Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fouled-Off Bunts: Universal Health Care Edition

Not good news all around...

  • Shawn Hill had pain in a throwing session on Saturday and is getting a second opinion on his sore right elbow. He pitched most of the year with forearm pain, which usually translates into elbow problems. Given his previous elbow surgeries, they're being extra cautious, and he's likely out til mid-June at the earliest, pending the results of today's exam.

    Hill's in a tough position in that he's so reliant on the slider and curve to offset that heavy sinker, but those are the same pitches that stress the arm/elbow. Even if there's no structural damage, he's probably always going to have some sort of arm pain, and something could develop down the road. Unless he figures out a way to alter his mechanics to lessen the stress, he could be a ticking time bomb. Of note, he's claiming that altered mechanics after his separated left shoulder are the cause of his latest pain, but I'm pretty sure that he was experiencing forearm stiffness -- which isn't necessarily out of the ordinary for a pitcher -- prior to that.

  • Jason Bergmann, who was supposed to only be out for the minimum, had a cortisone shot in his elbow last week, after having fluid drained from it. There doesn't appear to be a timetable for his return.

  • Ryan Wagner is visiting James Andrews, which is never a good sign. He's having rotator cuff problems, and if there's one injury that a pitcher realllllly doesn't want, it's a rotator cuff problem. They're really hard to fix, and many never get back to full strength, if it's a full tear.

  • Nick Johnson is fielding and hitting, but your guess is as good as his for when he'll return.

  • John Patterson threw 25 pitches from the mound and is long-tossing as he recovers from a mysterious nerve problem in his arm/shoulder/elbow. They think it's something in his neck, just some nerve compression that's affecting his entire arm. Part of his rehab has entailed neck and shoulder massages, which must be a hell of a delightful rehab.

  • Luis Ayala is on the mend.

    Alright... non-injury stuff...
  • Matt Chico bumps Levale Speigner from the rotation on Friday, but that leaves Saturday's spot open, where it's likely that the recently un-DL'd Joel Hanrahan gets the start. Hanrahan throws hard, but has had severe control problems at higher levels. He's walked 11 in 24+ innings this year, which isn't great. He's done well in keeping the ball in the park, at least.

  • If you needed any more proof that Baltimore is a hellhole...

  • Jim Bowden's weakly [sic] column focuses on the draft. He doesn't sleep, it's hard being him, blah blah blah.

  • T(h)om Loverro is fascinated by Ted Leonsis' fascination with "Teh PLAN!!!"

  • If you need a restaurant recommendation, try the good folks at Nationals Farm Authority.

  • Svrluga is officially a blogger, with recurring features and random lists of mostly meaningless and contextless numbers. Welcome to the club! He asks which former Nats we miss, and which were the worst. If you missed it, here's my Top 10 List.

  • The DC Sports Bog has a semi-prescient post on the impending "correction" to the Nats record, and gives us the lowdown on some other similar hot stretches by crappy teams.

  • Why should you care about the Diamondbacks signing some doofus? Because that doofus had a decent chance of being drafted by the Nats next week had he not signed last night. NFA has a rundown of who some of the likely names are.

  • If you didn't see it on my sidebar, OMG's takedown of Tom Boswell's last column is worth a quick read. He also makes a decent argument for why Logan needs more playing time.

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