Thursday, July 10, 2008

This Injury Report Can Be Written In Ink And Other Stories

  • Mark Mulder leaves his first start after 16 pitches with shoulder discomfort:
I flipped to the Phillies-Cardinals game to have a look at Mark Mulder in his first start and it
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was delayed by rain; later I tried again; they were in the third inning and Brad Thompson was pitching for the Cardinals; my first thought was that since the game was delayed, the Cardinals didn't want to risk putting Mulder out there after a long delay, see the game stopped again and waste his start, so they pushed him back a day; it was only later that I learned that Mulder did start the game, lasted 16 pitches before shoulder discomfort forced him out and he'll be evaluated Thursday. I wouldn't expect a positive evaluation and even if it's somewhat ambiguous, I wouldn't expect to see Mulder contribute much of anything this season.
It's a shame because in the games he had pitched in relief since being activated, Mulder's velocity was around 90 and his motion appeared to be back to the smooth-as-silk delivery he displayed with the Athletics. It's almost to a similar point with Mulder as it was with Alex Fernandez after his repeated shoulder surgeries: how much aggravation, rehab, stops and starts and pain do you want to put up without results and the same pain over and over again?
  • Oh, Enough Already! Part II:
Just like it was enough in early May when Mike Hampton reported more pain in another
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part of his body as he tried unsuccessfully to come back for the Braves, it's the same situation with this player; here's the quote from today's New York Times:

The Mets said Moises Alou reinjured his left hamstring Wednesday in the seventh inning of his second game of a rehabilitation assignment with Class AA Binghamton. Alou, who was playing against the Connecticut Defenders, dove for a ball and was injured. He will come to New York on Thursday to have the injury re-evaluated.

The Mets have to move on. If Alou is able to come back and contribute something at some time this year, then fine; he and Orlando Hernandez may function as useful late season pickups disguised as players returning from injury. They're going to have to go and get an
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outfielder who can hit. There are such players available: Raul Ibanez; Xavier Nady; Casey Blake (who's a perfect fit); or they could go for Matt Holliday (the Indians supposedly told Mets GM Omar Minaya that he had the organizational depth to get C.C. Sabathia; whether Dan O'Dowd with the Rockies feels the same way is a question and what that depth would entail is an even bigger question). Bottom line, the Mets can't sit around and wait any longer for Alou to return because it's not going to happen anytime soon and if and when it does he----like Rich Harden and Mulder----are only one small, wrong twist, turn or sprain away from being out for the season. They need an outfield bat that's reliable to not only hit, but to stay out on the field for an extended period without the organization having to hold it's breath every time he has to exert himself.
  • Why was Jorge Posada out rehabbing his shoulder if he's not going to catch anyway?
When Jorge Posada went on the disabled list with shoulder problems earlier this season,
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he was able to do everything but throw. The Yankees sent him for rehab so he'd be able to catch later in the season. The best thing for the team at the time was probably to keep Posada's bat in the lineup and use him at DH and first base, but they decided to make the player happy and allow him to get back into a modicum of shape to be able to catch. Now he's back and he's not catching and not happy about it----NY Times Story.
No one seems to be admitting the real reason behind the switch to Jose Molina catching regularly: that Molina is a far superior defensive catcher and his presence behind the plate mitigates the opponent's running game whereas Posada's presence behind the plate is a detriment because he can't throw very well. The Yankees are hiding behind Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon's injury to have Posada DH or play first base when everyone knows why they're doing it even if they refuse to admit it. If this was their intent, wasn't it silly to deprive themselves of Posada's bat for all that time when they could have convinced him that his value was actually at the plate rather than behind it?
  • Dodgers 2-Braves 1; Derek Lowe perfect through six innings:
I was waiting to see if Gregor Blanco was going to try and bunt to break up another no-hitter (this one by Derek Lowe) as he led off the seventh inning for the Braves. As irritating as it would have been had he done it, it would have been appropriate in this instance because
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the score was 1-0, Dodgers and his presence on the bases could have meant the difference between winning and losing. He lined a hard single up the middle to break up the perfect game anyway. Lowe's motion looks better from the last time I watched him in June when he was rushing his delivery among other things; whether the Dodgers coaching staff helped him fix it or Lowe did it himself is the question, but his sinker was sinking again and it showed in the results and near history-making performance.

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