MASH Report 9/12/16

Another great Monday to you all! I don’t have as many specific players to go over, but the ones I do have listed I want to go into a little more detail on.

To start with, let’s go with Stephen Strasburg and his curious elbow/forearm.

He said on Saturday that he had a PRP injection in the elbow…which could mean either it’s in the muscle mass (flexor bundle) or into the ligament. All you need to do is to Google “PRP” to learn more on what this, but I will summarize for the Google-handicapped: PRP stands for “platelet-rich plasma” and it is not to be confused with stem cell treatments. PRP is where the patient’s own platelets are drawn from the blood and then separated out by spinning them, and then re-injected directly into the injured area. The theory is that this concentrated dose of platelets, which are rich in things that help the body heal, will accelerate the body’s own natural healing process. I use the word “theory” because the jury is still out on whether or not this is effective. For some it works, for some not so much. I am not saying the PRP injection won’t work for him….rather, it’s so undecided right now. From the Nationals’ point of view, there is nothing to lose in trying this, because it sure won’t hurt him. Side note: another noted elbow surgeon is supposed to review his MRI today as a second opinion, so we will see what that brings.

There are two big questions to get answered surrounding Strasburg. One, will he pitch again in 2016? Don’t expect him back before the end of the year; this is going to be a post-season thing. He will need rest to allow the PRP injection to actually take effect, and then once it’s good, he will start building up his arm strength again. Secondly, why is his elbow continuing to persistently bother him? Is it overuse? Yes, but the deeper question is the overuse coming from fatigue or bad mechanics or both? This is where MLB needs to step up the analytics game and do as much as they can to use data to help prevent things like this from happening.

Bottom line from a fantasy perspective? 2017 will bring you a decision, not 2016.

If you are counting on Billy Hamilton for your playoff run, he still needs to be re-evaluated, meaning they don’t know if he will play this week yet. Swinging the bat/playing the field is the issue. Maybe he has use later this week as a pinch runner, but with this being an oblique injury, it’s tough to rush it.

A.J. Pollock has a strained groin, and his season is in jeopardy. Doesn’t sound like a “slight strain” meaning this will take another week of rest before even resuming activity. He will need another week after that to get back into a groove….all at a minimum. In my opinion, he will need another 2 weeks of rest. The groin is an interesting muscle area, as it can mean or or more of several muscles in the area. It is also heavily involved in pretty much any leg activity: running, stopping, lateral movements, jumping. These aren’t injuries to just sit back and wait on…you have to be aggressive yet careful, if that makes any sense.

Not very good news for Danny Salazar and his persisting arm issues. Shoulder fatigue, elbow discomfort, elbow inflammation, now forearm tightness…..the Indians are using all the terms. All things are related, and it’s clear he is breaking down. The trick is what they plan to do with him: push through because of their playoff situation, or shut him down. From a fantasy perspective, be wary of his performance even if he isn’t shut down. It’s clear something in the kinetic chain is broken, and other areas of his body are trying to absorb the excess strain.

Giancarlo Stanton is back, but to what extent? It’s clear the Marlins went fast & furious with his recovery, as he is only ready for now from a pinch-hitting duty for now. I think they wanted him back for the wild-card race, which is clearly fading. I would not take up a roster spot for him if you don’t need him. All I see is that he is definitely not 100%.

Andrew Benintendi might see some action later this week, as he is going to do a sim game tomorrow. Fantasy implications? I wouldn’t hesitate from using him as needed because he is going to be fine. It’s also interesting to note that they are having him do sliding drills, as this will fully test the injured ligament in flexion.

Lorenzo Cain is probably done for the year. His lingering wrist that has plagued both his playing time & his performance is finally getting the best of him. With proper rest in the off-season he should be fine.

Marcell Ozuna is another wrist issue. These things are obviously so important to a hitter, and why something so small can be so impactful. A hitter relies on his wrist to turn (on top or bottom, depending on RH/LH) and there is so much anatomy in this small area, from muscle to ligament to tendon to bone. Anything out of whack (a true medical term) can cause bad timing in a swing or even lack of power. This is why these guys are lingering.

Aledmys Diaz is back from his thumb fracture DL stint and rehab process, and is ready to go for the Cardinals. His bat could be an impact for the team as they

Sonny Gray is hoping for one more start this year. In my opinion, this is wholly unnecessary, unless it’s to see if any mechanical issue actually is fixed. But, even at that, this can be done in a non-game environment without the risk of further injury. He needs some serious work done from a biomechanical standpoint, helping him reduce load on his arm.

Some Met updates can be found here, particularly with Jacob deGrom and Stephen Matz. Both are in that “throwing program” situation, and it’s wait-and-see with their status.

Gerrit Cole returns to action tonight. Maybe wait and see how the performance goes if you can afford to wait.

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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Will H.
Will H.

Love your style with this column, BJ… and I’m guessing you aren’t into conjecture with those who aren’t talked about as injured, but any thoughts on Wil Myers and the possibility that he’s playing through injury?