At Least Fukudome's Subconscious is Healthy

On the day of the rule 4 draft, I'll keep this short. It's based on a Sun-Times article by Gordon Wittenmyer about why Kosuke Fukudome is surprising the Cubs management with his solid performance so far in 2009. I guess the surprise is they had virtually written him off when they went out and got another multi-year contract, free-agent,  left handed hitting right fielder (OK, Bradley is a switch hitter) for the second year in a row. The article implies that the reason Fukudome was bad the second half of 2008 was that he was having subconscious mechanical problems with his swing, related to his 2007 elbow arthroscopy for the removal of bone chips.

But perhaps the most important reason and least known publicly was the affect his surgically repaired right arm had on his swing.

Fukudome had elbow surgery late in the 2007 season, and the elbow started bothering him last season right about the time his decline began in May. By the end of the season, his hitting mechanics were a mess.

''I didn't feel the pain physically, but I must have been subconsciously feeling the pain of the elbow,'' said Fukudome, still reluctant to openly admit pain. But when asked if it was a factor last season, he said, ''Probably it was.'' 

Surgery often takes longer to get to a point of full recovery in an athlete and that's can be measured by performance. Endurance is often the aspect that takes the most time to recover. So although he wasn't saying he was having elbow pain, he just might have been affected when the effects of a long season took hold. 

I think that if the Cubs brass thought Fukudome was going to be a "force" in their lineup as originally expected, they wouldn't have had to get another lefty bat to "balance" the lineup for 2009. I imagine would have made this offseason roster shuffling much quieter. It also would have kept a solid backup for Aramis Ramirez, instead of what has become a 2009 reminder of the days when they replaced DLee with his broken wrist in 2006 with Neifi Perez (Todd Walker just "shuffled" from 2nd to 1st, but Perez was the substitution to the lineup, essentially replacing Lee).  The 2009 shuffle slid Mike Fontenot from 2nd to 3rd, putting him in the Todd Walker role and has cast the Bobby Scales/Andy White combo as Neifi, aka ARam's replacement. 

Memo to the Cubs brass: If you lose an RBI machine, please don't consider your replacement reasonable when it's  someone who generates zero RBI's. Also, remember that it's not the dancer who's already on the floor that becomes the real replacement when the music calls for the positional shuffle dance (as in saying Mike Fontenot's replacing ARam at third when it's really Bobby Scales who's replacing ARam in the lineup).

Comments

Maybe Fukodome quietly had surgery on something else late in 2008 because he certainly seems to be sucking again as if on a schedule.

Oh, he's actually sucking. As wittlessmyer's article notes near the bottom

Consider that it was at this point last season that Fukudome's season went the wrong way. In both 2008 and '09, he was hitting exactly .300 through June 6, then went hitless on June 7 to fall under that mark.

Kosuke started last June 3/19 and didn't recover. This year he's 3/19 (.158) in June as well and 7 for his last 41 (.170). Over approximately the same period last year he was 13/42 so his drop off is actually much more severe this year.

Hope he can turn it around.

This year he's 3/19 (.158) in June as well and 7 for his last 41 (.170).

Ooh... fun with numbers. Do you know what a sample size is? If not, you should read up on it sometime.And I love the arbitrary cut off of 41 at-bats.

Why don't we look at his last 75 at-bats (93 plate appearances), where he has put up a line of .280/.402/.413, even with the bad 41 at-bats included?

I'd agree with tbone, and have noticed more of a recent trend of the "spinning K", which he was not doing earlier in the year. At the least, he has been providing excellent defense in the outfield. Something that Soriano does not.

"Oh, he's actually sucking. As wittlessmyer's article notes near the bottom..."

You know, just one time I'd like to see this commenter look at any current situation as the glass - is - half - full, rather than everyone sucks 24/7. If you hate the club so often as your posts indicate, why not go off somewhere and suck on some lemons instead?

Many of us can suck a lemon and type at the same time.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!

    billybucks 6 hours 40 min ago view
  • I. Hate. The. Mets.

    billybucks 7 hours 9 min ago view
  • OK Marlins -- take 'em down. Fernandez, at home, tomorrow for the Fish.

    Gotta say, though -- as much as I can't stand them, the Cardinals have had some very impressive late-inning wins against premier closers.

    billybucks 7 hours 9 min ago view
  • Very impressive that he hit a 3-2 curve ball. Such a dynamic ballplayer. If he ever learns the strike zone....

    billybucks 7 hours 15 min ago view
  • If Jason Hammel doesn't get a potato chip sponsorship deal, somebody messed up. Attaboy, Jason!

    billybucks 7 hours 18 min ago view
  • I am looking forward to AChap facing the Cardinals.

    The E-Man 7 hours 26 min ago view
  • Sure is fun to watch them score finally. To think they were no-hit until the 7th...

    The E-Man 7 hours 38 min ago view
  • Got to admit it - it was comforting seeing Rondon come out for the eighth after just taking a two run lead ... And put the hammer down with a 7 pitch inning. Good stuff

    Eric S 7 hours 43 min ago view
  • GRAND SLAM RUSSELL

    blown the hell open...7 run lead

    crunch 7 hours 45 min ago view
  • 11 hits off Wainwright tonight. Everything going right for the Cards right now. Motherfucking motherfuckers.

    The E-Man 7 hours 54 min ago view
  • it was more no-doubt than bryant's HR. it wont make any end-of-season highlight reels, but that one was booked to leave on contact.

    crunch 8 hours 3 min ago view
  • Javy! Javy! Javy!

    How sweet was that - Cranked it!

    393 happy feet

    Eric S 8 hours 10 min ago view
  • baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaez!

    cubs take a 2 run lead in the 7th. sweet.

    crunch 8 hours 14 min ago view
  • ...and the Cards tie and take the lead in the 9th. off Familia.

    blockhead25 8 hours 18 min ago view
  • Familia blows his first save of the season -- gives up 2 in 9th to the Cards.

    Not much going our way these days.

    billybucks 8 hours 18 min ago view
  • bryant's back!

    no-doubt HR towering to CF...tie game.

    crunch 8 hours 36 min ago view