Who Ya Gonna Call?

"If it's somthin' weird an' it don't look good..."

Letting Aramis Ramirez walk for the 2012 season was the easy part. The new Cubs braintrust loves supplemental round draft choices. Picking up the one year, $16 million option on ARam, with the expectation that he would and lead to a supplemental 1st rounder (which turned into pick #43, college pitcher, Pierce Johnson from Missouri State U.) was highly predictable.

The more problematic other side of the coin was to replace ARam for the near term. If the cliche' buy low, sell high... doesn't do it for you, at least Jedstein believes in buy low. Here's the checklist: 2003 1st round draft choice (10th pick), 2005 from Baseball America (after Mauer, King Felix, and Delmon Young), hitting setbacks because of injuries (knee contusion then left wrist) but with recovery possible based on medical reports, still young and relatively inexpensive, left handed bat, decent defender. OK, that all checks for (no not that Ian Stewart, just checking to see if you use the links).

Here's where things jump the tracks. He's had a bad wrist for over a year and nobody in Colorado or Chicago has a diagnosis.

was pretty interesting for a young-un (age 24). As in 25 HR's and 70 RBI's. His 2010 season was better in terms of batting average (.256) and OBP (.338) and about the same in OPS (.781 vs. .785). I found a series of articles on Ian Stewart from the 2010-11 offseason from Purple Row Blog by Andrew Fisher (, , ) and a on his 2011 disaster season where his wrist problem started. Yet, even in that article the Rockies fans considered unloading Stewart an act of selling low:

The problem with Stewart, not only in 2011 but in his career, however, is what is found off of the paper. Without directly pointing his finger at the Rockies 2003 1st round pick, Dan O'Dowd has essentially made Stewart the face of this offseason's roster purge of nefarious characters. Preaching the need for accountability and proper focus, O'Dowd sold "low" on Stewart by sending him with Casey Weathers to the Cubs for outfielder Tyler Colvin and infielder DJ LeMahieu, neither of whom are guaranteed a roster spot in 2012.

So I understand why Ian Stewart is here. The picture is now clearer. He's broken. The more important question is, can he be fixed?

Having a sore wrist for a professional hitter is a bad thing. I remind you of from a collision with then Dodger, Rafael Furcal, in 2006. Lingering effects on Lee seemed to result in the loss of much of his power for the remainder of 2006 and it didn't .

Now to the medical side. Supposedly all diagnostic imaging (MRI, X-Rays and EMG which is a nerve conduction test) are all negative. Stewart said in a :

“It was just always there in the back of my mind that there’s something not right, even though nothing showed up on the MRI or the X-rays. That was the frustrating part, because I still feel it there bothering me.”

Stewart described a tingling sensation, and having trouble with his swing on inside pitches. He said nerve tests came back negative last season when he played for the Colorado Rockies.

Previous medial opinions from Colorado and Chicago say nothing is structurally wrong. That doesn't mean it is a , somatoform or a problem. Monday, Stewart will be visiting a doc at the Cleveland Clinic for another opinion. Although names have not yet been mentioned in the media, the biggest name that makes sense to me for a tertiary opinion is Dr. Thomas Graham, aka "hand surgeon to the Professional Athlete."

did a hand fellowship at the Indiana Hand center then did special training at the Mayo clinic in elbow surgery before started his careeer at the Cleveland Clinic in 1994. In Cleveland, he blossomed into the superstar hand specialist to the stars.

Graham was hand surgery consultant for professional sports teams in
Cleveland — still is for the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland
Cavaliers. He also consulted for the Cleveland Symphony and the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

In 2000 he went to Baltimore's renown Curtis Hand Center (the world's largest hand center). More recently he returned to Cleveland in 2010 as the head of the Cleveland Clinic's corporate venture called "The Cleveland Clinic Innovations." Graham is more than just a surgeon, he's well known as an entrepreneur and holds patents on several products for elbow joint replacements and upper extremity fractures.

include David Crosby's hand. Make's one wonder if CSN&Y reference is to both Dr. Graham and Graham Nash.

"although Dr. Graham eschews the mantle, "physician to the stars, " usually two to five pro athletes are coming in per week to see him."

What could be wrong with Ian Stewart's wrist? Supposedly he's had pain and swelling of the left wrist and some tingling in his hand only upon certain activities but not all the time. From a on Stewart (and quoting Stewart):

"He said his wrist feels fine much of the time, but certain movements cause the pain to pop up again. It's more when it gets into certain positions," he said. "I dive for a ball and have to put the weight on my hands to push myself up. Certain swing path. Balls in, not so much balls away. But nothing where it's just hurting as we're talking right here."

So that might explain what has been a complaint by posters here at TCR about Stewart's "one-plane swing"

What possible diagnoses are under consideration? Remember this is just my speculation list of diagnoses. It will be Dr. Graham's job to sort out what where nobody so far has been able to do.

The most common cause of tingling at the wrist level is . Sometimes the symptoms can be quite subtle. CTS is a compression of the median nerve on the palmar side of the wrist underneath a thick transverse carpal ligament. The median nerve provides sensation to the thumb, index, long and half of the ring finger. It also provides motor function to the thumb. Symptoms  usually develop gradually over time. Diagnostic studies such as EMG are often negative so it's often a clinical diagnosis but certain provocative maneuvers on exam can be helpful to make the diagnosis. More recent use of can show if the median nerve is compressed or has unusual anatomic patterns. The treatment is on a conservative basis (for an athlete) probably a cortisone injection into the carpal canal but more reliably a surgery that decompresses the pinched nerve. Recovery for a hitter would depend on the surgical technique but could be as little as a month. The prognosis here is very good if that is the diagnosis.

Other pinched nerve syndromes exist as well. The ulnar nerve can be compressed causing tingling into the little/pinky finger at an anatomic site called . Surgical release of this nerve is the treatment when the problem is chronic.

The wrist joint proper is complex with eight carpal bones. Medical students trying to learn their anatomy have used several clever to help recall all eight (please check out this link). The wrist bones are arranged in two rows of 4. Proximal row: Scaphoid (or Navicular), Lunate, Triquetrium and Pisiform. Distal row: Trapezium, Trapezoid (thumb side), Capitate and Hamate. Not to be forgotten are the two bones that end the forearm, the r. There are multiple significant ligaments that connect the carpal bones permitting stable transmission of forces and permitting the foundation for hand function ranging from precision fine motor control to power grip activity.

Carpal bone injuries often show up on MRI imaging, so this is less likely unless it's really subtle. Baseball players have sustained scaphoid fractures and hamate fracturess, pisiform and triquetrium fractures are rare but not unheard of. Phillies OF in 2011. So something more subtle might turn up yet in diagnosis with more expert evaluation.

One diagnostic test not mentioned is the , which is either an X-Ray with contrast material injected or an MRI with contrast material injected. Much had been written on shoulder injuries that get worked up with MRI imaging that can be more useful when dye is injected to add contrast to structures in the joint. The same is true for the wrist. Tears of a specific cartilage known as the can be seen better with this imaging. Also more subtle wrist ligament tears can be assessed since the wrist can be moved after the dye injection and the pattern of where the dye tracks can be useful.

is used to sort out and treat several conditions that might not show up on diagnostic imaging. When Stewart refers to needing surgery on his wrist. This is a very probable possibility. From the :

Chronic wrist pain: Arthroscopic exploratory surgery may be used to diagnose the cause of chronic wrist pain when the results of other tests do not provide a clear diagnosis. Often, there may be areas of inflammation, cartilage damage, or other findings after a wrist injury. In some cases, after the diagnosis is made, the condition can be treated arthroscopically as well.

Monday in Cleveland, I'm betting that Ian Stewart gets a recommendation that will lead to a diagnosis and treatment...and maybe more than one plane to his swing.


Sveum (who is refreshingly frank) seems to have his doubts about Stewart's wrist being the problem. This was in a Patrick Mooney column recently:
Before the game, Sveum downplayed the idea that the wrist could be hurting Stewart’s game. “We’ve got to start getting some production,” Sveum said. “I’m sure it’s bothering him, but you watch him take batting practice, it’s not exactly bothering him (then) because he’s hitting 400-foot home runs all the time.”
Makes you wonder whether the whole medical thing is not a diversion: the Cubs would like to get him out of the lineup without the mutual embarrassment of a benching.

“We’ve got to start getting some production,” Sveum said Now watch me start Joe Mather and Jeff Baker. Stewart's pretty baffled by it as well fwiw, acknowledging that it doesn't bother him much during BP and explaining how and why it feels different in a game.

Makes you wonder whether the whole medical thing is not a diversion --- I'll put you and Sveum's vote down into the "Diagnosis: Malingerer" column

Not necessarily a malingerer. Could just be a guy with a sore wrist who can't hit .210.

Great article Dr. and about the same in slugging (.781 vs. .785) I think that's a record or you meant OPS.

I think that's a record or you meant OPS. --- fixed. Thanks for picking that up Rob. Not quite a record though. That will be Javier Baez slugging numbers at age 24-5 Babe Ruth, age 25 (1920) slugging @ .847 (OPS @ 1.379)

Damn Babe. I really thought the record was low .700s, high 600s.

Now watch me start Joe Mather and Jeff Baker. --- Tonight (more of the same): Johnson, Barney, Castro, Soriano, Baker, Mather, Castillo, Valbuena and Maholm and...Mr. Anthony Rizzo hit HR #23, 2 run HR in the 7th to give the I-Cubs a 3-2 lead over the Isotopes. 2 more hits for Vitters (now up to .282). Soto 0-4, he needs to start hitting so he can be worth something in a trade Volstad 6 IP, 7K, 2R, 2BB, 6K (generic, but not ugly)

Nice article CUBSTER. Man, Castro is in a slump, right? Yesterday he hit two really hard right at people. From our vantage point by 1st base it looked like Barney's controversial sinking liner in the 8th was a trap. What did replay show?

Was at the game too last night. Just watched the replay on MLB 2012 app and it was a catch. Hit the glove webbing which was on the turf. Certainly even with replay rules being NFL style, it would have been tough to overturn.

Our 2012 nightmare is over. Pat Mooney tweets that Koyie Hill has declined his assignment to AAA Iowa and is now a free agent

@CarrieMuskat: Geovany Soto could be activated Monday in time for Cubs vs WhiteSox. Sveum likes idea of keeping 3 catchers

All that amazing bench talent the Cubs can now be utilized.

Well, Castillo and Clevenger do seem to be two of their better hitters.

hehe, *giggle*

I wish the Cubs were to the NL Central what TCR is to Cubs blogging.

I hate to say this, but Trey McNutt is a reliever. No reason to make him anything else. He can't get past the 6th inning (really the 5th) in a couple years of AA, he's not going to magically do it at a higher level. There's nothing wrong with this. We don't need to make the same mistake with McNutt that we did with Samardzija. He had solid innings per outing numbers as a starter in the minors, but they called him up to be a reliever, then sent him down as a starter, then switched it, etc. You didn't pay him a ton in the draft, find a way to be useful for you (which is really what Moneyball is all about). I think this what we should do with Volstad as well. He has trouble getting through the lineup a third time as well. Find them a role they can successful in and keep them their. It's tough to turn chicken sh*t into chicken salad.

Volstad has trouble getting through the first inning.

Are you using a Brock Lesnar-ism?

"[McNutt] can't get past the 6th inning." My impression is that he gives up runs early. Maybe he's just a single-A talent. He was a 32nd rounder, after all.

no matter the source of the trouble, there's no one in that front office that couldn't see him swing a bat with absolutely no movement through the zone from start to finish...pounding ground ball crap to the right side of the infield and praying for line drive contact. he's bad contact... there's a point where you can't point to past stats because they are no longer on the table. he earned the stats, but that's moot if you can't swing a bat the way you earned those stats. they took the gamble for his glove and ability to maybe loosen up his swing, but the swing looks just as horrible as last season even if he found a little more power. who's ready for the i.stewart/j.vitters platoon in 2013? woo.

Des Moines

I don't believe Stewart is in the fold for 2013. If he goes on the DL for a while, then this is goodbye. The Hendry era is over. Neary every player on this team is on borrowed time. Say what you will about the 2012 Cubs, but there are a lot of open positions.

theo brought in stewart

"theo brought in stewart" For one year--not eight (Soriano), four (Fukudome), three (Bradley, Byrd, Marmol), etc. You don't like Stewart or Maholm or Wood or Volstad? Their contracts expire in early Oct. Other than internationals like Soler and Concepcion, only DeJesus got as much as two years from Theo/Jed. What has bothered me most about the Cubs in recent years is players I came to dislike who could not be dislodged.

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i... Padilla says Cardenas likely to go back to Iowa with Soto rehab ending.

almost here a month and 1/2 with 35 PA. he'll be missed.

Kevin Goldstein‏@Kevin_Goldstein Back-end start or middle relief. Hard to see anything more. RT @espnchijon: @Kevin_Goldstein Gerardo Concepcion? Kevin Goldstein‏@Kevin_Goldstein Got mono after signing and stuff from college never returned. RT @Duderino_Abides: @Kevin_Goldstein Hayden Simpson? Kevin Goldstein‏@Kevin_Goldstein Depends on the day you see him. Really good or really bad. RT @GZigg_412: @Kevin_Goldstein Trey McNutt? Kevin Goldstein‏@Kevin_Goldstein Very little stuff, but has a chance on pitchability. RT @BleacherNation: @Kevin_Goldstein Thoughts on Austin Kirk, while you're doing this? Kevin Goldstein‏@Kevin_Goldstein Short RHP, plus FB, plus SL, control issues from violent delivery. RT @Duderino_Abides: @Kevin_Goldstein Kevin Rhoderick? Kevin Goldstein‏@Kevin_Goldstein Szczur not close. 55-60 runner. RT @ChiTownGuido23: @Kevin_Goldstein Who has better speed, Matt Szczur or Tony Campana? Is Szczur close? Kevin Goldstein‏@Kevin_Goldstein A lot of inconsistencies in his delivery so stuff varies. RT @AlexBerngard: @Kevin_Goldstein What's wrong with McNutt? Kevin Goldstein‏@Kevin_Goldstein For now, just a great name. RT @OffAirOnPoint: @Kevin_Goldstein speaking of rock...how bout Rock Shoulders, is he a legit prospect?

clearly he hates {my team}.

I hate reading backwards.

Olney says Cubs haven't talked to Soriano yet about waiving NTC, unclear if market will develop. Dempster could go in 10/14 days...LAD/BOS "on" Dempster. Garza deal closer to 7/31. Dodgers haven't talked about LaHair, but in on Dempster.

Bruce Miles fires back... @BruceMiles2112: @Kevin_Goldstein Worse than golf on the radio?

there are WAY too many BOS fans @wrigley...i'm noticing a trend.

Back a few years ago, I would go to Cincy to see the Cubs because the tickets were easier to get. So...yeah...

This lh line up suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucccccckkkkkkkkksssssss

dat BOS D... tie game, bottom 6

way to screw that up cubbies... 6-3 BOS top 7

bases loaded in the 9th, 0 out, down by 4. let's see where this goes... 7-4, BOS wins. meh.

So Cubs. Scored 10 runs in three games against a mediocre team. One that even gifted them a couple last night.

astros get L.McCullers. signed $2.5m (double slot)...astros slam dunk their top draft picks...two top-10 quality guys for the price of 1.

Something just seems wrong about that, somehow. But thanks as usual for the nice medical background on Stewart. He's really a pretty good fielder, and it would be great to see him become a decent hitter. I'm not optimistic but let's see what the good Dr has to say.

He needs a multiplane transplant.

The dude has "journeyman" written all over him. Give me Valbuena for the moment and let him swim or sink.

Fuck that, bring up Vitters and just find out once and for all if the guy can hit MLB pitching.

That's exactly what Hendry would do. If the "once and for all" comment applies it's to Valbuena who's been given a few chances before and not taken advantage of them. If he comes around it's found money. If not, it's not like the cubs have cost themselves anything. It doesn't make sense at all for Vitters.

"That's exactly what Hendry would do." Right you are--and it's exactly what Hendry did do, just last season, when he brought Colvin back up from Iowa after he had shown some improvement--but not much--in several weeks down there. Rushing Colvin back to the firing line worked out pretty well (for Colorado).

Tyler Colvin is having a nice year for himself, and his home/away splits are not too far off (except for the the plus - 1.000 OPS). How's that MIKE C? We'll see at the end of the year, as I said in April/May, however. Ot is looking like we got a "bag of balls" so far in tuis trade.

his home/away splits are not too far off (except for the the plus - 1.000 OPS). Not quite sure what this means... but his home/away split difference is huge: Home: .303/.352/.712 OPS: 1.064 Away: .288/.295/.407 OPS: .702 So lets not get too carried away with Colvin this year. Away from the best hitters' park in baseball, he has been pretty awful.* *sample size caveat, yada, yada, yada

Well, I'd take the home version GLADLY over Stewart - AND the away. This is trade evaluation as of today. Add in the other comments, as you wish, or not.

Judging by the other comments your point has already been shredded. And you did not say we will see at the end of the year. You were running around calling me out about how awesome LaHair was telling me to eat crow and other stuff. Like always i have this thing called time and i can wait out an outcome before running my mouth about a guy who might be having a fluke month at age 29. You went all in on LaHair and called me out and ever since he has been in a slump and you have been as silent as a field mouse. Now you want to bring up Colvin and get pimped slapped so hard you might silent for another month.

I said, "We'll see at the end of the year...". Did you not read that sentence? Apparently you have difficulty reading and interpreting English as I never said "how awesome LaHair was" - just he was not a useless, piece of shit, AAAA player you made him out to be. A useful Major League player - nothing more. Just like I had believed Colvin would be. And, the other former farm hands that are now with the big club that you also said were pieces of shit. Big difference there Mr. Pimp Slap I also fail to see how my comments have been "shredded". Looks like fairly even commentary to me. Reading is something you can still master. Try going back and actually finishing your GED this time.

Colvin was 25, had over 400 Major League plate appearances prior to 2011, hit 20 home runs as a rookie, and had a full plate of at-bats in spring training and made the team. He was demoted because he sucked to start last year (.158 BA). He was only recalled the first time because Soriano went on the DL. He sucked again (.068 BA and an 0-34 stretch), and was demoted in just a couple of weeks. He was then recalled in late July because Fukudome was traded, and he had been doing better in AAA over that 6-week stretch, with a BA around .250 and slugging nearly .450. But he sucked the rest of the season (.189 BA). That is hardly the equivalent of calling up Vitters, who is 22 and has never had a big league at-bat. Calling up Vitters would be more like when Hendry called up Adam Greenberg from AA in 2005. And the Rockies really didn't rush Colvin back. He had 67 spring training at-bats (second most on the team) to get a full look, and then they eased him back in during April with only 40 at-bats where match-ups were favorable. Even since he only got 60 at-bats in May and is on pace for the same in June. So it's not like they through him out there and told him he was going to play everyday.

stupid facts...

O&B said: "Fuck that, bring up Vitters and just find out once and for all if the guy can hit MLB pitching." Last August, Hendry said (re Colvin):
"And we need to find out whether he's an everyday guy or not by the end of this year. No matter how you slice it, the outfield situation, just like a few other (positions) will have to be addressed in the offseason."
The impatience expressed by O&B reminded me of Hendry's. Colvin may be on a path for more than 60 at bats in June, assuming he keeps hitting. He has started six of the last eight Rockies' games. This in spite of having to keep taking starts away from Cuddyer, Fowler, Gonzalez or Helton.

Some injuries and the DH account for the extra AB's.

Four home runs in ten at bats might be a factor, too.

I don't think Vitters is going to get any better in the minors. I don't think he's going to be very good, period. I'd rather just let the cat out of the bag and get it over with.

I understand that it's a Cub-fan thing, that players don't develop. Either Colvin or Vitters could develop into a 40-HR guy. I'm not saying they will, just that they might. Stranger things happen every year. It's why they were first rounders. They were not drafted to hit 20 HRs. The Cub strategy should be to maximize the chance that if it happens, it will be in a Cub uniform. It's too late for Colvin in that regard, partly, I think, because of the way Hendry handled him last season. ("We need to find out . . . by the end of this year.")

The problem is letting the Vitters cat out of the bag now would probably be too early, and would be a good way to increase the odds that he won't succeed in the majors. Why would the cubs want to do that? The guy has all of 250 or so at bats at AAA, it's not like he's been there for a few seasons. There are things he can still work on there. Let him do it and see if Valbuena can be a rosterable player.

Okay, I can listen to reason. And I'll admit that when I did see Valbuena play and was a little surprised in liking how he looked at the plate. I was a little disappointed in seeing Colvin go. I was rooting for him if only because he got speared by a bat.

Valbuena appears to me to be a 240 average, 10 homer (maybe 15-20 in a couple years), and B+ defense. As far as I'm concerned he can keep the job at third base.

That's fine, but they have to have a righty power bat at third if they want to bring in Rizzo and Jackson and move LaHair to the OF. This left-handedness is an unusual problem for the Cubs to have.

This whole post has been a crunch feast. I'm shocked, shocked that he hasn't pounced harder.

i said i'd let stewart's play speak for himself just as i said the guy locks in a swing and has no movement on it. it's not hidden information, imo...all you have to do is watch the guy swing a bat. it's like knowing BJ Upton is one of the worst SS's ever by watching the guy in the field (I am still getting over what I saw in AAA out of him, much less the very short stint in the pros). i would much rather be wrong or have him "fix" whatever stiffened his swing the past couple of years. they were blaming it on his knees last year which seemed stupid, but whatever.

Saying that you are going to let someone's play speak for itself would usually mean you are not going to talk about it all of the time, but instead, you know, let the play speak for itself!

when our new site is up (almost there), I'll be able to thumbs up comments like that.

Is there also a thumbs-down? If so, I'm going to have to work on my people skills.


yeah, when im called out for it, i address it. i gave up preaching about it months ago, but it became a source of humor and "stfu and let theo do his thing because i trust him" and etc etc well, now you've all seen it for yourself. i think i had a similar thing with r.theriot trying to "prove" he's a singles hitting little shit when people wanted to believe he was edgar renteria. want to hear my opinion on jason dubois's swing while i'm at it? want to talk about new stuff? how about other team's stuff? want to hear about how trevor cahill pitches violently across his body? oh yeah, ive already had this discussion about d.willis does it even matter that i didn't crap on the trade for what was given up? whole damn thing has been about his swing. not his numbers...not theo...not TCR...it's what he does. i guess it'd be better if i spent time collecting quotes through past threads and rubbing it in people's faces so i could be awesome on the internet. is that how i'm supposed to do it?

to sum up... "I am the most awesome thing in all of awesomeness." you've distorted the theriot argument to suit your own quench for "I am right about everything". Folks just thought he deserved to play in 2006 because the Cubs sucked, had nothing better happening and Neifi/Izturis. No one really believed he was gonna be a power hitter, but a shortstop that could get on-base at a decent enough clip that deserved a shot at the time. Which is exactly what he was when we was useful in 2007 and 2008. Heck, you didn't even know he wasn't a switch-hitter anymore for a time being. but I'll happily give you Dubois and Hee-Seop Choi, you were very right on both of them.

i didn't have "theriot is only a singles hitter" discussions with myself. also, i would have jumped on this stewart post a lot sooner if i wanted to be the most awesome of awesome...and i'd dig up past posts to shove it in people's faces. why can't i defend a position that's clear to me even if there's others who don't like it? almost every time i've updated it with more specifics of what i didn't like about stewart's swing while others are pointing to things like AAA numbers, past numbers, i trust theo-corp, etc... hey, i trust theo-corp, too...i trust they gave up a couple of "whatever" for a guy that's "whatever" in hopes he can loosen up his swing and return to being a decent-fielding, team controlled, 15-25hr guy. i saw some glee, and i stepped in with my buzz killington view of him. boo-hiss...crunch sucks. you get to have your opinions...you get to make your calls. i made my call and told you why i don't trust his swing. now we got a medical view of it and it suddenly "makes sense" to a lot of people...those that aren't busy caring about what crunch said about it before-hand. the wrist thing makes it all make sense to me...especially since i didn't buy the knee excuse last year. swing starts, swing rarely adusts to movement, swing produces crap contact leaving a lot of stuff pounded into the ground on the right side...which is kind of alarming given his slight uppercut swing. sorry to bring more to the issue than "hey, i have a bold prediction based on a hunch." anyone wanna talk about chris volstad?

i didn't have "theriot is only a singles hitter" discussions with myself. but you do distort things or make them something they're not... why can't i defend a position that's clear to me even if there's others who don't like it? do as you wish, but don't play the victim when you're called out on stuff. There's a reason many beyond me find some of your posts annoying, but don't find Arizona Phil or toonsterwu or {insert someone else}. Maybe you'll figure it out one day... Maybe not...

i'm not playing victim, i'm playing "backing up what i'm saying." also, distorting what? and who's calling me out on what that i'm playing victim to? also...ian stewart's swing is messed up and i said something about it involving movement in his swing and IN THIS VERY TCR POST we have stewart talking about movement in his swing...out of his own mouth... ...and this has turned into how much crunch sucks and "there's a reason many find crunch annoying." this is what i get for not dragging up old posts and rubbing it in everyone's faces every time i'm right about something controversial? i'm told i'm hated and playing a victim. well, i guess i'm gonna settle into a My Little Pony marathon to get my self-esteem up. also, i dunno what problem you have with me, but it's showing a lot lately...especially that rant from a week or so ago.

Just let it go guys.

+1 i'm not trying to get al yellon'd over here. yeah, someone that runs their mouth about opinions and observations as much as i do is gonna attract some conversing views. i'm trying to hold up my end without going all TRN on TCR. i don't mind people calling stuff out, i'm good about accepting "oops" or "muh bad" about stuff i'm wrong about (opinons and observations), but when i still feel like my observation is on the table as valid...yeah, i'll talk on it when challenged. i'm not calling out the people who didn't like my observation 10 posts after the fact...and i still think the observation is 100% apt.

I never doubted your assessment of Stewart. He does indeed suck balls. I merely started teasing you because I thought it was funny that you repeated it a lot and because I like all snakes on a plane* jokes. It kinda devolved into something more vitriolic than necessary. *Has anyone else gotten the impression that Sam Jackson just isn't trying anymore? I just watched The Avengers which was good, but damn Jackson just seems to play himself in every role now. Dude is just mailing it in. Also, I don't remember Nick Fury being so tanned in the comics.

Despite the realization that this is no time for anyone to go on about this, my take is that when people continually repeat the same comments it gets old fast. It's funny though, your repeated comments never seemed to bother me. I think it's because you're like the Cliff Claven of my TCR experience. Most people accept him and love him despite thinking he may be full of it. Others repeat themselves in a way that does bother me, maybe in more of a Newman vibe that you just can't ignore. =p

I never thought Ian Stewart was a good hitter. I just thought your reasonings behind why he was a bad hitter patently false and I still think so. No one hits in just one plane.

the amount of movement on the bat when he starts his swing is nearly non-existent. when it starts...that's generally where it's going. he's wasn't swinging/missing wild. he wasn't flailing. he was making some really crap contact and not adjusting to anything once his swing started. ichiro fail.

"when it starts...that's generally where it's going." Can you elaborate on this? I'm not sure I understand...because when anyone starts a swing, it's not like they can then adjust it a foot higher or lower.

you can move a bat while you swing...you have very small fraction of time when you commit to swing and an even smaller amount of time to fine-adjust. ichiro or vlad swinging a bat...they're good at it. it's a pathway to solid contact unless you're barry bonds-good. hell, castro's pretty good, too. stewart, imo, is pretty good at guessing what he's going to be thrown in situations...he's not wild and hacky. he's just not moving his bat much once he commits to a swing. found this on the youtoobs...uploaded just a couple of weeks ago... here's a slo-mo of stewart... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSQbkP2czMU he's a slo-mo of d.barney... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKmwFJxO2ng stewart is locked in to what he committed to...barney makes a slight adjustment...both ground out 4-3, ultimately.

You either swing on an upward, downward or level plane. That small fraction of time to "change the plane" would seem to not be enough time to do so. Then again, I'm not a hitting coach/expert. I'm going to start paying closer attention to it, until I get bored with it two minutes later.

it's not a make or break...you're not guarenteed to "win"...but it's one of the small things that can make your contact more solid and good things may happen. it's baseball, though...cliff lee should have way more than 0 wins right now. also, i'm not saying stewart is inept or hopeless. he's not wild. he's not hacking...he sees the ball and follows it. his contact just isn't that good and given his power and slight uppercut swing it should be better, imo.

Congats to anyone who can see Barney change his swing plane. Because I sure can't from that video.

really? he drops the bat. watch his wrists turn over...the trailing/back arm.

From the time he swings till the time he hits the ball, I do not see the plane change. But like I said, I'm not an expert and perhaps my eyes are bad.

Round 3 of the New ERA cap commercials... http://www.neweracap.com/en_US/Default.aspx#1...

These were probably all shot the same day. I'd be curious to know how much from the scripts these guys varied. They are pretty strong improvisors.

Gioskar Amaya went 4/11 with a BB and a triple over the weekend for Boise, about the only good offensive performance. Couple decent pitching outings, including 5 shutout innings by Tayler Scott

Does Gioskar play 3B by any chance? Looks over at the renewed Santo void.

Dr. I really appreciate you article on the Stewart wrist situation. It was enlightening on a rather complex subject. I too have been disappointed in Stewart's performance, but if the people at the Cleveland Clinic can reach some diagnosis of the problem and the proper treatment it could be a plus for the Cubs. My contention is that if we could get him up to a 250 BA he would be worth his weight in gold, because his OBP'S has been about 90 points higher than than his BA all year and he is an excellent fielding third baseman.

DeJesus CF, Castro SS, LaHair RF, Soriano DH, Clevenger 1B, Barney 2B, Valbuena 3B, Soto C, Campana LF the LaHair OF experiment begins... Rizzo at 156 career games in AAA if Jedstein are sticklers for 162 AAA plan.

Castillo sent down, Dempster to the DL (right lat tightness, not considered serious), Maine called up.

and Randy Wells to start Wednesday /starting pitching depth

Dempster to the DL (right lat tightness, not considered serious), That should help his trade value! Sigh...

Dempster to DL with right latissimus dorsi shoulder/trunk (the Jake Peavy muscle) tightness...supposedly precautionary (there go the trade next week rumors). Welington Castillo to AAA, Scott Maine up too (and Soto).


I can see you are upset, JACOS? This is very bad. Theo is finding out just how snake-bit this sorry-ass team is. How fucking pathetic.

I just am not impressed with Castillo yet. I know small Sample Size and all - from AZ PHIL's reports, I thought he could hit at this level. But it ain't a slam dunk until start seeing MLB pitching. He has been...well - Koyie Hill-level. Not impressed with his defense either. Dropped a throw on Saturday night that would have nailed the runner. Has not thrown out anyone that I can recall, up here. Footwork not what was advertised.

Any chance he is being put on the DL because there is a trade basically done, and they don't want to risk a real injury that could nullify the deal? Not that MLB teams would EVER act that way.

if its a garbage for garbage trade, maybe. This refers to a stand-alone trade. Id he is part of a larger deal, I suppose. Realistically, the trade market, imo, is foing to develop much later than usual due to more teams in the hunt and they don't have to take the risk yet (as they are still "in it").

it's not gonna take 2 days to finalize a deal, so if they had something, they'd just pull the trigger. Saying he has an injury and putting him on the DL for a second time is just gonna scare people off or at least make them cautious. Now he's gotta come back, show he's not hurt and start the rumors again. Wrongway or one of them says it's been bothering him for awhile.

Completely agree. It'll push back the timing of a deal because no one's going to want to trade for someone on the Disabled List, but this smacks of shelving Dempster to keep his trade value high (thus also avoiding the risk of a bad start or two) while JedStein goes out and negotiates a trade.

Dream on.

posted this in twitter box recently and it may have changed since then, but Hunter Cervenka, dude from Red Sox in Marlon Byrd trade has retired 27 straight batters. so far the 22-year old playing for Peoria has thrown 15.1 IP, 17 K, 5 BB, 7 H, 0.59 ERA

Any positives at all are nice these days.

What a surprise, I guess this means Randy Wells get a couple if starts. I would think we already know what Wells is capable of, so this isn't some kind of audition for Wells to determine whether we want a pitcher or position player for Demp when the deal is made. Who knows. Maybe doctor should start another subject on Dempster's injury.

as long as they are night game starts. /hangover 3

Good. Whether he did roids or not, I don't know or much care. Now maybe the government can stop taking money out of my paycheck to prosecute bullshit cases like this. I'm no libertarian, but spending my money on this kind of thing isn't quite what I think of when I pay the IRS.

There are far worse and far more expensive things the government is spending our money on these days. someone said it was about $2-3M for the trials, that's about $1 or $2 I contributed then. I won't lose sleep over it. not that I'm all for it or anything, but you have to attempt to prosecute perjury cases or the whole backbone of the judicial system crumbles. I just hope Clemens doesn't start a barnstorming tour of how he was right now.

Not Guilty does not equal innocent. Whether it was worth it depends on whether you think the prosecution of a famous person is enough of a deterrent to keep the little people like us from doing the same. *shrugs shoulders*

That's 2-3 million too much.

Dempster says he hurt himself in start vs. Milwaukee and progressively getting worst. Would have missed his next 2 starts and won't throw for a few days. Certainly a prospective trade partner would all find this encouraging news and not hesitate for a brief second.

Virginia Phil, so you're saying' that you thought you saw O&B at a Donut shop too?

Someone who looked like him. But I couldn't find a donut at Starbucks, had to settle for a lowfat red-raspberry muffin.

This will fly against some viewpoints here, but I just can't see how Theo 'rebuilds' this franchise while still putting a 'competitive' team on the field. This is assuming 'competitive' is defined as a team that would compete for a playoff spot (probably one of the WC spots). First, I wouldn't bother because I could care less about the playoffs unless the Cubs are well-positioned to win the last MLB game played that season. Second, was/is it really realistic to expect the Cubs to field a championship-caliber team before 2015-2016? What's pretty obvious is that the Cubs have sucked for over 100 years because they haven't enough good players on the roster, managers who knew how to manage/develop players, and a front office who had the resources AND a plan to build a consistent championship contender. The 2012 team is no exception and it's hard to see very many of these guys playing for the 2015-2016 Cubs. I wish I could say Theo will lead this franchise to the hardware and rings. I certainly hope so, and given the crap that has inhabited Baseball Operations here before him, I'm still willing to watch and wait. When you really take a hard look at organization's rosters, it certainly lacks impact position players and the pitching, right now, is scary bad.

That's a sad and downbeat, but otherwise fair assessment of the club. My one objection is that Theo never promised to field an overly competitive team during the rebuilding process. He urged "patience"... which is GM-speak for "we ain't gunna win anything in the near future".

Also, I was never thrilled with the idea of the Cubs getting a stat guy to run the team, but I think it's only because I didn't understand how stats work. And, indeed, most people do mis-use statistics, but when it comes to taking the human judgement call out of predicting future success, there is nothing better than cold, hard facts.
Simple equally weighted formulas based on existing statistics or on common sense are often very good predictors of significant outcomes. ... The important conclusion from this research is that an algorithm that is constructed on the back of an envelope is often good enough to compete with an optimally weighted formula, and certainly good enough to outdo expert judgement. This logic can be applied in many domains... -Kahneman

the 21st century welcomes you...


La Soto! Len on WCIU telecast said Sveum told him that "Ian Stewart got a cortisone shot on the top of his left hand and his wrist is feeling a little better" ...hopefully someone can get a bit more info than that. i think it means he had a cortisone injection into the wrist (or maybe the extensor tendon compartment). If so it's an attempt to treat inflammation but if it doesn't work or doesn't last he might yet get his wrist arthroscoped.

lot of cubs fans at this wsox game. cubs go "on the road" to find love. =p also, 12-3 cubs lead... FREE LUIS VENASZIZIEIZNEULA

12-3 La Val-Buena! ian who?

the odd thing (given his reputation) is he's played some decent 3rd...i'd like to see how he handles a bunt.

I thought sox wore red on Sundays. Must be the rectal bleeding

There's another Cuban to potentially bid on: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120...

Sign him.

"As of Monday morning, I submitted information to Major League Baseball and the Players Association that he has taken up residency in Mexico and will shortly establish legal permanent residency in Mexico," Torres said. "We should have documentation of his legal permanent residency in Mexico soon and as soon as I have that, I will submit it to Major League Baseball and I hope and expect that he will be declared a free agent immediately." tick tock, July 2nd looms....

Don’t rule out the possibility of the Cubs trading second baseman Darwin Barney. Rival clubs frequently ask about Barney, but none has offered value that the Cubs consider sufficient for a regular second baseman. Barney might end up more of a utility type. http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/carlos-que...

I just looked him up on Baseball Reference. Right now they have Barney at a 1.1 offensive war and a 2.2 (!!!) defensive war, and at 3.2 WAR overall, which puts him, get this, 4th in the NL right now for position players. Yep, it goes Votto, Wright, Bourn, Barney (tied with Braun and Melkey Cabrera). Castro is 8th. I am sure you would have guessed that. For defensive war, Barney is first in the NL at 2.2, Castro is second at 1.5, and then there are only 2 other guys over 1.0. I don't really know what to make of those defensive value measures. But to his credit Barney has only made 2 errors all year, after making 12 last year.

I hear he's slow turning the double play.

2.5 months of defensive numbers is about as intriguing as a week or two of at-bats. Regardless, Tigers could desperately use some help at 2b, especially on defense. But there's no way you'd get a lot. As the article says, most teams are gonna look at him as a utility type in the future and pay accordingly even if they could use him as a starter now. Hell the Cubs felt that way to start the season and probably still do until they can find someone better. And if Astros make Altuve available, you'd want to check that market first. But maybe Garza/Barney or Dempster/Barney or Dempster/Barney/Soriano gets you one of Jacob Turner/Smyly/Castellano. Of course you have to hope Turner sucks out of the gate as they are about to call him up.

I'm all for trading anyone on this team but for who? Look at Garza almost two years later: Chirinos (meh), Guyer (meh, hurt), H. Lee (will he play in the show and hit above .230?), and Archer (makes his debut tonight but IF he finds the strike zone, will he be more than a RHRP?). This should be a sellers market and Dempster should return more than a bag of balls with the Cubs picking up his whole salary. But Garza should be bring at least 2 Top 10 prospects with one a pitcher pretty close to contributing at the MLB level. At least that's my take. I would hope they're not trading just to get rid of guys that don't fit Theo's plan.

Koyie signs minor league deal w Nationals Preferred Syracuse over Des Moines?

lots of injuries to catchers in Washington and they're fighting for a playoff spot...

I trying in vain to reconcile Koyie Hill with "they're fighting for a playoff spot". I know it's in there somewhere.

that's why Koyie would want to go there, Nationals are just desperate obviously.

Imagine that staff with an extra 5 MPH on each and every fastball.

Nicely played!

If they encourage their staff to throw fastballs--like Sveum with Marmol--they already have the extra mph.

Anthony Rizzo's last 156 games at AAA: 110 runs, 202 hits, 51 2B, 49 HR, 160 RBI, 64 BB .344 BA, .413 OBP, .688 SLG, 1.101 OPS See ya Monday , kid

And hurry up... my fantasy team needs you!

Can we wait until the end of the week? I-Cubs are in town and excited to Rizzo the next couple of nights.

Archer to be called up to start today for Rays.

D_Price is starting.

Archer is starting tomorrow. Against Strasburg.

DeJesus cf, Castro ss, LaHair rf, Sori Dh, Clevenger 1b, Barney 2b, Valbuena 3b, Soto c, Campy lf. T. Wood p

Muskat tweets... Doctors at Cleveland Clinic confirmed what Cubs docs diagnosed re: Ian Stewart's left wrist. He received cortisone shot Monday (Ha...Len Kasper Reported that last night) Still nobody has said what the diagnosis is. He asked for a second opinion...and the doc said: and you're ugly, too.


Rotoworld blurb... Ian Stewart (wrist) was given a cortisone shot Monday. Stewart also visited with joint specialists at the Cleveland Clinic, though they merely confirmed the diagnosis given earlier this month by Cubs team physicians. The 27-year-old third baseman could need a surgical procedure if his left wrist discomfort does not go away on its own.

Tampa Bay Rays: Former No. 1 Pick Tim Beckham Suspended 50 Games http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1168680-ta... -BR article that's trustworthy, fwiw...some can be sketch.

when it rains, it pours... PHILADELPHIA (AP) Philadelphia Phillies rookie infielder Freddy Galvis was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball on Tuesday for testing positive for a banned substance. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/phillies-inf-fre...

And...who was the "collector"? Guess he made it to Fed Ex?

Beckham was suspended May 1st.

doh...twitter feeds were probably riding on the galvis news when i was filtering it.

Muskat with a more definitive article on Stewarts Cleveland Doctor visit: http://muskat.mlblogs.com/2012/06/21/620-stew...
But the doctors at the clinic did show Stewart that he has an impingment between a couple bones on his hand, which may be pinching the ligaments and causing the discomfort.
The Cleveland Clinic doctors told Stewart that other ballplayers have had a procedure done, but he’d like to avoid it. Stewart injured his left wrist in 2006 on a defensive play, dealt with it, and then aggravated it last August while hitting. This time, the cortisone was injected in a different spot than other doctors have tried

based on what Muskat reported... I believe what the Cleveland Clinic Doc (Dr. Graham) has diagnosed for Stewart is what is known as Dorsal Wrist Impingement Syndrome. So Stewart got a DWI on his record (wait till the beat writers realize this!) http://painmuse.org/?p=95 and from an article in the Journal of Hand Surgery (2008):
Dorsal wrist impingement (DWI) occurs when the dorsal wrist capsule becomes trapped and pinched between the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) and the dorsal ridge of the scaphoid. The diagnosis is purely clinical and depends on accurate localization by history and during examination as well as carefully ruling out alternative etiologies for dorsal wrist pain. Nonsurgical treatment is based on corticosteroid injection and activity modification. In resistant cases, arthroscopic resection of the involved segment of dorsal capsule offers a reliable solution for the problem.

"The diagnosis is purely clinical..." which would explain why the various diagnostic imaging technologies (MRI, X-rays) would not reveal it. Am I correct about that, Dr. Hecht?

This sounds like a believable diagnosis and a fixable problem. If the cortisone doesn't work within a month, I'd expect him to agree to the arthroscopy on his wrist to address the problem. Nice work Dr. Graham!

Any idea of the recovery time if he gets the surgery?

Why wouldn't he bite the bullet and get that fixed? Guy is still young enough to have a career.

he may not have a career without it. what i like about stewart's approach (we already know what i don't like about it) is that he's not wildly hacking. he sees the ball well....follows it right to the bat... if he has that surgery soon...or soon enough to get him ready for spring training...i wouldn't object to the cubs taking another chance on him, even if it may cost $2m or so. ...i hope it's his wrist causing his crap contact, anyway...

Agreed, That's what I was getting at. His wrist has obviously caused him several years of discomfort. Get the surgery and try to come back 100%. The sooner the better IMHO.

confirmed in a Bruce Miles blog article too:
UPDATES: Third baseman Ian Stewart returned to the Cubs today and said he hopes to be hitting off a tee tee this weekend. He was at the Cleveland Clinic getting a second opinion and another cortisone shot in his troublesome left wrist. he said doctors told him there may be an impingement in the area, affecting the ligament. If the shots don't work, surgery down the road may be the best option, he said.

JP: Yes, diagnostic imaging is usually normal with this condition QM: I think the post-op recovery is quick but the rehab probably is 6 weeks maybe even 10-12 weeks. So if he has the surgery in a month (they are going to give the cortisone injection a chance to work first so surgery probably wouldn't be until after the ASG) he would be probably out for the year or available for just a few weeks in Sept., which would be mostly a waste except to see if he's an improved version of himself in that short sample size. We all know that in a last place team, September performances don't mean all that much. In his case, it would just be if he can play without wrist pain.