How Far Koskie Has Come
Haven't seen a lineup yet for this afternoon's Cubs-Mariners game, but Lou Piniella's stated plan with Corey Koskie is to "probably play him every couple days and see how he does..."
Koskie started Tuesday's game against the Dodgers and ripped a double off the centerfield wall in his first at-bat. He also walked and grounded out.
In looking for some information on Koskie, I came across an mlb.com article from April of last year, when the longtime Twin, still suffering from the after-effects of a concussion he suffered as a Brewer, dropped by the Metrodome.
The former Twins third baseman was...visiting with some
of his old teammates on Wednesday and talked about the constant
struggles that he still has with post-concussion syndrome.
...Just being down on the field at the dome
without having any problems was something that he considered to be a
It's been nearly two years since Koskie was last on a baseball field.
He suffered his concussion on July 5, 2006 when he chased down a
shallow popup while playing for the Brewers. He did not hit his head on
the play, but the effects of the concussion he suffered has been
lingering ever since.
That means getting dizzy and nauseous at times, and Koskie said
it's not necessarily during just physical activity. He can be watching
hockey on TV or a fast-paced television show when the symptoms develop.
"I don't know if I'm going to wake up one day and it will all be gone,"
Koskie said. "Or if there is going to be some stuff that's lingering
and I have to deal with it the rest of my life. I just don't know."
Koskie became a free agent this past fall when the Brewers
declined their 2008 option on his contract. Whether any teams would be
willing to take a chance on the 34-year-old, once he's fully recovered,
is also uncertain.
And until Koskie knows what his future entails, being around
baseball is tough. Just how much he misses the game was clear from the
look on his face, and he even declined the chance to go lean on the
batting cage and talk to some of the Twins as they took batting
"I'm not going to lean on the cage until I'm retired or I've got a
uniform on," Koskie said. "Right now, I'm in this kind of halfway
thing. I would still like to play baseball, but physically, I'm not
able to right now."
As a part-time Twins fan and full-time White Sox-hater, I have always liked Koskie, who delivered many Sox-killing hits in his Minnesota days. But just on a human level, the possibility that Koskie could stick with the Cubs will be, as Piniella says, "a nice story if it materializes."
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.
soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.
he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.