a pitch and it wouldn't surprise me if Garcia's got a broken arm. And 17-year old hotshot Venezuelan RHP Larry Suarez got creamed in his one inning of work, so I would expect to see him go either to EXST (and then to AZL Mesa) or to the Dominican Summer League (DSL). The Cubs no longer have a team in the Venezuelan Summer League, so Venezuelan players deemed not ready for the AZL go to the Dominican Republic and play in the DSL.

Also, I did see Buck Coats at minor league camp today wearing a minor league uniform, so apparently he was optioned to AAA and then will be placed on the DL. I'm not sure how the Cubs can get away with that, though, since the injury was apparently diagnosed before he got sent down.

As for Sean Marshall, he apparently remains on target to open the season in the Iowa Cubs starting rotation, along with Mark Prior and three of four from among J. R. Mathes, Ryan O'Malley, Les Walrond, and Randy Wells.

Sean Gallagher, Donald Veal, Mark Holliman, Justin Berg, and James Henderson are the current starting rotation at AA (subject to change, depending on what moves are made at AAA).

Rocky Cherry (who will likely be the closer), Carlos Marmol, Roberto Novoa, Clay Rapada, Federico Baez, Carmen Pignatiello, Ben Howard, Edgar Almonte, Adalberto Mendez, and Paul Schappert (probably in that order) are still competing for spots in the Iowa bullpen.

Related to a post I made yesterday, Mike Fontenot and Chris Amador are still with Iowa and Tennessee (respectively), and still no sign of Tomas Perez at minor league camp (meaning he was probably given his release after he got cut).

AZ PHIL: I am glad you got to see Ceda in person. From what you have stated since the last view of him, it seems as if he is making progress?

As I have stated, regardless of the hicchups, I am looking forward to the future of the Cubs without Wood and Prior. Part of who you have seen this ST, will be in the starting rotation as early as 2008, wouldn't you think - particularly if Marquis cannot be a servicable pitcher?

The E-Man — March 31, 2007 @ 9:17 pm
AZ PHIL: I am glad you got to see Ceda in person. From what you have stated since the last view of him, it seems as if he is making progress?

As I have stated, regardless of the hicchups, I am looking forward to the future of the Cubs without Wood and Prior. Part of who you have seen this ST, will be in the starting rotation as early as 2008, wouldn’t you think - particularly if Marquis cannot be a servicable pitcher?

=============================

E-MAN: Ceda's breaking ball has improved from when I saw him last year. He should be the #1 starter at Peoria, although Billy Muldowney has looked very good, too. . .

I would think Angel Guzman will be in the Cubs starting rotation next year, but I would think he would probably replace Wade Miller (who will be a FA after the season) rather than Marquis.

Sean Gallagher looks like a sure-fire MLB prospect, but he might not be ready until 2009,

Jeff Samardszija could move really fast and might be ready for the big leagues sometime next year.

I like Donald Veal, but to me he's more of a future closer than a starter, at least until he can consistently throw less than 20 pitches per ining.

And Sean Marshall should be an MLB rotation starter again in the near future, if not with the Cubs, then with somebody.

I have a question for the Doc.

With all these inflammations, tendinitis, etc. that Cubs pitchers have been suffering the past years; how much of it do you think is related to improper hydration? I know that Zambrano suffered from cramps and stuff from lack of fluids but how does it relate to these other inflammatory injuries?

I know that Zambrano suffered from cramps and stuff from lack of fluids but how does it relate to these other inflammatory injuries?
------
That is a tough one to answer well. The Zambrano cramping example is the most typical event on a hot day when an athlete isn't hydrated and dizziness or headache also can be symptoms. Playing through a viral illness (GI) can put an athlete in a dehydrated state. So can certain diets.

Most of the inflammatory injuries around the shoulder and elbow are more related to repetitive trauma (more stress than trauma I suppose). Pulled muscles, particularly hamstrings are often due to inadequate stretching, especially when the weather is colder. Knee injuries like meniscal tears are due to awkward crouching/pivoting and knee ligament injuries are often due to deceleration or inadvertent contact. I think it's a reach to say that dehydration has a role in the inflammatory problems, but I guess it's possible particularly pulling a muscle might make sense if it's cramping up and then gets over stretched.

Here is a decent link on sports and dehydration:

http://www.personalmd.com/news/quench_82900.s...

Thanks for the info Dr Joe. Maybe you and AZ Phil can dig around for the info/typical diagnosis on those other players Eric mentioned.

AZ Phil,

That's great news about Ceda, AZ Phil. Hopefully he will come up with a nice third pitch turn into a top of the liner starter, then, just maybe, people will quit complaining about Willis.... nah, who am I kidding?

Veal said in the MLB.com article he was focusing on throwing more strikes and not worrying about the K's so much. I guess by your commens that hasn't started happening yet?

Pawelek is really starting to smell like yet another 1st round bust. Yes, I know he's young, but a true prospect makes immediate progress when in the low minors, and this kid ain't.

Memo to Cubs--STOP DRAFTING HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS!! Other than Kerry Wood, has this ever worked out for us? Cunningham, Patterson, Harvey, Pawelek, who am I missing over the last 10 years? And yes, I know that our college 1st rounders have been equally disappointing, but unlike the HS-ers above, our college pick failures have almost exclusively been due to injury.

AZ Phil--I am all over Ceda, dude is impressive. I could easily see him moving into most folks' Top 5 Cubs prospects lists before the year is out. Filthy stuff and a horse of a body.

Forgot to add--talked with a local Royals guy this weekend, I quote: "Tell me about this Rocky Cherry kid." I hope the Cubs don't screw the pooch with Cherry, keep a vise-grip on him Fleita, and don't let Hendry get any weird ideas.

http://cubs.scout.com/2/631438.html

Blasko released...

Petricks's been moved to the pen

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  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 57 min 37 sec ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 11 sec ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 10 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 1 hour 52 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 6 hours 38 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 6 hours 39 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 16 hours 20 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 19 hours 18 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 19 hours 30 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 19 hours 39 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 19 hours 44 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 20 hours 3 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 20 hours 39 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 20 hours 56 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 20 hours 58 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 21 hours 16 min ago view