Here’s what we know: Roy Halladay needs shoulder surgery to correct a number of issues. He’ll be sidelined at least three months. He thinks this is good news.
That’s Doc’s 2013 in a nutshell.
Of course, it is good news. Halladay could have been out for over a year had his rotator cuff been fully torn instead of only partially “frayed.” But when “shoulder surgery/three months” is the light at the end of the tunnel, you know things have gotten bad.
Which brings us to what we don’t know: if Halladay — who turns 36 in five days — will ever again be effective, let alone the same. Even if Doc overcomes the odds — which as laid out in painstaking detail by Rotoworld’s own Eno Sarris at FanGraphs, are daunting — “the same” is a pipe dream at this point.
If Doc’s injury-marred and uncharacteristically poor 2012 was the foreshadowing, 2013 is the ominous event. Maybe the clouds will break, the sun will rise. There’s just not a lot to grab hold of right now, no matter how positive Halladay is feeling.
In sports, decline is rarely a gently sloped hill. It’s a cliff, sudden and unexpected, even when we should be expecting it. Halladay’s demise is hard to fathom after he simply toyed with the 1,926 batters he faced during his age 33 and 34 campaigns, but there’s a price to be paid for 2,531 innings pitched. For 66 complete games.
Those were just two of the dashboard warning lights that were already on for Halladay heading into 2012. Were they guarantees the wheels — or more correctly, his arm — would fall off? No. But for however sad Halladay’s situation has become, it’s not something only a fortune teller could have seen coming.
To indulge a cliché, if there’s anyone who can do it, it’s Halladay. “It” being survive — beating the baseball odds and not only pitching again, but thriving again. But as Eno showed us in sobering fashion, pitchers over the age of 35 and shoulder injuries simply don’t mix.
It’s true that we’re in a new age of sports medicine. Just ask Adrian Peterson. But the odds that Halladay stares down his predicament and induces a harmless grounder are slim.
Where there was mystery and intrigue with Roy Halladay’s injury, there was neither when J.J. Putz departed Tuesday’s win over the Dodgers with an elbow injury.
“I’ve never felt anything like it before,” Putz said after the game. 16 hours later he was on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow strain, with “all signs” pointing to “major” elbow surgery. In these parts, that’s known as “Tommy John.”
With Putz’s usual setup man David Hernandez struggling, Heath Bell (#ClubHeath) is the first man up in the Diamondbacks bullpen. Nevermind his nightmarish 2012 or shaky April. Bell got his first shot at redemption last night against the Dodgers. He started off the proceedings by doing exactly what you’d expect him to do — serving up a leadoff double. It was only then that he changed course, retiring A.J. Ellis, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford in order to end the game.
Bell’s comeback tour figures to be a rollercoaster, but saves are saves, and if he’s in position to get them, that makes him a must add in all formats. Just have Hernandez — and some Pepto Bismol — at the ready.
The Grandy Man Can
If you’ve been stashing Curtis Granderson (forearm), your day has finally come. The Yankees’ slugging outfielder will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, putting him on track to return as early as next week.
Granderson missed nearly all of spring training, so the Yankees could decide he needs closer to 10-14 days than a week to get ready. But the finish line is in sight, and next weekend’s series against the Blue Jays is a logical return date. Weekly league owners should be targeting the week of May 20 to get Granderson back in their lineups.
With the Yankees in the midst of a brutal 17 games in 16 days stretch, it’s not outside the realm of possibility they’ll rush Granderson’s return if they’re in dire need of a reinforcement.
National League Short Hops: Can it get worse for the Dodgers? It can get worse for the Dodgers. Adrian Gonzalez left Wednesday’s (latest) loss with an aggravation of his neck injury. Hold on to your butts. … Out since last Thursday, Jayson Werth will undergo an MRI on his ailing hamstring. A backdated DL stint is a real possibility. … Troy Tulowitzki (leg) missed his second straight game. He could return this afternoon. … Santiago Casilla is undergoing an MRI on his sore right knee. … Johnny Cueto (lat/oblique) will throw another bullpen session this afternoon. He’ll likely head back out on the rehab trail if all goes as planned. … Carlos Zambrano has signed with the Atlantic League’s Long Island Ducks. It’s ok to laugh. … Au revoir, Jonathan Sanchez.
American League Short Hops: Will Middlebrooks (ribs) is day-to-day after an MRI revealed no serious issues. … Turns out a little bit of ice and a few days rest didn’t do the trick for A.J. Pierzynski’s oblique, as he’s been placed on the 15-day disabled list. Geovany Soto will fill-in behind the dish in Texas. … Ryan Madson (elbow) could be activated as early as next Wednesday. He’s suffered multiple setbacks, so don’t exhale just yet. … J.A. Happ (knee/ear) will be sidelined multiple weeks. … Brett Anderson (ankle) will likely head out on a rehab stint following a successful Wednesday bullpen session. … Josh Reddick (wrist) was placed on the DL retroactive to Tuesday. The A’s hope he’ll be back in the minimum 15 days. … Clay Buchholz always wears sunscreen.
Game Notes: Making his first start since April 26, Jake Peavy (back) held the Mets to just one run in 6 2/3 innings of work. … Vernon Wells played third base for some reason. … Jordan Zimmermann did his thing. … Paul Goldschmidt swatted a pair of home runs. … So did Dan Uggla. … Edward Mujica improved to 9-for-9 in save opportunities. … Edwin Encarnacion joined the 10-homer club. … So did Bryce Harper. … Josh Hamilton hit his third home run. All three have come against the Astros.