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.
The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.
I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.
Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.
Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell
if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.
I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth
Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.
Wtf is up w/that?!
Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.