Is Bum Knee Behind Soriano's Slide?

Carrie Muskat wrote yesterday that Alfonso Soriano has been playing with a sore knee since April 23rd, when he "banged his knee against the wall" while running after what turned out to be a Joey Votto home run.

"It hasn't been the same since,"
Soriano said. "It's getting better."

Lou Piniella said athletic trainer Mark O'Neal hasn't told him that Soriano can't play. He'll take it day by day.

"Soriano is a tough kid and wants to play," Piniella said. "If it
persists, we might have to get him out of there for a few days."

In 31 games since April 23rd, Soriano, has hit .233/.266/.431/697 (AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS).  He has hit 7 HR, though none in his last 10 games. His current line of .253/.313/.495/807 is a season low, across all categories.


— Ryan Dempster (3-3, 4.99) is opposed by lefty Eric Stults (4-1, 4.29) in Saturday afternoon's 3:10 game.

— Cliff Floyd makes his National League return as the Padres activate the former Cub from the Disabled List. In addition to using him as a left-handed pinch-hitter, the Pads are hoping to employ Floyd as a DH in upcoming interleague play.

— Jason Marquis threw eight shutout innings last night on the way to his seventh victory of the season for Colorado, on a day when the Rox fired managed Clint Hurdle and replaced him with another guy with Cub ties, Jim Tracy.  Marquis, now the owner of more than a third of Colorado's victories for the season, also earned himself mention on the late edition of ESPN's Baseball Tonight as a prime target of contenders looking for starting pitching as the season wears on.



or is Soriano's slide behind revelation of bum knee?

How could you insinuate such a thing? :)

Well the knee bone is connected to the thigh bone, and the thigh bone is connected to the hip bone, etc etc until you get to the bone between his ears that has caused him to swing at curveballs like a bewildered high school freshman seeing them for the first time.

Wuertz in Oakland: 1.93 era, 0.90 whip

Marquis in Colorado: 7-3 (team only has 19 wins), 3.93 era, 1.28 whip (only Lilly and pleasant surprise Wells have lower whips on Cubs starters)

Vizcaino in Chic/Clevland: 2.84 era, Cubs are paying $4 million for him to pitch for Cleveland.

Nice moves by Hendry, taking a 97 win team and gutting much of the roster with disastrous results. Now I'm not crying over trading Marquis, he was a decent fifth starter who had extra value in the NL being able to pinch hit and pinch run. His biggest problem was he fades down the stretch and makes too much money, but the salary part is Hendry's fault. And no fifth starter on any team is making playoff starts unless their team has several injuries. So as nice as Wells or Marshall have pitched, if the other 4 guys were healthy at playoff time, they start over those two. Heck,last year Lilly didn't even get a playoff start.

And Hendry's big improvements this offseason? Have any worked? Gregg - mediocre closer. Heilman - mediocre reliever. Bradley - throw out his behavior and just look at his track record of never being healthy, which has continued here, along with an overpriced 3 year contract. Gathright/Freel - neither have contributed. Miles - a fringe player coming off a career year and expected to help replace Dero's 21 hr and 87 rbi, and Miles has been a bum so far, and whether he is injured or not, he was never very good to begin with.

What is Hendry's goddamn problem? For the good moves he has made, let's not forget that he has a fatal attraction to crappy players. And for all the good moves Hendry has made, most of them involved small market teams being forced to dump salary, letting Hendry acquire the players for somewhat of a bargain, being one of the few teams that can afford the big deals. When Hendry has to go out and get players on the free agent market, he has mostly failed miserably (Burnitz, Jones, Bradley, Eyre, etc.) or given crazy contracts that we will regret for years (Soriano, Marquis, Bradley, Fukudome - even if the performs at his current level - .300 and mostly hitting singles, he's far overpaid for what he does). The only two free agent moves I can remember off the top of my head that Hendry hit the jackpot on are Lilly and Derosa.

Shit, and here I am thinking we're sitting on consecutive division titles and are 3.5 games out of first despite having our best hitter out and having two of our top four starters go to the DL, the day after we beat the ace of the team that is laying claim to being the leagues best (i.e. the new Cubs).

Deep breaths, deep breaths.

Saying that the Bradley contract has failed miserably is a bit premature, and Eyre wasn't that much of a disaster. Also comparing contracts signed in the pre-crash climate to the current one is silly.

What Real Neal said. Also:

"Bradley -- throw out his behavior..."

I realize you may be referring to past incidents, but to me, Bradley has done nothing as a Cub that is alarming in the least. It doesn't take much to get ejected/suspended these days, so his one-gamer doesn't upset me; and while his complaining about the vast umping conspiracy was a bit silly, I think the media reaction to it was (as usual) overblown.

While I also agree that Hendry has made some mistakes, I think that to say he has a "fatal attraction for crappy players" well overstates the point. I do fault him for always feeling the need for a Neifi/Miles/Macias type, but lots of GMs still seek out those kinds of players (don't Juan Uribe and David Eckstein still have jobs?). Other teams -- winning teams -- also give out bad contracts: Red Sox (Lugo), Angels (Sarge Jr.), Dodgers (Jones/Pierre), etc.

Hendry hasn't been perfect, and he hasn't achieved the essential goal yet, but he's taken some very good steps toward it. And anyone who cuts down his trading acumen must be eight years old, for surely anyone older than that would have a visceral memory of the Todd Hundley years, and the way Hendry quickly, mercifully, and amazingly relieved us of them.

You forgot to mention the loss of Hank White, Jim Edmonds and Kid K. Bad Hendry-boo! In all seriousness, I am more suspicious of Dempster's ability to replicate his 2008 performance and Lou's insistentence in acquiring lefty hitters.

Soriano, Theriot, Bradley, Lee, Johnson, Soto, Scales, Fontenot, Dempster


Pierre, Furcal, Hudson, Loney, Ethier, Martin, Loretta, Kemp, Stults

Is Soriano suffering from a bruised knee or a bruised ego?

I mentioned this in a previous thread, but this is Soriano's batting line since he was clowned at the WWE event:

6-40, 1 2B, 2 BB, 15 K.

.150/.190/.175 (.365 OPS).

It also might be that Soriano is just swinging at a bunch of really dumb pitches.

In 88 April ABs, this was Sori's batting line:

.284/.364/.591 (.955)with 10 BB and 22 Ks.

Compared to 102 May ABs:

.225/.266/.412 (.678) with 5 BB and 28 Ks.

Looks to me like Soriano's just swinging at bad pitches, which confirms what our eyes are already telling us.

I think the bum knee is a lame excuse.

with monday being an off day, i would have zero problem with fox, hoff, and johnson each being given 1 start in left in atlanta. kind of a self-imposed 3 day d/l for soriano, giving a total of 4 days rest.

lee has sat so far in 2009 when not 100%. same for bradley and soto. what makes soriano different? theriot or kosuke could fill in at lead off. even bradley, with his good sense of strike zone.

I think you can take Soriano's word that he isn't 100%, he has no track history of faking injuries or just plain sitting out cuz he wants to protect his stats like his counterpart in RF Milton Bradley.

Its amazing people want to take make excuses to excuse Bradley for his performance but will invent ones out of thin air to attack Soriano.

yet soriano can still lead off...

Votto to 15-day DL with "stress-related issues"

in Parachat...

Given the Cub's past history regarding player injuries, can we really trust anything they say on the matter anymore? It's always trying to read smoke signals with these guys, the manager says "gee, I don't think he's injured," while the player responds with "but I am injured," then Lou again with "you know, I think he MAY be in fact INJURED." For Chrissakes, stop acting like Belichek and be honest about injuries for a change.

with the circus play catch on a Dempster bunt attempt...check out the highlights if you missed it.

single, SB, bunt RBI single

Bradley with 2 hits, including nice hit and run...then gets thrown out on a dumb play trying to advance to second.

"I think that's what you're going to see," manager Lou Piniella said. "At the same time, we'll continue to work [Jake] Fox at third base just in case we need a double-switch, just in case there's an injury. We have to be prepared." Bobby Scales started at third on Friday with Fontenot at his regular second base post. On Saturday, they switched. "[Fontenot] is basically our best third baseman, our best option over there," Piniella said.

so Scales/Blanco at 2b?

It's too hard to keep track of.

Skinny Dick is really catching up on the XBH's after deciding to not hit any for the first month of the season.

who that

-edit- i guess it's reed johnson...where does 'skinny' come from?

Don't make us revisit this. The whole "reedy"-is-a-noun thing hurt my head.

The Dodgers should have a good look at this game, and take some clues about how to build a good baseball organization.

Nice to see Lou give Patton a low-stress inning in the 9th up by 7. It'll give him a chance to strain his shoulder and end up on the DL and go to EXST for a while.

Oh, wait. Lou isn't that smart.

He got into one game this week, don't get greedy.

more on Votto's DL stint (we play in Cincy next weekend):

Even the players were not told exactly what the stress-related issue is with Votto that placed him on the disabled list, although Baker told the writers that the inner ear infection was the start of it.

Asked what he could tell us about Votto, Baker said, “Not much. He’s just dealing with a personal issue. He wants us to respect his privacy about that. And he’s dealing with it, trying to deal with it.”
Baker said it doesn’t involve his inner ear infection, “But it started with that.” Votto went back to Cincinnati and when asked if he’ll be back after the 15 days, Baker said, “We hope so. We don’t know.”

Votto went on the bereavement list last August when his father died.

Said General Manager Walt Jocketty, “It’s basically something that Joey needs some time to get away and deal with and we gave him that time. It’s not a big deal, but it is something that was affecting his ability to play at the level he wants to play at. So we gave him a little time off.”

sweet...great time for him to go on the DL...maybe brandon pillips can follow.

It did irk me when Heilman pitched the 9th and was untrustworthy again even in a 7-0 game.

He let the first two men on, including a walk...which in itself wasn't what pissed me off...Heilman is the lead candidate for the 2009 Bob Howry Sucking Sound Replacement Award.

What upset me is that Heilman's badness led to Marmol getting up and throwing 20 + pitches in the pen, in a game he clearly didn't need to warm up

marmol was warming? geez...

saw this note from Will Carroll (Baseball Prospectus) about Rich Harden:
.. Rich Harden played catch, giving the Cubs the idea that he could be back in the rotation in two weeks. Watch for his progress, but it sounds as if he might not do a rehab start. ...

from the TV coverage of the Cards/Giants game:

Cardinal pitcher Kyle Lohse next start (tues) will be pushed back as he's having forearm inflammation/pain problems relating to getting hit by a pitch while batting in his last outing vs KC (8th inning by ex-Cub Ron Mahay) .

They cut short his side session yesterday due to discomfort and he will be re-examined when the club returns to Stl.

I usually can't stand Buck and mongoloid Timmy when they do the Fox games, but McCarver did mention the after - effects of Heilman's sucking regarding Marmol's required warm - up tosses. While I prefer to look at the glass as half - full and give the club credit for hanging in there despite some torpid stretches of baseball (and numerous injuries), I have to hope that our GM will somehow solve our disasterous relief problems.

very thorough article on what's holding up the sale, particularly the broadcast rights.

Muskrat's blog also had some stuff on the sale. She seemed to indicate both sides have made some concessions in the last week or so regarding the disputed value of the broadcast contracts.

Can anyone explain this part of the deal?

In order to limit its capital gains tax exposure, Tribune Co. has demanded a complex structure that requires a lot of debt.

How does Ricketts using financing instead of ca$h help Zell avoid taxes?

This is completely out of my realm, but from what I read I think that Zell wants less money up front, and the rest spread out over a decade or more as some sort of complicated debt. This way he has to pay less capital gains tax in 2009. Not sure how this all works out though, again, not my area.

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