Reed Johnson's Weak Back

Oh, about a week back.

When Reed Johnson collided with Ray's 1B Willie Aybar to end the Tuesday game in Tampa, he looked like a pinball bouncing off a bumper. Given that he missed most of last year because of a lumbar disc herniation, ultimately treated by surgery in April 07, I knew this could be trouble. Playing two series on astroturf (Toronto and Tampa consecutively), worried me just because of his history of back surgery. It's being reported that he was suffering from back spasms since the collision.

Supposedly he was available for pinch hitting duty for Thursday but he hasn't been used since the collision. A tidbit in this morning's Tribune says he received an anti-inflammatory injection in his back on Thursday. So unless that information is a bit off, he might have been given the injection in Tampa. The team didn't fly back to Chicago until the wee hours of Friday morning for the day game against the Sox. If he did get an epidural cortisone injection (ESI), it's similar to how Daryle Ward's herniated disc condition was treated although I don't believe Ward has ever had surgery on his disc, so it's not quite comparable. Ward's rehabbing in Arizona and is getting a minor league rehab assignment with the Iowa Cubs this week before probably coming off the DL for the Sox series next weekend. Hence, DWard's DL stint is going to amount to just short of 6 weeks.

If Reed Johnson does go on the DL Monday (an off day before the Baltimore series), expect Sean Marshall's call up to mean that Eric Patterson (or Matt Murton) gets to stay up more than their usual 3 day stint for a change. Somehow I don't understand why they didn't fill the roster spot sooner, unless Reed Johnson truely was capable of playing. We've been playing a man short since last Tuesday, more if you consider Edmonds missed a few games. If the scrappy one (of scrappy, scrappier and scrappiest fame) was capable of pinch hitting (explaining why he's not on the DL yet) but hasn't been used, any DL stint can still be retroactive to his last game on June 17th.


It seems like only yesterday that stuff like this would have been headline news. But since I don't see a report anywhere, FELIX PIE was pulled in the 4th inning of yesterday's I-Cubs game with a HAND INJURY. He was supposed to be examined by MDs last night.

nice pickup Nav...

here is the link to the Des Moines Register mention of Pie's hand:

I also saw that Kevin Hart was put on Iowa's DL because of his concussion.

here's the pertinent play by play stuff:

Iowa Top 1st
Felix Pie flies out to center fielder Lorenzo Scott.
Daryle Ward grounds out, third baseman Dallas McPherson to first baseman John Gall.

Iowa Top 4th
•Felix Pie grounds out, pitcher Eulogio De La Cruz to first baseman John Gall.
Daryle Ward grounds out, second baseman Andrew Beattie to first baseman John Gall.

Albuquerque Bottom 4th
Defensive Substitution: Josh Kroeger replaces center fielder Felix Pie, batting 2nd, playing right field.
Dallas McPherson singles on a ground ball to right fielder Josh Kroeger.
Andrew Beattie grounds into double play, pitcher Hector Carrasco to shortstop Andres Blanco to first baseman Daryle Ward. Dallas McPherson out at 2nd.
John Baker grounds out, second baseman Bobby Scales to first baseman Daryle Ward.

Albuquerque Bottom 5th
Defensive Substitution: Jason Dubois replaces first baseman Daryle Ward, batting 3rd, playing first base.

I almost hate to ask, Doctor - but your opinion on Edmonds sore foot would be appreciated, if you have one at this time. He looked like he was grimacing yesterday rounding the bases - obviously not a problem regarding his hitting performance, but maybe he came back too soon from that injury.

Edmonds sore foot
I've hear Edmonds has plantar fascitis which translates to inflammation of the fibrous arch in the foot (called the plantar fascia).

This is common and treatment varies a bit depending on where the pain is, either the arch or the bottom of the heel. It sounded like his problem is chronic with an acute flareup during the game in Tampa. So I expect it's a day to day thing. Treatment include all the usual suspects, anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy such as stretching, massage and deep heat modalities (like ultrasound). Total contact cushioned arch supports can be made to make sure the contact forces in the arch are evenly distributed. It it isn't responding a cortisone injection can be given but that works better if the soreness is near the heel and not the mid arch. It's more common in basketball players because of the hard court but that damn artificial turf probably was the culprit this time.

The problem of deciding how soon to come back is tricky as it often flares even when prolonged rest is given.

Plantar fascitis doesn't do reliably well with surgery so procedures are reserved only to the condition when it's very chronic and hasn't responded to other options. In fact, they are using high frequency ultrasonic shock wave therapy (kind of like lithotrypsy for breaking up kidney stones) as an alternative to surgery and that may have some value over surgery for chronic unresponsive cases.

I believe Magglio Ordonez had this treatment for his knee which was diagnosed as avascular necrosis. This significantly affected his value when he was a free agent although the Tigers took on that risk which worked out.I don't know of any other players that have had it for plantar fascitis though, although there may be some out there, especially in the NBA.

Brewers winning again, 7-3 in the 8th over the Orioles, and look really hot right now. Fielder also went yard again.

Freddie Bynum was DFAed today by the Orioles.

Bosox take a 3-2 lead in the bottom of 8, Crisp triple, sac fly; bases loaded walk. Papelbon on the mound now.

Cardinals just tie it 3-3 off of Papelbon.

stoopid papelbon...3-3. two out walk, double by Kennedy.

friggin' stl horseshoe. on to the bottom of 9

Dempster on Soto from an ESPN column (

Dempster also is quick to point to one of the Cubs' young players, catcher Geovany Soto, as one of the club's keys.

"He gets a lot of attention from how well he swings the bat," Dempster said. "But he takes a lot more pride in becoming a better catcher, in being able to improve as a handler of pitchers. He'll strike out at the plate, come back to the dugout and sit with the pitcher, asking him how he wants to pitch to the hitters in the next inning. The guy just really cares about being a complete catcher, and all our pitchers really appreciate how hard he works."

Thanks for the medical update regarding Edmonds, Cubster. I had the same thing way back in my mid - 20's, and had to give up running for long distances forever more, even after being fitted for orthotic inserts. It hurt like hell, can't imagine what a professional has to go through with that kind of injury on a daily basis.

This is f-ing ridiculous. Red Sox have bases loaded and 1 out in the 11th and Isringhuasen strikes out the next two.

bottom 12 coming up...

And Red Sox have a lead-off double in the 12th but runner gets thrown out at third trying to advance on a hard one-hopper to the second basemen. No runs.

Yes. Duncan you bitch.

w00t Youkilis. Thank you.

Cards lose. Does that mean the Cubs will lose, too?

Recent comments

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  • deno ended the season well even though ajax heavily cut into a lot of his chances to play. it's either him or ajax. i'm a bit partial to deno, but least ajax isn't hitting 2nd.

  • Agreed. And, with Hendricks on the mound, Cubs will probably need to score some runs to win -- why not start Soler for his bat and bring in Ajax for defense later?

    NEVER MIND....just re-read the lineup.

  • If the Cubs have the lead in the 8th, who pitches? Rodney? Travis? Yikes.

  • The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.

  • I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.

  • Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.

  • Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell

  • if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.

  • I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth

  • Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.

    Wtf is up w/that?!

  • Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...

  • I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.

  • Awesome stuff, Phil.

  • listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.

    That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.

  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.