Sometimes It Feels As If We're Dropping Like Flies
Saturday, 10 AM UPDATE: Bruce Levine's ESPN AM-1000, Talkin' Baseball radio show from this saturday morning has updates
on Soriano's injury saying it's just a jammed finger and not a
dislocation. Also, Lilly's knee symptoms are related to a meniscus problem
and Dempster may just miss one more start.
Also he interviewed Oneri Fleita (Cubs VP of Player Personnel)
who comments on all things in the Cubs minor league system as well as
the recent rule 4 amateur draft, saying 2nd round pick LSU infielder DJ LeMahieu is close to signing.
A dark cloud seems to loom even with a two game winning streak after tonight's 3-1 win vs the Gnats. So I ask, is dropping like flies worse than dropping flys?
This is not following Lou Piniella's script for the 2nd half of the season:
1) Get Healthy and Stay Healthy
2) Score runs
The "Road to Wrigley" game with the Iowa Cubs vs the Vegas 51's isn't coming until August 9th but it looks like the Iowa Cubs will be staying with their parent club just a bit longer, as two more Cub starters are possibly out for days and maybe more.
In the friday night 6-2 win against the Nationals, Alfonso Soriano dislocated his right little "pinky" finger (his throwing hand) in a base running mishap during the 4th inning. He singled to center on a play where DLee was on second but Lee rounded third and held there based on a strong but high throw to the plate by Nyjer Morgan. The catcher, Josh Bard caught the throw well in front of the plate then caught Soriano half way between first and second in an 8-2-6-4 putout. On the replay you can see that Soriano jammed his hand sliding into the base and he pulled on the finger right away apparently reducing the dislocated knuckle. The Comcast telecast also showed Soriano getting treatment from trainer Mark O'Neal as soon as he got back to the dugout but he stayed in the game and even batted again (he grounded out to 3B in the 6th and walked in the 9th). This type of injury doesn't swell until a few hours later but once the swelling develops the finger stiffens up making it hard to grip things (like a baseball or a bat).
From beat writer Paul Sullivan in the Tribune:
He (Soriano) popped it back in and continued to play, but the finger swelled up
overnight. Soriano was scratched from the starting lineup Friday night
and is expected to miss at least a couple more games. "I don't have power in my hand because I can't grab the bat," he said.
Soriano said he’ll play with pain in the finger as long as the swelling
goes down enough for him to grip a bat again. He anticipated missing
only one game, though manager Lou Piniella said he thought it might
take ‘‘a few days.’’
Since it's his throwing hand there is a chance he will miss more than the initial mention of a game or two but it's all about swelling and stiffness as these simple PIP (proximal interphalangeal) joint dislocations are usually stable once reduced and it looks like Soriano provided the best treatment by reducing the injury immediately. Things that complicate a dislocation include adjacent fractures of the phalanges, flexor or extensor tendon damage, collateral ligament injuries or a tear of the volar plate (part of the joint capsule). I'll assume none of the bad stuff happened here. I'm not expecting a DL stint but even that is possible if he can't comfortably swing a bat in a few days. Lou Piniella was quoted, "I think it'll probably be a few days. I don't think it'll go down in one day."
Color this as a few days off but the medical staff will know more in a day or two.
On top of some recent positive updates regarding Ryan Dempster (great toe fracture) and Geo Soto (left oblique strain) feeling much better and looking more like they will miss the minimum 2 weeks we get news that Ted Lilly has a sore knee which has bothered him much of the season. It didn't have any adverse effect in his last start, a 5-2 win against the Cardinals. Lilly pitched a strong game getting the "W" while going 8 innings giving up a measly 4 hits and one run. He was slated to pitch this Saturday in Washington but they've pushed back his start so that Randy Wells will go Saturday and Kevin Hart will get recalled for the Sunday game. Manager Lou Piniella in a pregame chat with the media just said he had some swelling in the knee. The media is running the gamut from just a few extra days to a mention of a DL decision looming. As of now, there really isn't a diagnosis for his knee problem so they will just wait and see how it feels by monday before a decision is needed.
Carrie Muskat at cubs.com:
"When he came back here [Thursday], his knee was bothering him, and the
last couple starts he's had, it's bothered him somewhat," Piniella
said. "We'll see."
Lilly is scheduled tentatively to pitch Monday night in Philadelphia,
but in essence the Cubs are only buying some time before deciding
whether or not to put the left-hander on the 15-day disabled list.
Lilly, the Cubs’ lone All-Star, has pitched through knee discomfort for
much of the season. He returned from the break with the knee flaring up.
There has been no mention of an MRI but if this lingers, I'm sure that's on the agenda. Hopefully it's just a pushback of his start although getting an assignment in Philly isn't something that even the Ted Lilly Supercomputer wants to tabulate.
He'll be fine. He's not some wimpy young pup.
In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.
Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
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.