Sometimes It Feels As If We're Dropping Like Flies
Saturday, 10 AM UPDATE: Bruce Levine's ESPN AM-1000, Talkin' Baseball radio show from this saturday morning has updates
on Soriano's injury saying it's just a jammed finger and not a
dislocation. Also, Lilly's knee symptoms are related to a meniscus problem
and Dempster may just miss one more start.
Also he interviewed Oneri Fleita (Cubs VP of Player Personnel)
who comments on all things in the Cubs minor league system as well as
the recent rule 4 amateur draft, saying 2nd round pick LSU infielder DJ LeMahieu is close to signing.
A dark cloud seems to loom even with a two game winning streak after tonight's 3-1 win vs the Gnats. So I ask, is dropping like flies worse than dropping flys?
This is not following Lou Piniella's script for the 2nd half of the season:
1) Get Healthy and Stay Healthy
2) Score runs
The "Road to Wrigley" game with the Iowa Cubs vs the Vegas 51's isn't coming until August 9th but it looks like the Iowa Cubs will be staying with their parent club just a bit longer, as two more Cub starters are possibly out for days and maybe more.
In the friday night 6-2 win against the Nationals, Alfonso Soriano dislocated his right little "pinky" finger (his throwing hand) in a base running mishap during the 4th inning. He singled to center on a play where DLee was on second but Lee rounded third and held there based on a strong but high throw to the plate by Nyjer Morgan. The catcher, Josh Bard caught the throw well in front of the plate then caught Soriano half way between first and second in an 8-2-6-4 putout. On the replay you can see that Soriano jammed his hand sliding into the base and he pulled on the finger right away apparently reducing the dislocated knuckle. The Comcast telecast also showed Soriano getting treatment from trainer Mark O'Neal as soon as he got back to the dugout but he stayed in the game and even batted again (he grounded out to 3B in the 6th and walked in the 9th). This type of injury doesn't swell until a few hours later but once the swelling develops the finger stiffens up making it hard to grip things (like a baseball or a bat).
From beat writer Paul Sullivan in the Tribune:
He (Soriano) popped it back in and continued to play, but the finger swelled up
overnight. Soriano was scratched from the starting lineup Friday night
and is expected to miss at least a couple more games. "I don't have power in my hand because I can't grab the bat," he said.
Soriano said he’ll play with pain in the finger as long as the swelling
goes down enough for him to grip a bat again. He anticipated missing
only one game, though manager Lou Piniella said he thought it might
take ‘‘a few days.’’
Since it's his throwing hand there is a chance he will miss more than the initial mention of a game or two but it's all about swelling and stiffness as these simple PIP (proximal interphalangeal) joint dislocations are usually stable once reduced and it looks like Soriano provided the best treatment by reducing the injury immediately. Things that complicate a dislocation include adjacent fractures of the phalanges, flexor or extensor tendon damage, collateral ligament injuries or a tear of the volar plate (part of the joint capsule). I'll assume none of the bad stuff happened here. I'm not expecting a DL stint but even that is possible if he can't comfortably swing a bat in a few days. Lou Piniella was quoted, "I think it'll probably be a few days. I don't think it'll go down in one day."
Color this as a few days off but the medical staff will know more in a day or two.
On top of some recent positive updates regarding Ryan Dempster (great toe fracture) and Geo Soto (left oblique strain) feeling much better and looking more like they will miss the minimum 2 weeks we get news that Ted Lilly has a sore knee which has bothered him much of the season. It didn't have any adverse effect in his last start, a 5-2 win against the Cardinals. Lilly pitched a strong game getting the "W" while going 8 innings giving up a measly 4 hits and one run. He was slated to pitch this Saturday in Washington but they've pushed back his start so that Randy Wells will go Saturday and Kevin Hart will get recalled for the Sunday game. Manager Lou Piniella in a pregame chat with the media just said he had some swelling in the knee. The media is running the gamut from just a few extra days to a mention of a DL decision looming. As of now, there really isn't a diagnosis for his knee problem so they will just wait and see how it feels by monday before a decision is needed.
Carrie Muskat at cubs.com:
"When he came back here [Thursday], his knee was bothering him, and the
last couple starts he's had, it's bothered him somewhat," Piniella
said. "We'll see."
Lilly is scheduled tentatively to pitch Monday night in Philadelphia,
but in essence the Cubs are only buying some time before deciding
whether or not to put the left-hander on the 15-day disabled list.
Lilly, the Cubs’ lone All-Star, has pitched through knee discomfort for
much of the season. He returned from the break with the knee flaring up.
There has been no mention of an MRI but if this lingers, I'm sure that's on the agenda. Hopefully it's just a pushback of his start although getting an assignment in Philly isn't something that even the Ted Lilly Supercomputer wants to tabulate.
I'm kind of nostalgic for the Schwarber-for-Miller rumors.
This offseason, after some ridiculous playoff run and Chapman saving every game from here until the end of the postseason striking out 27/9innings, I welcome anyone to quote this thread and call me a dummy: I hate this trade, and my hate is 2 parts Chapman makes this team less likeable and 1 part that's a ridiculous overpay for 30 regular season innings and, at tops, 10 postseason innings. Already hoping they don't extend him.
btw...Thanks AZ Phil. I'm really enjoying your take on this trade.
I'm a bit disappointed on the Warren experience. Essentially they gave Castro away for crickets (OK, well they signed Zobrist with the Castro salary dump). Otherwise one might look at it as Chapman for Castro and our #1 minors prospect (Torres) + McKinney/Crawford. Seems pricey for a 2 month rental. We will see if this price tag is that steep in a relative way based on the remaining deadline deals for relievers.
Yep. One of the great things about this team (in addition to being really good at baseball) was the "likable" factor. Feels a bit different now. Who knows...maybe Chapman will be the king of the dance parties.
Here are some possible corresponding minor league moves we might see in the aftermath of the Chapman trade:
SOUTH BEND to MYRTLE BEACH: OF Donnie Dewees and INF Bryant Flete
EUGENE to SOUTH BEND: OF Robert Garcia and INF Vimael Machin
There is really no reason to replace Billy McKinney at Tennessee because both Chris Coghlan and Jorge Soler are doing their rehab at Tennessee.
And there are plenty of pitchers at Iowa. No need to replace Warren at AAA. .
I am 70 years old. The Cubs last played in the World Series in 1945. I was born in 1946. I hate to lose a prospect like Torres, but when the opportunity is there to get that World Series ring, you go for it. This was the idea in stock piling all this young talent. I would like to see Reddick added now and the Cubbies should be done.
I would expect Richard to accept an optional assignment because based on how he's played this season, there is a decent chance that he won't find work elsewhere. Rather stay and potentially get a ring. Same goes for Coghlan since he's struggled mightily this year.
Edwards should not go down. He's pitched very well and Maddon is very impressed with him. I would expect Grimm to go down for Cahill so he can get back on track (he's pitched better in July, but he's not getting enough appearances).
chitownmvp01: Indeed Clayton Richard would seem to be odd man out once Chapman reports, but Richard might accept a minor league assignment if he is promised a return to Chicago on 9/1 when MLB Active List rosters expand (Richard has minor league ioptions left).
The only player in the deal that would cause me a second thought is Gleyber Torres.
McKinney and Crawford are decent prospects but both are redundant/replaceable in the system and Warren was really only a middle-reliever or #6 starter, so to me it's really just Torres for Chapman.
There is no Comp pick for players traded mid-season. 2+ months of Chapman is it.
to get one of the best you have to give up one/some of your best...but it's a bit painful to watch the system's best prospect walk for any 2-3 month rental, especially one that's not an everyday player.
I assume Chapman will replace Richard on the roster, but who goes down when Cahill gets activated? Maybe Grimm?
And when Soler and Coghlan get healthy, how do they fit them on the roster when they're ready to be activated?
We are giving up a lot, but it's not like we're trading Addison Russell for 2+ months of Jason Hammel. When impact players become available, they are going to cost you. The other bids could also have been high.
Having Chapman as a rental is potentially less disruptive than having him come in with an extension in place.
Billy McKinney had season-ending knee surgery last August and came to Minor League Camp this year somewhat restricted. (He was used mostly as a DH in Cactus League Minor League Camp games), and I'm not sure he's 100% right now (he's repeating AA, and his XBH numbers are way down, like he's not getting good rotation in his lowev half). That might have been part of the reason why the trade wasn't completed right away.
Rashad Crawford was a basketball star in HS (he was known as "Baby Jordan", and baseball was only his second sport) and he has plus-speed and athleticism, so when the Cubs drafted him (Keith Lockhart was the scout) he was seen as a long-term project.
I was at Fitch Park the day that Rashad Crawford became a LH hitter, He waa never a switch-hitter, He went directly from being a RH hitter to a LH hitter, which I had never seen before.