Mark Prior

Beware The Five Inch Screw

Matt Garza heads to the DL for a "bone contusion" just above the elbow and his 25 man roster replacement, Lou Montanez finally winds up in the Cub starting lineup with a memorable night. As you recall, Montanez was the Cubs 2000 first round amateur draft pick  (3rd pick overall) as a high school SS and after a stay in Cubville East (the Orioles System), he now resurfaces with the Cubs in RF. Getting back to Garza, let me think out loud with you readers about what seems to be the problem.

From TCR's last thread:

Let me stipulate that I AM NOT A DOCTOR (but I play one on tv)...so my opinions are just based on long miserable experience with the Cubs.

Garza's injury is being reported as a "bone contusion." Correct me if wrong but in my experience that's the same as saying he has a bone fracture except the fracture has no deliniation. Also, it's in his elbow so that implies that it involves cartilage as well as bone. This doesn't sound like something that heals in a week. Contusions often take longer than outright fractures to get better.
If the Cubs bring him back after missing one more start...look out.

In Garza's situation, using the term "bone contusion" is clearly an MRI diagnosis. I do have some issues with using this term here and (hopefully) I can provide some clarifications of muddy concepts being bandied about.

 I love my headline (nope, I'm not going there, so shame on you) but you need to read on for some Serious Splainin' Lucy.


Echos of Long Toss and Towel Drills Past

Rich Harden was all the news yesterday even though there was nothing new going on. Harden was newsworthy because he's starting the spring camp with long toss rather than work off the mound like the other pitchers. He's been on an off-season strengthening program for an achy-breaky shoulder that everyone in Cubs camp is still struggling to label. It's kind of like having a family member with a psychiatric diagnosis in the 1950's. Nobody wants to label the poor fella because of the stigma and gossip. Sun-Times beat reporter Gordon Wittenmyer, in his blog, was irked that once again there was misinformation delivered this off-season regarding what the diagnosis of Harden's shoulder issues are.

Can anybody tell me what the advantage is in omitting those details and being vague about these things? It's not like the Cubs have to protect the information for the purposes of shopping Harden or for any on-the-field competitive reasons (scouts have eyes).

I've covered three other teams in my career, and the ones that were most up front about these kinds of things had the fewest headaches with the way the information got out. And the fans stayed well informed, without the yo-yo effect.

Picking at a Scab

As I'm sure you've all heard by now, ex-Cubs wonder boy Mark Prior went under the knife yet again last week for his troublesome shoulder. But you might have missed this little detail (emphasis added):


The Padres' right-hander stood in the clubhouse with his right shoulder
bandaged and his right arm in a sling following Wednesday's surgery to
repair a torn anterior capsule. If that weren't enough to put an end to
his bid to pitch this season, doctors also found a second injury -- one
that isn't normally associated with baseball.

Prior's anterior capsule was torn away from the humerus, the
bone in the upper arm. Team physicians Heinz Hoenecke and Jan Fronek
performed the surgery and said the second injury is normally associated
with traumatic events like a fall.

Hmm, that's an interesting little tidbit, now isn't it? I recall a time and place where our resident orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Hecht/aka Cubster, speculated that not everything added up with Prior's first surgery.

If MP(Mark Prior) really did have a Bankart lesion. That usually takes a trauma of
some sort (of course he could have fallen on the pavement walking his
dog). This type of injury is typically treated with rehab in the
beginning (see my comments on Toby Hall), with decent recovery until
the symptoms become more chronic. MP’s pitching was fantastic after he
recovered from that the collison in 2003, so it took time for the
looseness/instability the tear created to lead to what occurred in 2006
and 2007.

Revenge of the Voodoo dolls

Although life is grand after a 7-0 homestand that saw sweeps over the severely injured Dodgers (Furcal, AJones, Garciaparra, LaRoche and 3/44) and the severely injured Rockies (Holiday, Hawpe, Tulowitzki and Barmes), I'm sensing strange karma that may be responsible for some weird happenings that are in the news.

To quote Ricardo Montalban, "Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold."

Former Cub, Shawn Estes got his only win so far this season as well as the Padres only win against the Cubs. He was slated to open the upcoming series in San Diego vs the Cubs monday night until he fell going from the clubhouse to the dugout friday in San Francisco, breaking the thumb on his left pitching hand. He will be replaced by Cha Seung Baek a 28 yr old Korean and former Mariner minor leaguer.

Recent comments

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  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

    eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.

    we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).

    crunch 2 hours 40 min ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 2 hours 59 min ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 3 hours 1 min ago view
  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 3 hours 3 min ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 3 hours 12 min ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 3 hours 38 min ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 3 hours 54 min ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 4 hours 25 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?

    7-8-9th

    jacos 4 hours 40 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 8 hours 56 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 9 hours 38 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 9 hours 42 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 11 hours 36 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 13 hours 24 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 13 hours 59 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 14 hours 12 min ago view