Daryle Ward (and maybe Micah Hoffpauir) gets a shot
It looks like a DL stint
is in the Wardosaurus' future. The Cubs premier bat off the bench
apparently injured his low back when he took a tumble at first base
during spring training and it just kept hurting. This makes more sense regarding his slow start as he was
0-14 as a pinch hitter until his recent run of three game changing
His back pain persisted so an MRI yesterday was obtained and diagnosed a herniated disc.
He's agreed to get an epidural cortisone injection to treat this. The
treatment means a few days of rest (ie. no baseball activities) and so
expect another Iowa callup, most likely power hitting lefty 1B-OF Micah Hoffpauir.
The lumbar spine has 5 bony segments or vertebrae connected by discs
which are made of fibrous tissue (the annulus fibrosis) filled by
softer gel like material (tha nucleus pulposus). When a disc herniates,
the fibrous tissue usually tears and the gel like center of the disc
pushes through the tear in the annulus, leading to pressure on
the nerve tissue nearby. Disc herniations
occur most frequently at the two lowest levels labeled by their
vertebral segments (L4-5 and L5-S1, after the 5th lumbar segment is the
Treatment is based on the severity and the pattern of
pain. The term radicular is used if a nerve root is pinched and produces pain
or numbness that radiates down the leg (also generically called
sciatica, after the sciatic nerve which is formed from the most common nerve roots
involved in disc herniations at these levels) and if the nerve roots that are pinched control a muscle, weakness such as a dropfoot can occur. If the pain doesn't radiate into the leg (non-radicular) it's only lower back pain that results.
Since they want the speediest of recoveries, it appears they are going to give D. Ward an epidural steroid injection (cortisone shot, aka ESI). The epidural space
is the anatomic space just outside of the sac where all the nerve roots
are contained (the dura). Putting cortisone there theoretically works
on the inflammation/swelling produced by the disc herniation and if it
works, which it certainly can, should relieve the pain. It probably won't
get rid of the herniated disc but it's the symptoms that count as not
all disc herniations cause back or leg pain.
Of course there
are other treatments that will be used to treat this including the
usual non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication and specific back
related exercises particularly strengthening abdominal muscles but the
acute flare up needs to be addressed first and this involves a few days
of rest. If there is no leg pain or weakness, it's unlikely that surgery will be involved.
Here's to a speedy return for a professional hitter.
(drop) footnote: Micah Hoffpauir was 2-4 last night for Iowa including a 3 run HR and 5 rbi's. If you hear a knocking sound out there Micah, it's Mr. Opportunity.
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.