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

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • K-DUB: I get a chance to see the other MLB clubs Player Development operations out here and I have talked to scouts and other baseball people about it, and I can tell you that the Cubs Player Development program has gone from being almost a joke to one of THE best. 

  • how did ej martinez go from asking for $10m, to supposedly mulling over $7m offers, to eventually signing for $3m?

    ...and what happened with him and the giants a few days ago?

  • Its not official until AZ Phil adds him to the Cubs Depth Chart!

  • Just freakin love it!

  • From Keith Law:

  • This from a Kiley McDaniel chat a couple weeks ago...

    "Comment From Wrenzie
    Who has more ceiling between Yusniel Diaz or Eddy Julio Martinez?

    Kiley McDaniel: Martinez. I have Eddy (20 years old) as a 65 runner with a 55 arm and 50 raw power that profiles as an everyday CF that could be above average depending on if the bat is a 45 or a 55. I have Yusniel (19) as a 60 runner with a 55 arm and 40 raw power that can be an everyday guy if he hits enough (50 or 55)."

  • "Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus.
    Arizona Phil 7 hours 23 min ago"

  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.