Monday, March 02, 2009

Notebook Dump (Exhibition Game #5)

Game: Twinks 1, Red Sux 2
Spring Training Record: 4-1
The Quote: "Right now, I think I'm the best centerfielder." - Carlos Gomez.
The Notes:
  • The Red Sox's Kevin Youkilis's solo home run off of Craig Breslow was the difference between the Twins remaining perfect in the 2009 Grapefruit League season.  If the picture above feels strange that's because it is: In 38.2 innings of work in 2008 in a Twins uniform, Breslow did not allow a home run.  It also sounded like this particular one by Youkilis was assisted by the wind according to John Gordon and Dan Gladden on KSTP.  Still, with his 40% flyball percentage, it is only a matter of time before a few stray balls find their way over the fence.  Better to have happened in spring training. 
  • Joe Nathan announced that he is withdrawing from the World Baseball Classic due to an irritation in his shoulder, located in his AC joint - where the collarbone and clavicle meet on top of the shoulder.  The news that he is not participating in the WBC is irrelevant.  What is of concern is whether Nathan will be ready by the season opener as the Twins would be forced into the less-than-ideal possibility of having Luis Ayala close out games.  Since his one inning outing against Boston last week, Nathan has not yet thrown and still experiences discomfort in the shoulder area.  Nathan, of course, downplays the situation. "It's kind of been not bad, but the irritation just got a little (greater) as we've gone on here," Nathan said. "It's something I'm not worried about, but I want to take care of it now, so it doesn't get to a point where I do worry about it." 
  • Last Wednesday, Dr. Coco Eaton performed shoulder anthroscopy on the Twins' Boof Bonser, locating several tears in the pitcher's labrum and rotator cuff.  According to the Twins official press release, the partial tears were repaired right away and the tedious process of healing and rehabilitating begin.  At the conclusion of the 2008 season, Bonser says he experienced shoulder discomfort and had an MRI taken.  In the event of a SLAP tear - the superior aspect of the labrum is torn from anterior to posterior - an MRI usually reveals the damage and, as Kelly Thesier reported on, Bonser's procedure showed no damage.  In the Twins' opinion, it was a case of tendinitis and kept Bonser from throwing for several months.  Even if there was non-significant damage to the labrum but some tear revealed in the MRI, the best advice would have been prescribing anti-flammatory medication and withholding Bonser from any throwing activities according to Will Carroll's book "Saving the Pitcher: A Revolutionary Analysis of Pitching Injuries and How to Prevent Them".  Carroll stresses that it is imperative that the pitcher refrains from throwing as to not exacerbate even the slightest tear if following the rest-and-rehabilitate regiment.  Unfortunately for Bonser, he began to throw again in early January then again when pitchers and catchers reported to Fort Myers in February, following a cortisone shot to alleviate the pain.  There may have been a tear existing but was never shown on the MRI that was further damaged upon his return to the mound in February resulting in the partially torn labrum (which the anthroscopy found).  Though the surgical procedure of repairing the torn labrum/rotator cuff are becoming more common, reports Carroll, most often pitchers that return from the surgery lose significant velocity and wind up being consistent injury-risks of re-aggravating the labrum.