Archive for the ‘Injuries’ Category

encarnacion-DETback

All we really know at the moment is what you already learned by reading the title, and hopefully it’s as unserious as that makes it sounds, but Edwin Encarnacion apparently didn’t just leave tonight’s game late — Kevin Pillar was set to pinch hit for him in the top of the ninth, and Adam Lind came in for him at first in the bottom of the frame — because by that point it was somehow (LOUP!) a laugher.

No, according to a tweet from BlueJays.com’s Gregor Chisholm, Edwin’s back tightened up on him, and he’s considered day-to-day. Sort of just like the title says.

That’s… not good. Or, at the very least, it’s not great. I can’t possibly speculate on an extended life without Edwin at this point, because that’s just absurd, but something like that was going to happen sooner or later. Let’s just hope, y’know, it hasn’t. The Jays have been pretty cautious with respect to health so far this year — for good fucking reason, I should add — and hopefully that’s all this is.

We’ll keep you updated here if anything further develops.

Update

A little more information has trickled in since the original post. For instance, Shi Davidi tweets that Encarnacion says the tight back worsened over the course of the game, that they’ll reassess it tomorrow, but that he isn’t worried about it. And… good fucking dumb as fucking fucking lord, some of the MEUH THEY SAY ITS OK SO IT’S NOT replies to that tweet. Good lord. Get a goddamned grip people, for the love of fuck.

Like I always say, if you’re going to be an asshole, at least have the common courtesy to not be dumb as shit.

I know I’m just talking about a small-but-vocal minority of the same types of fucking insufferable whiners, trying to doomsday front-run like human garbage, who thought this team was fucked on May 31st, but… fuck. right. off.

Seriously. Relax.

John Lott tweets that the back was bothering Edwin a bit yesterday, while Scott MacArthur adds that Edwin’s not sure about his status for tomorrow. A post at Sportsnet from Shi Davidi quotes him as saying “I don’t think it’s anything bad. We’ll see tomorrow if it maybe needs one day, or if I can play DH. We’ll see tomorrow.”

With tomorrow’s game being an afternoon tilt less than 13 hours away at the time of this writing, I have a hard time seeing Edwin playing first tomorrow, and frankly, with the series already won (!!?!?!) and a bus ride back to Toronto in the offing afterwards, giving him a full day off seems like a real likelihood at this point, at the very least. And that’s OK. Take the precautions, keep him healthy, get him back into the lineup. It doesn’t sound major at all. Don’t get me wrong, it could be, but lets maybe just try to take it in stride given that every single other fucking thing surrounding this team right now is mind-blowingly awesome.

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Oh and things were so positive-ish just a day ago. But all it takes, I guess, is one mess of a pitching performance from the club to bring the panic back in some people. I get it, but I don’t get it.

Last night was the first time in the four starts since he started wearing an insulin pump on the mound, and stopped complaining about tiring around the 60-pitch mark, that Dustin McGowan allowed more than two earned runs, and failed to record an out in the fifth inning.

Has he been great? Hardly. The lack of strikeouts is a problem and 3.68 ERA over the four starts belies the underlying problems in a way that the underlying numbers, and a simple eye test, don’t. The slash line against of .259/.337/.435 and WHIP of 1.45 aren’t so hot, obviously. It’s fifth starter stuff, for sure. But if you’re making a case against him by incorporating his first four starts, might I suggest that you’re hardly being fair.

Oh, but panic, panic.

And now this: though Colby Rasmus was on the field yesterday, preparing for a full session of batting practice, and that John Gibbons suggested he might have been able to play in tonight’s game, and “if not, the next day,” it seems the tune has changed somewhat:

Hey, so that’s awesome. I mean, in terms of sarcastic awesome it’s maybe not as fucking awesome as the Jays bizarrely giving Sportsnet some insight into just how dumbly far behind the progressive field their analytics department is (more on this later), but it’s still pretty awesome. Still not a sure thing, I suppose, but perhaps Anthony Gose, then?

Makes inventing reasons to stop giving Dustin McGowan rope he surely deserves seem a little trivial, eh? You could have spent this time working on ass-brained riffs about how every Jays player who we’re told is “day-to-day” ends up being broken!

 

Update: It’s official. Gose up.

lawrieshifteatingrin

Ugh.

In the top of the fourth inning tonight Brett Lawrie bounced a 1-2 pitch up the middle to Phillies shorstop Freddy Galvis, and though it looked like the kind of play he would normally make close, Lawrie didn’t cross first base like he was blasting across the alkali flats in a jet-powered, monkey-navigated… [consults notecards] … and it goes on like this.

Replays showed Lawrie grimace and slow down while running down the line. He gingerly walked off, and when the club returned to the field for the bottom half of the inning it was Chris Getz who was manning second base (with Juan Francisco at third, of course).

The club has since officially listed the hot-hitting Lawrie — who hasn’t been nearly as abysmal as his totals look since around mid-April, having batted a tasty .319/.359/.569 over 18 games stretching back to April 13th – as day-to-day with right hamstring tightness.

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stromanthrowsFLA

Yikes. This evening, after yet another fucking dispiriting bullpen blowup leading to a loss in Pittsburgh, the Jays announced — according to the busy Twitter fingers of several reporters, including Gregor Chisholm, whose tweet shows up first in my feed —  that Brandon Morrow’s examination has revealed a torn tendon sheath in his right hand, and that he has immediately been transferred to the 60-day DL. Chisholm adds that the Jays will wait to see how the injury heals to decide their next course of action, meaning that if he doesn’t need surgery he could be back in July. But if he does, he’s done for the year.

Ugh.

But there’s a small silver lining to this cloud: soon afterwards Barry Davis of the Rogers-owned Rogers Sportsnet tweeted that the Rogers-owned Blue Jays will be calling up Marcus Stroman, and that, at least for the time being — and for fuck sakes, it will be a short one, so simmer down about it — he’ll be pitching out of the bullpen.

The Blue Jays, Barry Davis tweets, will announce the corresponding move tomorrow.

Fans have understandably been extremely frustrated with Brandon Morrow over the past couple of season. He’s generally pitched well when healthy, despite never living up to the expectations that come with having the kind of arm that he does, but those “when healthy” stretches have increasingly become fewer and farther between.

Thing is, despite nagging issues throughout even his healthiest of seasons, Morrow did make 77 starts over three seasons from 2010 to 2012. But the last three seasons have been a struggle when it comes to health, with a long layoff for an oblique injury (and some truly excellent pitching on either side of it) in 2012, last year’s nerve impingement, and now this. I’ll always be hesitant when it comes to calling someone injury prone, but also it’s not like all of our bodies react the exact same way to the stresses and strains of the extreme forces ballplayers generate. It’s certainly no longer unfair to wonder if there really is something about him, physically, that makes him susceptible to these issues — many will point to the fact that he has diabetes, though I personally don’t know nearly enough about it to suggest that there’s a direct link, nor do I suspect most who like to pontificate about such things do — but I still don’t think any of us armchair doctors can genuinely say that there has to be, and the fact of the matter, he’s now spent so much time not being quite right that figuring all of this out is about to be somebody else’s problem anyway.

In fact, if his attempt at rehab for the torn tendon sheath doesn’t solve the issue, and he needs to have season-ending surgery, it’s not inconceivable that Morrow has thrown his last pitch for the Blue Jays.

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morrowhidden

Brandon Morrow has hit the DL. John Lott of the National Post was the first to tweet it, as far as my feed was concerned, but several reporters knew something was up beforehand, as Chad Jenkins had returned to the club this afternoon, with no corresponding move announced.

The Jays officially are calling it a right finger sprain, and, somewhat unfortunately, Gregor Chisholm tweets that Morrow felt something pop in his right index finger last night, and that he’s already in Arizona getting an MRI from his personal doctor, while Scott MacArthur adds that it happened in the fifth inning. So, naturally, I say it’s unfortunate because, assuming this is all really what’s happened — and at this point we have no reason not to — it does nothing to explain Morrow’s right-arm shittiness prior to last night’s fifth inning.

Sigh.

The Jays will simply go to a five man rotation, apparently, with J.A. Happ — who was already scheduled to start Monday in Philadelphia — simply taking a regular turn. Not sure why getting guys an extra day of rest is suddenly so unimportant, but I suppose that makes at least as much sense as all of the other roster management this club has undertaken lately — which is to say: enough, but not a whole lot.

So… Happ and McGowan are now in a battle to avoid getting replaced by Marcus Stroman, basically. And hopefully it’s a battle that doesn’t last terribly long — though, of course, that would mean one of the two (let’s be honest: likely Happ) getting himself shitbombed in one of his next couple starts. But hey, this team can afford to keep pissing away games, right?

I’d say that the Jays sure, bizarrely, seem to think so, given the presence of Happ, but while all this stuff with Morrow was going on, reporters were also learning that Sergio Santos has been removed as the club’s closer and that they’ll go with a closer-by-committee approach until Casey Janssen gets back. Barry Davis appears to have been the first to provide a tweet. I said the other day — and have been adamant all along — that I have all the time in the world for Santos, but… um… yeah, this is a move that had to be made. Gotta stop the bleeding… except where we don’t, I guess.

Oh yeah, and Dioner Navarro remains day-to-day with a strained quad muscle — though, according to a tweet from Gregor Chisholm, he’s available to pinch hit, if needed.

Also: it seems like John Gibbons would prefer to see Stroman here, as he’s quoted in John Lott’s story in the National Post last night, explaining that the club is having bullpen troubles because ”there’s no question, it’s a different look down there without Janssen … and McGowan not being down there. It’s a totally different look and I think we’re suffering for it.” (Hey, but imagine this: what if McGowan and Stroman get humming in the rotation while Morrow is on the shelf — do the people bizarrely making too-soon calls to see Morrow in the bullpen get their wish?)

Aaaaaaaaand Brett Lawrie doesn’t seem to like playing second base too much, according to another item from the Post. “ It’s for the team and if we can get an extra bat in there and it gives us a chance to win, then that’s what it has to be,” he told reporters yesterday, while also saying ““I’m a third baseman. I’m not a third base/second base type of guy. I’m a third baseman and that’s my position.”

Fun times! Hey, but at least you probably turned the game off last night before the 9th inning, assuming that they’d won. That probably felt pretty good, right? Right???

The real fucked up thing is, though, that the Jays are just 13-16 and only three games back in the division with five months still to play. So this all feels a lot worse than it really is, probably.

No, it’s not good that Happ is now a fully fledged member of the rotation, but it’s not like Morrow was doing them any fucking good either. And yeah, they’ve already pissed away more games than a team like this can probably afford, but the fact that so often the only difference between a win and a loss has been a hot garbage impersonation from talented relievers out of a bullpen that’s a legitimate strength of the club isn’t nothing.

It’s not good, but it’s not terribly difficult to see that the record doesn’t entirely reflect how well most of the team has played, and that it wouldn’t be surprising at all if they put together a run where they looked pretty alright. Negative shitheads, of course, won’t see it that way, and will want to make grand dumb pronouncements about everything, I’m sure — after all, what negative shithead doesn’t want to be able to crow all winter about how fucked they knew the team was all along, no matter how dumbly early he had to ass-facedly plant his flag in such a position? It sure is easy to look right calling a struggling team projected to be a middling team fucked at a season’s early stage in a sport where only a small percentage of clubs make the playoffs, and to feel like big tough smart guy attuned to some higher plane of insight than the rest of us hopeless dumb optimists, but that really only makes the person doing so as dumb as he (or she, but… let’s be honest, he) is a total fucking pissy pile of human garbage.

Again: last year’s Jays came from being 13-24, nine-and-a-half games out, to reset the schedule, get over .500, and within three games of the Wild Card — tied then with a team that did make the playoffs. That doesn’t mean it’s not really fucking hard to sustain that kind of pace from there out (and yes, I’m being arbitrary endpoint-y here), but it’s not remotely impossible, and this ain’t remotely as bad as that was. Shit, from the point of 13-24 on last year the Jays went 61-64, and that was while variously missing a month or more from: three fifths of their rotation, Jose Bautista, Melky Cabrera, Colby Rasmus, Steve Delabar, Sergio Santos, plus at least two weeks of Brett Lawrie, Brett Cecil, and Edwin Encarnacion, not to mention the fact that it was then still six weeks before Jose Reyes returned.

So… not that the vast majority needs to hear this anyway, but let’s all just relax and enjoy some baseball.

Consider this your game threat.

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.