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.
I think with Hammels and Hendricks struggles the 2nd half we forget how dominate of 1st halves they had and how many games they won us as the offense was struggling. We also forget they are back of the rotation guys and we can't be expecting ace quality there.
Maybe it's just Werth & Ross I'm noticing. Weird.
CRAIG: Jose Albertos is not chunky like Fernando. He's built more like Dylan Cease. Exact same body type. And his delivery is free & easy. He's definitely not a "max effort" guy.
Hendricks after 50 MLB starts: 17-11, 3.45 ERA, 1.12 WHIP. Not bad for a #5 starter. He may be a 6-inning max guy, but, if he can keep those stats up, I will gladly take it.
Speaking of WHIP -- last year, he was tied for 11th in the NL. Tied with Hammel.
Last year's NL rank in WHIP: Arrietta 2nd, Lester 9th, Haren 10th, Hammel T11th, Hendricks T11th. Wow.
I went to a Nats game in DC two years ago while looking at colleges with my son -- it's a fun park, worth a visit if you are in the area.
I also saw the "slowness" thing -- particularly Werth, who would mosey out of RF about 5 seconds before the inning started.
It's Dusty's fault. It'll be the end of them.
Speaking of how teams "look", my take on the Nats- It's really weird, but the pace of the entire team seems slow. Slow walking to the plate, slow on the mound, even on some routine groundouts, it looked as if there wasn't a ton of hustle. Don't get me wrong, when the ball is hit to their outfielders, they get after the ball, I'm really referring to non-critical action- they mosey around. It's kind of odd. Maybe that "calm power" is part of the Nats ethos, idk.
My favorite moment of Hendricks' performance last night was the last strikeout he rung up- the cajones it took to throw a high, 86MPH fastball to Zimmerman on a 0-2 count. And he swung the bat like it was a 96MPH heater. I literally laughed out loud.
In listening to Maddon's post-game, he is interested in how these other teams "look" to him. He is assessing for today...and tomorrow. I love this guy.
One observation from last night: Joe Ross is incredibly slow. 20-30 seconds between pitches at times. Hendrix had a nice, peppy rhythm which is great to see.
I know there are plenty of purists here which I applaud, but the game just will not sustain itself unless change of pace rules come into play. Pitch clock, improve the shit-ass reviews, mound visits (there is a clock for this), batter time outs, etc.
Thanks, Phil. Albertos at 17, and having gotten a good signing bonus ($1.5, even though as Mexican prospect I think his team gets half of that?), throwing in the 90's and showing some command of a curveball sounds pretty interesting, even if that control is only for a dozen-pitch sample.
What kind of a frame does he have? Is he on the stocky and short-ish side (I'm recalling Fernando Valenzuela!), or somewhat taller? A lot of 17-year olds have projection, "when he fills out" projection. Would that apply at all for Albertos?
I definitely hang around here looking to reply to your comments as noticed by my nearly year long absence.
there's a fine line between posting something relevant, useful or at least humorous versus posting something irrelevant, useless or unfunny...actually it's rather quite a thick line and easy to see for most people not named crunch.
I certainly am digging the RISP machine Zobrist version.
Cubs are taking advantage of bad D by their opponents -- did it a few times in PIT and the Nats botched 2-out rundown leads to 3 Cub runs in the 8th. Which were nice to have.
I hope Kyle had fun at the dance party -- he was terrific.