Archive for the ‘Injuries’ Category


Well here’s something you never like to hear:

He… what?

And Alexis clarifies that the surgery was to correct a partial labrum tear in his shoulder — though it’s as yet unknown whether it was his throwing or non-throwing one.

That’s… not good.

I’d say something here like “at least he’s not a pitcher,” but it’s not exactly like catchers don’t need to throw, too. Let’s not go too totally nuts, though. I’m pretty sure the level of career peril involved here is not quite the same — especially since we don’t even know yet if it’s his throwing shoulder.

In fact, according to an AP story via Fox News, Brian McCann had arthroscopic surgery for a partial labrum tear of his throwing shoulder following the 2012 season — and was given the same recovery period, four months, as Alexis tells us is the case for Pentecost — and was good as new the following year.

McCann’s shoulder problem “hampered his hitting” that season, according to the piece, as he slumped to a career low wRC+ of just 87, with a slash line of .230/.300/.399. The following year he bounced back to the tune of a 121 wRC+ and a .256/.336/.461, and his ability to control the running game appeared to actually get better (though, of course, this is dependent on other factors than just stolen base/caught stealing numbers): he was behind the plate for 104 stolen bases in 2011 (29 CS, 1083.0 innings), 76 in 2012 (24 CS, 994.2 innings), and post-surgery, just 47 in 2013 (15 CS, 806.1 innings). A more advanced metric available at FanGraphs, rSB (i.e. stolen base runs saved above average) had him as essentially stable throughout the process.

That obviously doesn’t mean that we should have no worries for Pentecost. Every shoulder is different — and you only have to do a quick Google search about labrum tears to see how disparate various players’ recovery processes have been (McCann and Curt Schilling went great, Casey Janssen and Michael Pineda took a while but eventually returned to where they left off, others haven’t been so fortunate) — and all of Pentecost’s value is tied to his being able to stay behind the plate. Anything that might hamper him in that regard could completely throw a wrench into both his career, and the Jays’ long-term plans behind the plate. Again.

And shit, while it would have been more than a little bit fanciful to hope that he could have forced his way onto the roster by the time Dioner Navarro’s contract is up at the end of this season — sure, Vancouver is the highest level he’s played at so far (and only for 19 games), but it’s still something entirely worth hoping for given the dumpster fires that appear to occupy every other spot on the Jays’ catching depth chart — this certainly is a setback in that regard, as well.

So… it’s not good news. But it’s not full-on panic kind of news either. Only time will tell.

Of course, I’m sure that won’t stop the howling about why the club drafted a guy who may have already been hurt (y’know, apart from the other guy mentioned in Alexis’s original tweet, Jeff Hoffman, who they drafted knowing full well he was hurt). But let’s maybe all just hope the recovery goes smoothly, eh?


Image still awesomely via Crashburn Alley.


What??!? Can’t possibly imagine anything going wrong with that elbow.

Well here’s something. According to an official release from the Jays, young lefty Dan Norris had arthroscopic surgery this morning to remove bone spurs from his pitching elbow.

“Recovery time from the surgery is normally six weeks and the Daniel is expected to be ready for Spring Training in 2015,” it adds.

Just yesterday, in the Daily Duce, I passed along a link to a scouting report from Doug Thorburn of Baseball Prospectus, who had watched Norris’s less-than-impressive debut start on the final Thursday of the season. In a portion I didn’t quote, he wrote this:

The lefty struggled to maintain his velocity in the September 25th game, going from 92-94 mph in the first inning to 88-90 mph in the third. There are several caveats here, from the typical first-inning burst of a fired-up pitcher making his starting debut to end-season fatigue and his 30-day layoff from the rotation, so the downward velo trend is not a concern so much as it is something to keep an eye on with his future starts. The BP prospect crew put him at 92-95 mph and touching 97 prior to the season, with his fastball receiving a 6 grade overall, and the early returns suggest that the heat will be a weapon for the southpaw.

The big question, as it is with virtually any young pitcher, is fastball command. In the September 25th game, Norris had a prevailing tendency to miss up (especially to the arm-side) against opposing batters. He did this with all of the pitch-types at his disposal, indicating that a late trigger was preventing him from achieving full extension at release point. He actually had a series of 12 consecutive pitches in the third inning that were all elevated, most of which finished above the zone. Elevated pitches will eventually meet their doom in the majors, and the Blue Jays will surely address the issue if it’s pervasive rather than a single-game blip.

This passage certainly makes a lot more sense given what we now know, and perhaps the surgery is precisely how the Jays have addressed the issues that were on display that day. That doesn’t exactly make this good news, though, does it?

I don’t know that we need to start ringing any alarm bells about Norris’s future ability to stay healthy, but no elbow surgery for a pitcher is ever good — even when it’s one of the less concerning ones, as this is.

No two pitchers’ arms are the same, either, so I don’t think we can try to glean anything about Norris from the list of guys to have had bone spur surgeries in recent years. Sure, it’s a little frightening to recall that guys like C.C. Sabathia, Josh Johnson, and Sergio Santos had the procedure, given what we know about what has happened to their arms since, but clearly there were existing arm problems for all three of those guys that went deeper than this one issue.

That doesn’t mean that couldn’t be the case for Norris, but there are more heartwarming examples of guys who’ve had the same kind of procedure: C.J. Wilson underwent it following the 2012 season, and came back in 2013 to pitch 212.2 innings, posting a 3.39 ERA and 3.31 FIP the next year. And Mat Latos had it after last season and was as effective as ever this year when healthy… at least statistically. His velocity was down a couple of ticks, and he missed three weeks with elbow inflammation, but mostly his season was derailed by a knee injury. Matt Cain pitched extremely well through bone spurs for years, reportedly, before having surgery that ended his season for the Giants in the middle of this year.

When discussing it in 2012, Wilson, who had pitched to a 2.43 ERA in the first half of that season, and a 5.54 ERA in the second half, after the problems arose, explained, “I tried to make a million adjustments to get around it, to the point where now I’m standing on the first-base side, trying to get an angle because I can’t throw sinkers anymore because my arm doesn’t work right.” Ultimately, though, he said he understood that “bone’s not muscle, so there’s really one way to get it taken care of.”

Hopefully for the Jays and Norris that’s all this is, and that the surgery takes care of it and there are no lingering issues with the appendage. But until we see that he’s healthy and well beyond the procedure, we can at least take comfort in the fact that he truly wasn’t himself when he made his debut as a big league starter. It’s not like in that game he was terrible or doing anything that couldn’t be corrected or undid all the positive of the outstanding season he had, but that’s not a small amount of comfort.



Fuck Everything Update

Melky will have surgery next week for a fractured right pinky finger. His season is done. Fuck off.

Original Post:

Melky Cabrera left tonight’s game in Boston in the sixth inning. He fouled off a ball, and speculation was first that the ball had come up and hit him. When replays showed that wasn’t the case, his back was identified as the possible culprit. That doesn’t seem to be the case either, however, as Mike Wilner tweets that trainer George Poulis was looking at Melky’s right hand when he came into the dugout, and Scott MacArthur tweets that NESN showed a replay showing that Melky may have hurt his hand diving back into first on a pick-off attempt in the third.

Official announcement, via the radio broadcast is that he’s going for x-rays on his right pinky finger. “That’s the last thing the Blue Jays need with zero margin for error rest of the season,” tweets Gregor Chisholm. Uh-huh.

Ugh. For fuck sakes.


Do you get the sense that Jays fans are a little excited about the impending return of slugger Edwin Encarnacion? Because I sure do, and so does my Twitter feed, which exploded tonight when Edwin, in his second at-bat in a rain-delayed rehab start for the Buffalo Bisons, did… well… this:

(Video after the jump).

Read the rest of this entry »


Edwin Encarnacion will leadoff and DH for the Buffalo Bisons tonight (if the weather allows them to get the game in — which apparently could be an issue, though the Bisons are holding firm as of 5:20 PM ET that the game will be played), with the plan being to have him join the Jays in Chicago on Friday, where they take on the White Sox for a three-game weekend set, followed by an off-day and two in Milwaukee against the Brewers.

According to a tweet from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, the Bisons have moved their batting practice indoors this afternoon. More interestingly, he’s posted some video of Edwin taking a couple swings.

Check it out after the jump…

Read the rest of this entry »

Melky Plays!


What’s that? Good injury news for the Blue Jays?

No, it won’t put more runs on the board last night, meaning the Jays still wasted an excellent performance from J.A. Happ, but what seemed like an extra-dispiriting loss is now just a little bit more… uh… spiriting: as you can see above, Melky Cabrera is back in the lineup tonight for the Jays.


In case you missed it, or were stunned into total amnesia by the fact that Anthony Gose went yard, Melky got himself an ugly welt on his elbow last night, after taking a pitch to it in his first at-bat of the game. He stayed in to run the bases, and as DH wasn’t needed again until the third, when Nolan Reimold took his place.

In the aftermath of the game the Jays were non-committal, as usual, about the injury, leading to a whole lot of consternation — though, given their track record of late, even their saying he’d be fine would have led to consternation, I’m sure. But it’s all in the past now: Melky is back in left field and hitting second in the lineup tonight as the Jays host Anibal Sanchez and the Tigers. They needed that.

Read the rest of this entry »


There are about seven weeks left in the season, and according to a statement to reporters today from Alex Anthopoulos, Brett Lawrie could miss as many as six of them. And that’s assuming the prognosis includes time for a rehab assignment, which it almost certainly doesn’t.

In other words, it’s not impossible that we’ve seen the last of Brett Lawrie in a Blue Jays uniform this season.

That’s getting ahead of ourselves a bit, though. What the GM said, according to a tweet from Barry Davis, is that the left oblique strain that has landed the oft-injured infielder on the Disabled List yet again will require a recovery time of “three to six weeks.”

While I generally roll my eyes — or worse — at the tinfoil hat wearing individuals who want to see a conspiracy in everything the Jays say about their players’ injuries, here they’re giving us a timeline that admits it may be tough for Lawrie to get back in time to finish the season. It may not! He may end up close to the three week side of things, but I think fans can be forgiven if they’re skeptical.

Other Injury Updates

In the tweet about the injury timeline, Davis notes that Anthopoulos says this latest oblique injury for Lawrie is unrelated to the previous ones he’s had. Which… great? I guess?

Another tweet from Davis says that Edwin Encarnacion has been running and may start rehab games on the weekend (yay!), and that Adam Lind went 2-for-3 today in his rehab assignment, and is on track to return when the club goes to Seattle early next week.

Encarnacion will return at the end of next week “at the latest,” says Anthopoulos, according to a tweet from Brendan Kennedy.