IT IS FRACTURED but are we broken?

Thanks Transmission, you've said almost everything we need to know about Soriano's ouchie tonight (this link includes video of the injury). So I'll keep it to just a few more questions and answers and a picture.

Yes, it's broken...and yes, it's fractured. Yes, there's only minimal displacement (which means the bone doesn't need to be set or reduced by manipulation or surgery).

What can't he do? It's not his (right) throwing hand so it only afftects his glove hand for catching (which isn't his strong suit anyway) and his gripping of the bat (which is his strong suit).

Metacarpal fractures (that don't need surgery to realign the bone) heal by forming callus, which is new bone that the cells create from tissue that lines the normal bone called the periosteum. When a fracture occurs, the cells in the periosteum eventually produce new bone formation surrounding the fracture site that is called fracture callous. The earliest signs of fracture callous show up on an X-Ray at 2-3 weeks but the callous isn't solid until around 4-6 weeks. When the fracture callous is well formed, the bone at the fracture site is usually stable although the bone will continue to remodel for months.

The pain should subside in a week or two but until some callous is seen on his X-Ray and at the same time his docs find no tenderness at the fracture site, I doubt they will let him swing a bat. So 4 weeks to recovery is possible and 6 weeks is generously realistic. Fortunately the 5th week is the All-Star break, so I do believe there is a good chance he's back by July 18th in Houston (right after the ASB), unless he needs a rehab stint. I also wonder if he will have any lingering effects to his power and how long will it take to get the rust off his swing?

So to answer that I found a decent comparison. Chase Utley was hit by a pitch which fractured his right 4th metacarpal (which is his throwing hand) last July 26th. This article predicted 4-6 weeks on the DL and even hinted at season ending possibilities. Utley did a 3 day rehab stint in the minors and returned to the Phils lineup on August 27th, virtually a month after his injury. His return included a 3-5 game with a HR and a double.

So are we broken? That's the question for our TCR readers to sort out.

I'll leave everone with a picture and no, it's not Soriano's but it's definitely a broken 4th metacarpal.


He'll be okay. I also saw Utley as a good comparison for Soriano's injury; to answer your question about loss of power? Well, take a look at Utley's line this year.

Since it's the finger and not the wrist like DLee's, I'm more hopeful that Soriano won't have a drop in power when he returns. Definitely a blow to our offensive depth, but not something a little better pitching will not overcome.

but not something a little better pitching will not overcome.

In other words, we're DOOMED.

how dare you?! that is a word which shall NOT be spoken this season. from now on, whenever you wanna say DOOMED, you replace it with DESTINED.

Why is it that the Cubs are "DOOMED"? Did they not already play (2 or 3) weeks this season without Soriano. If I seem to recall, during that stretch, lots of people were screaming at Lou, don't put Soriano back at the top of the order when he gets back (why, because the Cubs were getting the job done). So why won't they get the job done now. Guess what, they will.

Since it's the finger and not the wrist like DLee's
Technically, this fracture is in the hand not the finger.

Correct that it's not the wrist. DLee had a fractured radius and ulna. If it was the finger it would be a broken phalanx (there are three per finger, proximal-middle-distal; although the thumb only has 2 phalanges). A broken phalanx might be worse expecially if it's near a joint although they heal a bit quicker.

thanks for the clarification, doc.

Given Soriano's unusual healing / work ethic, I think a comparison to Chase Utley is utterly (pun intended) frustrating, because I think there's a different work ethic and drive there.

My predictions: Soriano will steadfastly refuse a rehab stint. He will wince and grimace during each at-bat for the first two weeks back, causing great speculation of whether he "came back too soon". His power will be for cr@p for 2-3 weeks. His defense will still suck. There will again be pressure on Lou to bench him. Then, he'll go on a tear in August and all will be right with the world again.

What's wrong with Soriano's work ethic? And what does Chase Utley do to make his so much better than Soriano's?

Utley is a team player, and a gamer. He'll play anywhere he's asked, hit anywhere in the lineup without complaint, and is a popular teammate.

Soriano is a china doll, with cement hands and head. He's only happy if he's hitting leadoff. Doesn't run hard out of the box. Won't take a rehab assignment following return from an injury, forcing the team to deal with him hitting .125 until he finally got his stroke back. He's a selfish, overpaid doofus.

That's my opinion, and you're free to ignore it.

but before being injured he was on a 100 R 120 RBI 40 HR pace.

That's the same thing that Santo said yesterday - "he got 90 RBI". How many would he have gotten with the table set, rather than hitting leadoff homeruns with nobody on base? He's a selfish, self-centered goofball.

Oh, a

I would say Soriano is a gamer (look at his injuries, how is he going to play through those?) and is a popular teammate. He has never complained about this spot in the batting order.

There is a difference between being a gamer (amongst other attributes: playing while hurt and actually producing) and just playing hurt ("I won't take a rehab assignment, so I'll play left field and drop most everything that doesn't gracefully fall into my glove, while getting hits 1/9 of the time").

And you can't be soft enough to think that Lou plays him leadoff because he thinks it's a good idea. Seriously? He's got no appreciable speed, and no patience at the plate.

He's worth about a dime on the dollar.

'll play left field and drop most everything that doesn't gracefully fall into my glove, while getting hits 1/9 of the time

Funny... because I am pretty sure he only dropped a couple of balls, and his average is lot better than .111.

He's got no appreciable speed

Huh? He is 7 for 8 in stolen bases, even though has had some leg injuries this year. But yea, no speed, eh?

He's worth about a dime on the dollar.

Ha. Are you serious?

You probably think that Adam Dunn sucks too, right? You do realize that Soriano was an .879 OPS, right? That places him well above both Derek Lee and Fukudome. He is also leading the team in homeruns and just 3 rbi off the team lead, even though he has missed 16 games this year. He also leads the team in SLUG.

But yea - that is only worth a dime on the dollar, because you believe that he is a bad teammate.

Speaking of "bad" teammates, where did all that TCR BS about Jim Edmonds being a "clubhouse cancer" come from? From what I can see he's been a terrific teammate. Very supportive, especially of Sean Gallagher.

Sometimes, "clubhouse cancer" can apply to a teammate who facilitates the forming of cliques, with some guys getting turned into "outsiders" and being shunned or picked on -- or else they become clubhouse lawyers who spread discontent with management by complaining about various internal issues or otherwise ultimately ruin group cohesiveness.

I have no idea whether Edmonds was purported to be any of these types. He could be supportive of Gallagher and still end up fitting either of those "clubhouse cancer" stereotypes. I know nothing about the actual situation in the Cubs' clubhouse.

"That's my opinion, and you're free to ignore it."

You read my mind....

Hey Joe, how's that ground ball looking dribbling right through your legs?

"Hey Joe, how's that ground ball looking dribbling right through your legs?"

Huh? That happened to Leon Durham and Bill Buckner. What are you talking about?

ESPN radio reporting Soriano gets to wear a splint for 3 weeks then he will be re-evaluated with a new X-Ray.

Not sure how much a work ethic comes into play with a tiny fracture in the hand. Will he refuse to squeeze the rubber ball they give him after the cast comes off?

Obviously Utley also had the advantage of getting to heal at the White Guys With Less Natural Ability Who Had To Work For Everything They Got Rehab Center in Georgia. I'm told patients get a real metal lunch bucket, a lifetime supply of runny eye black and a jersey with a permanently stained front upon release.

: )

Well, you've obviously never worked in a rehab center. Squeezing that little rubber ball is a lot of work for some folks, too much for some.

And you validate the point. Less natural ability, while hitting a higher BA and being more flexible defensively does rather tell the story. Eye black and stains on the jersey have no real effect when you actually dedicate yourself to maximizing your God-given talent. Rather than performing at about 80% of your ability, comfortable, without actually straining yourself.

I despise the type of player Soriano represents. Give me Al Spangler any day.

So any new threads on how teams with 18 games over .500 records never miss the playoffs?


Soriano is a gamer, he doesn't bitch about his injuries he goes out and play I admire him for that.

The only issue I may see is catching the ball, with his usual difficulties and now a healing hand will probably lead to some more adventures when he comes back.

Heal well my friend, we will need you if we plan on winning this whole thing.

This is a better explanation and tentative prognosis of Soriano's injury than I've seen anywhere else, including newspapers and websites.

Thanks, doc.

Funny... I seem to remember a certain thread from yesterday talking about how relatively injury-free this Cubs team has been... What a jinx!

Actually that's NOT what the thread was talking about. It was all about how the teams the Cubs are about to play are getting injuries to key people. Many in the comments acknowledged how the Cubs have also gotten their share of injuries.

So this post in it's original intent said that Hoffpauir couldn't come up today due to only being on assignment for 9 days.

I guess the more I read, the more I confused myself. Can he be recalled early if the corresponding move is to put a player on the DL?

Can he be recalled early if the corresponding move is to put a player on the DL?

As I understand the rule, injuries allow an exception. So, yes. Hoffpauir or anyone can be called up to take Soriano's spot, regardless of how long since they've been sent down.

You know what the most f-ed up thing about Komodo Dragons is? Their saliva is poisonous. Not by birth apparently. But the adults have the toxins in their saliva and when the young eat from the open wounds that their parents start they also get it in theirs. So they usually bite a young or slow animal in the back of the pack and just wait for the poison to take effect and it slows downs and collapses. Then they all go to town on it - and yes, sometimes they are just poisoned and weak, but still alive, when they begin to be eaten by a group of dragons. The real Nasty Boys in my opinion.

I'm not ready to make a suicide pact yet, although by judging some of the commenters on other sites would have you believe that the season's over. Look at it this way - during Fonzi's slow start, the team overcame it with contributions from everyone else. Same deal here, let's go Cubs!

Exactly the point. Soriano is very important to the team's success but not indispensible.

Can Lou just kiss it and wrap a princess bandage around it? That seems to work for my daughters.

Lou has been kissing a certain part of Soriano's anatomy since he got here, but I don't think it's his hand.

as according to Levine, Epat gets the roster spot that is currently used on Kevin Hart. They might as well trade him to an organization where he can get a MLB roster spot for minor league filler because due to his lack of SLG in AAA and Lou's extreme dislike of him making him the 8th OF here, he has no trade value.

It makes sense to call up E PATTERSON. He's the best offensive player at Iowa this year --- .326.361.514 .875 with 5 home runs to Murton's 1 (he also has twice as many RBI as Murton) --- and he can and does bat leadoff as well. E Patt's fast and an accomplished base stealer, 10 for 10 this year.

Considering what kind of offensive contributions the club will lose because of Fonzi's DL stint, that seems like a reasonable risk. It does suck for Murton, though - he deserves a legit shot on a major league club.

FWIW, if the Cubs only play .500 baseball from here on out (48-48), they'll have 90 wins, which has been good enough to win at least the Wild Card in recent years.

Save your doom projections. :-)

Besides, Soriano *is* coming back, and the Cubs have been more than servicable in his absences to date.

yeah. We're going through a stretch where we play a lot of road games and SORIANO has been less than scintillating on the road where his BA is hovering closer to .200 than .300

But when he's due back, ~July 24, the Cubs begin a stretch where they play something like 26 out of 39 at home --- so things should work out fine. SORIANO tears it up at home --- .340 .384 .670 1.054 .

I actually just came off a broken 3rd and 4th metacarpal with no displacement, in my throwing hand. I even solicited some advice from Dr. Hecht in the comments, and he pretty much told me exactly what to expect from my recovery.

It happened March 3rd, and I got my cast off on March 31st. By April 17th I was playing softball pain-free (and homered twice in my first game back). Obviously it's not the same thing as playing baseball at a high level, but the motions are essentially the same.

At about the 8-week mark I felt like my strength and mobility were about 100%, but still had a little bit of tenderness associated with certain movements. Swinging the bat was not affected, but throwing felt a bit odd the first couple games. Since Sori's injury is in his non-throwing hand, I'm guessing he'll be fine and based on my own experience I bet he'll be back by July 16th (at the latest, the 23rd).

Also, to make my situation slightly more similar to Sori's, my doctor was Dr. Mark Cohen, who happens to do all the hand/elbow/shoulder surgeries for the White Sox.

Great info. Thanks for sharing.

Well, you're not "Fonzi". He'll be grimacing til Labor day.

The return of Silent Towel?

If not, "Silent Towel" might have to become the next great TCR adjective, much like 3/44.

One question for those who have paid more attention to the minors than EPat's defense at 2B still as godawful as it was in years past? Or do we expect him to play LF while DeRo take over at 2nd?

E.Patterson will lead off and play LF. As expected he takes Hart's place on the roster.

A strong show of confidence in the kid to basically replace Soriano in the field and the lineup. Hopefully he can play adequate defense, get on base, and steal some bases.

Sometimes, "clubhouse cancer" can...
wow, never thought of it that way...but if there was a clubhouse cancer problem maybe Soriano's fracture is pathologic from metastatic disease and had nothing to do with getting hit by that pitch.

so you're saying Soriano's injury might be Barrett's fault?

Um... sure. Yes. Exactly!

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Boras is 63, maybe he'll be retired or dead by the time Bryant, Russell, Almora, Albertos all hit free agency. Doubt he will be before Jake hits there though.

    cubbies.4ever 18 min 49 sec ago view
  • Interesting choices when guys get healthy.

    LaStella, Fowler & Soler replace Coghlan, Almora and Sczcur? I assume they don't want Almora to sit.

    Despite MIggy's demise, I assume they keep him around to mentor Contreras?

    billybucks 1 hour 32 min ago view
  • I believe Willson now has more CS than MIggy. The kid has an arm. Also, Russell is amazingly good on those plays at 2nd.

    billybucks 2 hours 43 min ago view
  • oh yeah...thanks joe/billy.

    poor outing, still got the win, go cubs.

    crunch 3 hours 21 min ago view
  • Although it felt like it, Jake didn't lose to them -- he got the W. (Assuming you are referring to Monday's game)

    billybucks 5 hours 2 min ago view
  • Arrieta didn't lose to the Reds. He got the win -- he just didn't pitch like we expect him to.

    JoePepitone 5 hours 3 min ago view
  • almora's 1st HR!

    crunch 5 hours 10 min ago view
  • it's not like this CIN team is lost-cause horrible, but aside from defense and power this is a truly horrible team.

    kinda crazy arrieta lost to them and yesterday's game had to go 15 innings for the cubs win.

    crunch 5 hours 26 min ago view
  • It looked like Hamilton got screened by Duvall and that Duvall just barely deflected the ball off of his glove--redirecting it slightly without taking away much of its momentum.

    At least it didn't turn into a Schwarber/Fowler situation. Hamilton and Duvall are both pretty important youngish players for the Reds.

    Charlie 5 hours 34 min ago view
  • he walked off the field on his own. aside from a concussion watch and some attention to his leg/knee that buckled a bit under him, the biggest thing hurt was probably his pride after the ball knocked off his skull.

    crunch 5 hours 53 min ago view
  • After last night, an inside-the-park HR seems kind of run-of-the-mill somehow.

    Sounds bad for Hamilton. Hope he's okay--listening on the radio.

    Brick 6 hours 10 min ago view
  • SHOW ME THE MONEY:  Jose Albertos has signed with Mega-Agent Scott Boras.

    Albertos has already received his signing bonus and won't see any additional significant money until he reaches the big leagues,  so this is a long-term investment for the Boras Corporation.  

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 16 min ago view
  • I am glad Joe is managing this team and not Old and Blue!

    Hagsag 8 hours 39 min ago view
  • Baez had Maddon's ass last night. I didn't hear the reason for taking Contreras out last night but whatever game management thingy it was, you don't take out your second hottest hitter. Or is he third? Anyway, you don't take him out. The guy can probably play anywhere in the field, anyway. Did anybody see that nice catch in left he made? I don't think he got a late start on that, just tracked it damn well for a catcher.

    Old and Blue 10 hours 34 min ago view
  • Per Fangraphs...

    Bryant took over NL lead in WAR after yesterday's effort. 3.9. Rizzo's at 2.8 and 8th in the league. Rizzo actually with better offensive numbers (161 wRC+ versus 146 for Bryant), but Bryant gets a good bump because of defense and position(s) played.

    Fowler with a 2.8 WAR as well (9th), Zobrist with a 2.7 (14th).

    M. Carpenter leads NL with 163 wRC+ just ahead of Rizzo who is 2nd.

    Rob G. 16 hours 36 min ago view
  • Amen

    jacos 18 hours 14 min ago view