MASH Report 8/8/16

Happy Monday to you all!

Before we get to the injury updates, just a quick moment of introduction. I am an AT (athletic trainer — the sports medicine professionals you see tending to injuries at games/practices) and have been doing this in various roles since 1991 (yes, I’m old). Job stints include the St. Louis Cardinals organization, covering high school sports, working in orthopedic physician offices, rehabilitation, speed/strength/performance training, business owner & currently working for a medical device & bracing company.

It’s my intent to offer up not only the latest news about the players, but also to lend my insight & experience to what the injury actually is & what you might expect. To be asked to replace the great work of Jeff Zimmerman is a daunting task, and I wish to offer up appreciation and recognition to him for his work here. Best to you sir in your future endeavors. Now, let’s get to it.

Nick Castellanos was hit by a pitch on his left hand Saturday night, and as a result has a fractured 5th metacarpal. Think the bone below your pinky finger. He is on the 15-day DL, but this will take longer to heal….given the grip strength he will lose while it is healing, it will be about 5 weeks before he is to be counted on again.

Zack Greinke is scheduled to return to the mound on Tuesday after spending over a month on the DL with a left oblique strain. He hasn’t had any issues after the minor-league rehab appearances, and with this not being a shoulder or elbow problem, there should be no hesitation with plugging him back into your mix. He is planning to go two starts this week, so that’s a plus. I just wouldn’t expect him to go deep into games….maybe 80 pitches or so.

• I am sensing the beginning of the end for Sonny Gray, unless he makes some mechanical adjustments. He was just pulled from Saturday’s game against the Cubs with “right extensor muscles soreness.” So much ambiguity here. Couple this with his May right trapezius DL stint and you have to start asking some questions. There has to be some sort of mechanical issue going on for such injuries to occur back-to-back. Such brilliant potential is now at risk.

Rich Hill is still dealing with a blister….he had to miss Sunday’s start so hopefully he starts Friday for his Dodger debut. I bet they are trying everything from pickle juice to rubbing alcohol to toughen up that skin.

Carlos Beltran is day-to-day with a quad contusion.

Bryce Harper has a stiff neck, so the Nationals are taking it easy with him. Given they also have not one but two days off this week, his playing time this week will be sparse so make plans accordingly.

• So if you had “ONE GAME” in the office pool for how long Jordan Zimmermann stayed off the DL, you win. Another trip for the Tigers’ big off-season spend, this time with a right lat strain. Lat strains are not typical pitcher injuries, although it’s my opinion that from a biomechanics like standpoint it could be related to his previous neck issues, and quite possibly to his May groin strain. Remember it’s one kinetic chain, and if one thing is off, something has to absorb the force.

• Here’s an interesting one: Garrett Richards and his stem-cell infused pitching arm. I am sure that he is of zero-fantasy relevance for you, but I want to point out that the MRI of his UCL (the Tommy John ligament) this pas t week actually showed signs of healing. The Angels have a November 1deadline of whether or not to pursue the actual Tommy John surgery (TJS). He has to throw again somewhere soon to see if this is going to happen, which, if it does, will ensure another missed season. However, if he continues to heal, he might pitch next year. Stem-cell therapy is still such an unknown at this point, with conflicting research. Pay attention to this case though.

Wade Davis and his flexor strain: it’s gonna be interesting to see how the Royals play this one. This makes the second flexor/forearm strain for their closer. I have seen these turn into actual UCL injuries as the MRI may or may not be able to distinguish between the muscle strain and the ligament sprain, depending on where it is.

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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7 years ago

I like the additional insight from someone with experience, adds some clarification to the vague injury classifications. Look forward to reading more of your work and welcome.