Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun left the team Wednesday to travel to California to undergo a second cryotherapy procedure on his troublesome right thumb.
Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell downplayed the significance of this latest development, saying the procedure was pre-planned and referring to it as “maintenance.” But it was the first public indication of any kind that Braun’s first such procedure in October, during which a specialist injected a needle into the base of Braun’s thumb to freeze an inflamed nerve there, had “worn off” and needed to be repeated.
Dr. Vernon Williams, the same specialist who performed Braun’s first cryotherapy, did this one as well at his clinic in Anaheim. While there is no track record for a baseball player with this issue (technically, a thumb neuroma), Williams has told the Brewers that the procedure can be repeated safely as long as is it not done more frequently than every three to four months, perhaps throughout the remainder of Braun’s playing career if symptoms persist.
“It’s boring DH’ing,” said Jones, who tested his ankle Monday afternoon with some sprints in left field. “I am going to try to play center, but if I have to DH, I will DH. I think the important thing right now is to make sure there are no lingering effects and not try to be Superman right now.”
Jones was pleased with how he responded to Monday’s running, adding that the swelling from the injury — suffered while sliding into home plate on Thursday night — has completely gone away. While he never likes being out of the lineup, Jones said several times that he was trying to be smart about the in-jury given it’s only June 1 and there’s a lot of baseball left to play.
The 23-year-old, who injured the ankle stepping awkwardly on first base, saw doctors on Tuesday while sitting out the Cubs’ loss. He then flew back to Chicago on Wednesday before he was moved to the DL.
“I never like to speculate, it’s just that I’m hearing two to three weeks — like a minimal kind of stay,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “That’s what I got as of right now.”
Lyles said the surgery is essentially “Tommy John for the big toe” and later added that the Rockies training staff “hadn’t really seen anything like it.” He got a second opinion from a turf-toe specialist in North Carolina, but that diagnosis matched up with Dr. Metzl’s initial belief to go ahead with surgery.
• Marlon Byrd will miss some time with a broken wrist. The return time table is a little up in the air because he injured the wrist before. The doctors aren’t sure if it is a new break or the old break.
Byrd spent Wednesday in Cincinnati being examined by Reds medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek. There was a chance that the injury was a pre-existing fracture rather than a new break, which could mean less time out.
• Dillon Gee’s average fastball velocity is up compared to before going on the DL this year and to 2014.
• Brett Oberholtzer’s velocity is back to his 2014 levels
• Masahiro Tanaka’s velocity was steady to a bit up.
Manager Terry Collins said Black has been sitting at 93-94 mph in the Minors, several ticks lower than what he averaged in New York last season. The right-handed reliever has been on the disabled list since Opening Day due to right shoulder tendinitis, which the club originally expected to sideline him only for a week or two.
“His velocity is not what we know it to be,” Collins said. “I just know that that’s what got him here and that’s all we’ve seen. We have yet to see Vic Black pitch at 93, 94. We’ve seen him pitch at 95, 96, 97. So if he’s going to pitch at three or four miles an hour less than what he has, command of his fastball has to be very sharp. You can’t live in the middle of the strike zone with a 93-mph fastball. That’s aver-age stuff to these guys these days.”
Chip Hale said reliever David Hernandez was 93-95 mph in his scoreless inning yesterday with High-A Visalia.
— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) May 17, 2015
Players on the DL in 2015
The Red players have had updates since the last report. Click on the “Date” for a link to go to the latest article on the player.
Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.