MASH Report 8/22/16

Let’s get to the injury updates/analysis….

Jung Ho Kang is on the 15-day DL with a left shoulder injury. No official word as to what he hurt, but the way he landed on it gives me some pause. Hopefully it is minor, and he did run off the field afterwards. These impact injuries could be anything in such a complex joint as the shoulder, from a collarbone fracture to a ligament sprain to a labral tear. Yes, non-pitchers can tear their labrum too. Tough timing because he was starting to hit the ball well.

Matt Cain is back on the DL, this time for “low back strain.” Conspiracy theory folks, get your tin-foil hat on, because this has the feeling of a sneaky roster move. Regardless of true injury or not, it doesn’t appear to be serious and he should be fine. I only bring this up as a reminder that, when looking at a team’s injury statistics, roster moves sometimes account for trips to the DL. I can recall many times (yes, minor leagues, but still) players being sent to the DL for phantom injuries, just to clear a spot.

No real update on Matt Holliday yet, other than the surgery was a success. I assume they are also going to try and accelerate the healing with a bone growth stimulator.

Seth Maness was scheduled for Tommy John surgery but, once the surgeon got inside of his elbow, it was decided to not reconstruct the ligament (which is what TJS is—making a new ligament) but to just repair his existing one. This could cut his recovery time in half, meaning he probably won’t miss the entire 2017 season, and possibly is back early 2017. You don’t see this decision very often, switching from a planned TJS to a repair.

Trevor Rosenthal’s throwing program is delayed as he still is dealing with his shoulder. Interesting note that there “may also be a forearm issue” and that his altered throwing program delay “was done with the idea that the PRP injection Rosenthal received could use the time to take root, flush out the inflammation, and heal the shoulder.” I don’t quite agree with the “flush out the inflammation” part but it’s semantics really. Bottom line? He might not make it back for the season.

Those of you counting on a quick Jose Bautista return, you’re in luck. Maybe end of this week.

Back to the DL again for Geovany Soto. Remember he had a right meniscal surgery in May, came back but then his left knee hurt (compensating for right knee recovery) and now the right one is flared up again. In his words, it was “angry.” We all know the toil catchers put on their knees, and the fact that fluid continues to build up here has to be frustrating for everyone. Plus, before the knee flared up again, he also was dealing with a bruised thumb. I bet he’s done.

John Lackey has a tired shoulder/headed to the DL, and I think this is nothing more than time to rest for one of the Cubs’ stalwarts. 18 quality starts, playoff experience, and a clubhouse leader are all reasons the Cubs want to make sure they have him for their playoff run.

Zach Wheeler had his elbow examined by that-famous-sports-surgeon-we-have-all-heard-of, and while his surgically (TJS) reconstructed elbow is still intact, now he has a flexor muscle strain, effectively ending his season.

Here’s a fun one….Billy Butler is out due to injuries received from a brawl with teammate Danny Valencia. Definitely sounds like a concussion.

Yunel Escobar and Nick Franklin are both on the relatively-new 7-day DL (started in 2011). These guys aren’t major fantasy impact guys, but I bring it up just to highlight MLB’s concussion-only DL. As a society we are learning so much about concussions and what they are/how to treat them. The main thing is that the brain (concussions are a brain injury) needs time to heal, both from physical and mental activities. That’s precisely what this DL gives them….sometimes 15 days is not needed and it can restrict roster situations.

Giancarlo Stanton MAY not be done for 2016, according to Marlins brass. If you feel the need to stash him, go on ahead wit yo bad self.

BJ has been a licensed AT (athletic trainer) since before the last MLB strike (do the math). He spends his days working for a major medical device/brace company and his nights...well, this. Follow him on the Twittaz @bjmaack

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John Lackey and “clubhouse leader”, in the same paragraph without a ‘not’ somewhere in between. Not a transformation of Yunellian proportions, but still pretty impressive.