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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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.