MASH Report 8/15/16 by BJ Maack August 15, 2016 Symbolic of the Cardinals’ chances of winning the NL Central division this year, we see a significant change in their DL status. We will start with them: Matt Holliday now has a fractured thumb. This involves his right hand, and depending on what they discover today/release in the news later, could be season-ending. Don’t dump him yet until you get verification on this, but even if it takes 3 weeks to allow the bone to heal, he will still have to get grip strength and then batting timing back. Consider him to be a playoff hold. Michael Wacha is dealing with shoulder inflammation, yet again. Something has to change with this guy. If you will recall, in 2014 he had a stress reaction in his scapula (the shoulder blade bone). Typically you will see shoulder injuries focused on the rotator cuff or labrum, but this is not a normal thing. The fact that this is almost a “round 2” of 2014 means that rest alone won’t fix this. Rest is what is needed right now, to let things heal, but once that is done, there has to be a serious discussion about how to PREVENT this from happening again. Yes, we are talking about mechanical adjustments, but there may be more to it. If there is limited scapular mobility, it can prevent the pitching motion from doing what is supposed to do—things like allow for full extension upon release. This could be part of the stress on that part of the bone. This doesn’t mean he is done for the season…this is TBD this week. Matt Adams is down with a shoulder injury. Kind of a bizarre thing–left shoulder inflammation—but he is on the 15-day DL. Giancarlo Stanton is probably done for the year with a left groin injury. While the Marlins are using the word “injury” most likely this means a severe tear of one of the inner thigh or hip flexor muscles. By not saying “strain” they seem to already know it’s a significant tear, one that will require more than a typical 1-2 weeks of rest. Plus, add to the fact that the Fish are very much in the WC race, and you know it’s something major. Brandon McCarthy is back on the DL, but this time with a non-shoulder issue: this time it is hip stiffness. Pay attention to this….if you will recall, Brandon has had mechanical issues off & on for his career. The overall pitching motion is a series of biomechanical movements as one kinetic chain, and it generates a tremendous amount of force. If something doesn’t flow right, or if an area is too tight or too weak, the overall stress is transferred somewhere else on the kinetic chain. Many times, you might see a lower extremity injury in a pitcher if something is wrong with his arm mechanics. While I cannot say with certainty that this is what is going on, as I am not privy to the details, it is something to consider for McCarthy. What should you do with him? Wait and see what the next week’s worth of news from the Dodgers bring, and if it’s not promising, move on. James Paxton is nearing a return from the line-drive injury. . He might be a “go” tomorrow. Tyson Ross is almost back!! While nothing is firm, it is clear he is progressing and might be back on a big-league mound within 3 weeks. The thing to watch here is that the Padres have to gauge his recovery time after throwing bullpen sessions vs throwing to live hitters. No matter what you try to do, the intensity level magnifies significantly when a pitcher throws to a live body vs just to a catcher. This bump in “how hard he goes” may be fine, or it may cause another delay. We will see. Jose Bautista has a knee sprain. If you will watch the video here, it appears to be his lateral collateral ligament (LCL), which is one of the 4 major ligaments of the knee. If you have to have a grade-one sprain of one of these, this is the best choice. I am confident he comes back with no issues in 2 weeks based off what we see now. The only problem for him is that he was just getting into a hitting groove, and it might be hard to get back quickly. Mark Reynolds has a broken hamate bone. An awkward swing caused the end of the bat to push into this bone and cause a fracture. This usually requires surgery, so let’s assume he is done for the year.