Archive for the ‘Injuries’ Category

Breaking: Adam Lind

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Adam Lind has a bad feeling about his back after crossing the plate in Tuesday’s win at Minnesota

Brutal.

Adam Lind left tonight’s win over the Twins in the seventh inning, after moving quite gingerly after crossing the plate on Moises Sierra’s ground out, on which Joe Mauer inexplicably chose to take the out at first base rather than coming to the plate, allowing a run to cross. On the TV broadcast Drs. Buck and Pat were hopeful, based on the fact that Lind remained in the dugout for a while, and didn’t look like he was laboring too terribly, that it was mostly a precaution or something that wouldn’t require much time off.

Not so, according to the reports coming from the clubhouse following the game.

In case those tweets don’t make it quite clear enough, this doesn’t sound good. Mind you, not multiple-months not good, but certainly like something that could require a DL stint, as was required in 2011, when he missed 24 games with back trouble, and 2012 when he missed 29.

If you recall — and I only barely did, though Scott MacArthur was kind enough to confirm via tweet — Lind and Encarnacion were flipped, positionally, at the last minute before Sunday’s game (Scott’s original tweet here), which was due to the back injury at that point.

Brendan Kennedy quotes Lind as saying that he hasn’t felt pain like this in his back “for years.” Ugh.

Hey, but at least Jose Reyes is coming back soon, right? Right???

We’ll keep you posted on any roster moves, should they happen — and with the Jays’ already stretched bench, it wouldn’t be surprising if they felt they had to do something quickly, just to avoid playing shorthanded, however, it also wouldn’t necessarily be surprising if they waited, given that the forecast for tomorrow doesn’t look great, and they may get an extra day to figure out what to do here — and… um… we’ll also remind you that Dan Johnson is hitting .242/.366/.545 so far at Buffalo this year… so… that’s something, right? Right???

Season Over For Maicer Izturis?

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According to an email blast from the Jays, an MRI on Maicer Izturis has revealed a complete tear of the lateral collateral ligament in… whichever knee it was that he injured yesterday on the dugout steps in Baltimore. He’ll get a second opinion, but if the first diagnosis stands, he’s looking at a 4-6 month recovery time, and essentially the end of his season.

Izturis had already been stealing all kinds of playing time from supposed “regular second baseman” Ryan Goins, and in the field looked a world away from the 2013 he spent as a hapless defender and, per FanGraphs’ WAR, the worst player in baseball. He’d had a nice little meaningless streak at the plate, too!

Did that mean he was destined to get over-exposed as ol’ Gibbers vainly tried to wring every ounce of value from him possible even after the bat cooled? Well… it’s shitty to say such a negative thing like that on a day that is surely one of the worst of his professional career —  and probably incorrect to suggest that over-exposure can even exist in the way we normally conceive of it on a club that is routinely running Ryan Goins and Jonathan Diaz out there — but… probably?

I don’t mean to be negative on Izturis in a moment like this — shit, I praised him in a Game Threat last week for so far looking much more like the guy the Jays thought they were getting — but there are way too many people in my Twitter feed right now who are frightened about the what this loss means. Uh… it means Goins and Diaz sharing time at second once Reyes is back, which is damn close to what everyone thought was going to be the case two weeks ago. People are similarly mentioning Stephen Drew as a possible replacement, as though two weeks ago they wouldn’t have barely struggled to bother shrugging their shoulders at the idea of Maicer’s possible loss. (Not that Drew isn’t still a very good idea, but this alters that how?)

It was great that he helped out and looked decent for a couple of weeks, but the expectations don’t change after 13 games. Not on the potential of Izturis being good, not on Goins being bad. (Of course, you already entirely expected that Goins wouldn’t hit, right?)

Is this good? Of course not. But there is Goins, there is Diaz (who I think has earned the lion’s share of playing time, despite being the right-hander in the potential platoon), there is Munenori Kawasaki and Chriz Getz and Steve Tolleson and, if you want to move even more pieces (like Brett Lawrie) around, Andy LaRoche and Juan Francisco. This team is rife with replacement-level depth, and this injury means no more today, because Izturis looked back in form, than it would have if he hadn’t had two hot weeks at the plate coinciding with not looking useless in the field.

Don’t get me wrong, I was OK with the Izturis deal at the time, because it looked like he was possibly at a low ebb of his value and had been a nice utility piece in the years previous. Last year proved that he could go a whole lot farther south than I expected, but there was certainly a higher ceiling there than we saw. It’s just… we didn’t expect anything out of him. We got a nice bonus of a couple hot weeks, and that’s great. Yet the slash line had already dipped to .286/.324/.314 (Kawasaki over 289 PA last year: .229/.326/.308), the WAR had fallen by half (from 0.4 when I wrote the Game Threat linked above to 0.2 today), and the defence was never going to look as good as what Diaz or Goins will provide. It’s… it’s fine.

I mean, it sucks for Maicer and his teammates and all that, and it was great to see him looking better than what we remembered, but let’s not anybody act like it isn’t insane to think he was going to keep producing a quarter of a win every two weeks — a half a win per month, or 3 WAR over the course of the year. The difference between having him or Kawasaki as the utility guy isn’t just practically negligible, it may end up being net positive. Relax.

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If Casey Janssen hasn’t quite looked himself this spring, it has been tough to tell, as we’ve rather gotten used to him starting slowly in camp, and defying expectations that come from looking at the effort he puts into every pitch, the sublime precision he relies on, and the radar gun. His velocity was down this spring, however, and it took until March 24th for him to make his full-fledged spring debut, having been set back earlier in camp due to soreness in his shoulder. Supposedly healthy, he pitched three innings in a week, culminating in a less-than-sharp Friday night performance in Montreal, giving up a run on a pair of doubles in the fifth inning, with no strikeouts.

But the thing about that “supposedly healthy” bit is… perhaps he wasn’t.

At least it’s not the shoulder — at least not according to the word of the club — but per a team release this afternoon, Janssen has been placed on the 15-day DL with a lower back/left abdominal strain, and Erik Kratz has been recalled. The DL stint has been backdated to yesterday (March 29th), making him eligible to come off it on April 13th — a Sunday on which the club will be in Baltimore.

It’s a loss of a key piece of the Jays’ puzzle at a time when they absolutely do not need it, to be sure, but it’s also merely the loss of a one-inning guy at the back of a stacked bullpen, and a guy who we know can pitch effectively through pain and should ultimately be fine. That’s not to say that Janssen’s not great, it’s just… perspective, y’know?

The bullpen, somewhat surprisingly, now goes back down to seven men, with Sergio Santos the likeliest choice to take over the closer’s role. Even more surprising, though, is the addition of Kratz. Or, in the parlance of the internet “another fucking catcher???”

The thing about that is, it seems a fair reward for the big spring that he had, and — provided he keeps hitting like it’s Dunedin and he’s facing minor league scrubs and not the David Price’s of the world — he gives them an OK right-handed bat off the bench. Miiiiiiiight have preferred to see them bring up a guy who can be a true backup in centre, and can pinch run in late game situations, but it’s not like this is indefensible. And @james_in_to points out that BuckJerry noted yesterday that Dioner Navarro was wearing a pad to protect his forearm, which might be a sign that he’s not 100%. I don’t know about all that — he’s a catcher, is he ever going to be 100% — but maybe?

More likely, though, I think it’s about taking the hot bat, and giving the guy a longer look against better pitching. I wouldn’t necessarily be shocked if Josh Thole goes down when all is said and done, even. We shall see! Starting damn tomorrow! (At Opera Bob’s!)

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Ugh. Edwin Encarnacion has left today’s game with the Yankees after being hit on the right forearm/wrist/wherever he’s being hit in the image above. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

You could hear it, says Jerry Howarth on the TV broadcast. A manager’s worst nightmare at this point in the spring, says Buck Martinez.

Fortunately there were some good signs: Encarnacion, despite leaving the at-bat immediately, didn’t go straight to the clubhouse, and when he did jog down there alongside trainer George Poulis, he gave a thumbs up. So… Dr. Edwin says he’s doing OK, but they’re prooooooobably going to want to take an x-ray just to be safe. And until the results of that come in, we hold our breath.

We’ll keep you updated. More images below.

Read the rest of this entry »

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The results of the MRI on Jose Reyes’s wonky left hamstring came back this evening (according to simultaneous tweets from every Jays reporter on Twitter), and it turns out about exactly as we probably should have expected: a somewhat vague diagnosis of a “mild strain,” meaning he’s currently day-to-day.

For a guy with a history of hamstring problems that isn’t great news, but… it also totally is. I mean, the issue isn’t worse, right? And the sheer fact that he went for an MRI almost assured us that we’d hear that it would be at least this bad. Maybe not, but with the way the Jays sometimes shield the public from information about injuries — y’know like every other team does — it had to be in the back of one’s mind just a little that things may not have been quite as peachy as they were making it sound, so to hear the word “mild” is definitely a good thing.

Yes, these sorts of problems can linger, especially for someone with recurring problems, but we’d do well to remember that, as I pointed out in my previous post on the subject, problems with the left hamstring haven’t been that recurrent for Reyes, at least according to the injury history provided on his BP page. In 2008 he missed two games in mid-April with some soreness, and in 2011 he went on the DL for it in July, missing 12 games, then three weeks later had to hit the DL again, missing 17 games during the second stint.

Again, not great, but not necessarily the doom and gloom scenario it might be easy to conjure up when you hear the words “Reyes” and “hamstring” and “strain.”

So for now, at least, we can focus on trivial matters, like whether we’ll see Reyes in Montreal, or whether the Jays will keep him in Florida, off the turf (at least for a couple of days) and off the plane, hoping to have him ready to go a week today when the season actually opens in Tampa. The answer to that is: whatever’s best for his health and the games that matter, I’m sure. It would be a shame for a lot of Mets fans making the trip (there are Mets fans making the trip, right?), but obviously there are bigger concerns, if that’s what it ends up coming to. Concerns like whether or not he’s good to go for Opening Day, which is hardly a given, especially because you know that they’re going to be cautious here.

Then again, maybe he’ll be playing in a couple of days! I mean, if I was a betting man — and I am — that’s probably not one I would take, but you never know, right? Right???

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Ugh. Start the irrational panic wagon and the insufferably dumb kvetching about the Jays not always being forthcoming about injuries!

Buck Martinez was on the Fan 590 with Jeff Blair this morning saying that Jose Reyes was walking around the clubhouse looking healthy enough, and not hobbled, despite leaving Saturday’s Grapefruit League game early with tightness in his hamstring. Over the weekend, according to several reports, including one from John Lott of the National Post, John Gibbons told reporters that his level of concern was “zero right now — today,” adding, however, that “If he hasn’t played a week from now, then we’ve got a lot of concern.”

And then this:

Ugh.

For those unfamiliar, hamstring issues have plagued Reyes’s career. According to the injury summary on his Baseball Prospectus page, problems with his left hamstring caused him to miss 29 games in two separate DL stints in 2011, two games in 2008, as he dealt played through the lingering tightness, and he’s also had a host of other issues with that leg: last year’s severe ankle sprain, as well as an ankle sprain in 2003, and a stress fracture in his tibia in 2004.

The story of his right hamstring isn’t a whole lot better, either.

Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star tweets that Gibbons continues to say today that he doesn’t feel the injury was serious, and that the MRI is just precautionary.

Reyes himself adds, via two tweets from Gregor Chisholm: “I’m not concerned. I just want to make sure everything is alright. I have to find out what it is. We’ll see. Right now we’re taking it day by day. I’m going to get an MRI this afternoon to have a better idea.”

That certainly does make sense, especially given that starting Friday the Jays are scheduled to play twelve straight games on shitty turf (two in Montreal, four in Tampa, and then six in the first homestand of the year), which obviously might prove even harder on a wonky leg, and which… ugh.

Just ugh.

My gut, for some reason, says that he’ll be fine, but man… thoughts of beginning the season with Ryan Goins sliding over to shortstop and Maicer Izturis playing second — as we’re told will be the setup in the event of a Reyes injury — are just a depressing reminder of the thin veneer of depth this club currently is attempting to hide behind. Shit, playing with those two up the middle for any part of a season in which championship aspirations anything but fucking hilarious is just… ugh.

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Click to embiggen.

This nifty little image, which comes by way of Redditor atomicbolt (aka the great @mattomic) at r/TorontoBlueJays, is pretty much the best thing you’re going to see today. Also: the most depressing. So why not just put up your feet and phone it in the rest of the way already? That’s my plan!

Crotch grab in the direction of @jon_cookie for the tip.