Monday, August 25, 2008

Injury Barrage

There is a ton of news on the injury front today.

Carlos Guillen had yet another flair up of his back. This one will not be going away folks. With the team out of the race, there really doesn't appear to be a reason for him to play and make it worse. How many times this year has a player missed time due to injury, got clearance to play through the injury, only to end up with the injury getting worse later? Guillen, Inge, Willis, Jones, Zumaya, Tata, and Sheffield off the top of my head. To say that is a troubling pattern is an understatement. It's getting to the point where somebody should be held accountable in the offseason.

Evidentally, Dontrelle Willis left today's game with forearm tightness. First off, forearm tightness is typically a precursor to ligament problems in the elbow. While that hasn't been diagnosed, it wouldn't be entirely shocking. Once again, he has been pitching with a sore knee and altered mechanics all year. You had to have seen this coming right?

Update: Jason Beck's blog confirms this. Let's do a quick google search for pitcher + forearm + tightness and see what comes up.

The first result: showing that worry should be taken with forearm tightness.

Shawn Hill has been battling his forearm tightness since the Spring, and it simply hasn't gone away yet.

Sergio Mitre battled forearm tightness all spring and finally opted for Tommy John surgery in July.

Jeremy Accardo is on the disabled list with forearm tightness. I thought I remember him going under the knife, but can't find confirmation that he did.

Finally, two other names that pop up are Aaron Harang (back but struggling) and Carl Pavano (Tommy John)

If this is indeed an elbow injury, at the very least it would answer some questions surrounding Dontrelle Willis' sudden lack of effectiveness. Unfortunately, it would only lead to more questions about whether this could have been prevented with more precautions.

Update #2: Dontrelle apparently had this problem last year, leaving a start in June with forearm tightness. He was noticeably worse from the time of this injury to the end of the season, posting a 5.42 ERA in this time. If the mechanical issues and knee problems that Willis has had are, as Will Carroll put it, a "chicken & egg" issue, then this potential elbow problem would basically be some baby mama (chicken/hen doesn't have the same ring) drama.

Jon Kibler heads to the disabled list for West Michigan. The Whitecaps' ace heads to the shelf with shoulder inflammation. This is potentially awful news for a guy who was pushing himself onto the prospect radar with a great season this year.

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