Daily Dose: Beaning sends Wright to DL

Leave a comment

David Wright spent Saturday night in the hospital after getting beaned in the head by a 94-mph Matt Cain fastball, but was released Sunday after being diagnosed with post-concussion symptoms. Corey Koskie’s career was ruined by the aftereffects of a concussion and the Mets saw how much it hurt Ryan Church last year, so certainly Wright isn’t out of the woods yet.
However, simply avoiding a major facial injury is great news given the pitch’s speed and location. With the Mets out of contention there was no real need to see if Wright could get back on the field in a hurry, so the team smartly placed him on the disabled list Sunday afternoon. “David wanted to give it a chance to try to go out there and play, but we decided to take it away,” general manager Omar Minaya said.
Wright’s batting average (.324), on-base percentage (.414), and steal total (24) are all the second-best marks of his career, but his power has been absent all season with just eight homers in 497 plate appearances. He’ll no doubt try to come back in two weeks, but certainly could be shut down for the season. Fernando Tatis will man third base in the meantime and should have solid value in NL-only leagues.
While the Mets’ disabled list could probably beat their active roster at this point, here are some other notes from around baseball …


* Saturday was apparently a bad time to be a baseball player’s noggin, because in addition to Wright’s beaning Hiroki Kuroda took a line drive off his forehead and also spent the night in a hospital. Kuroda didn’t lose consciousness and CAT scans were negative, so he was released Sunday and has been cleared to fly with the Dodgers. He’ll be tested further before the team decides if he needs a disabled list stint.
* The deadline to sign draft picks is midnight Monday and 11 of the first 20 picks are unsigned, including No. 1 overall selection Stephen Strasburg. Nationals president Stan Kasten said Saturday that Strasburg has been offered a record-setting contract, but various reports suggest that the current proposal won’t get him signed and some speculation has agent Scott Boras seeking upwards of $40 million.
AL Quick Hits: After sitting out over a month, Torii Hunter (groin) rejoined the lineup with two hits Sunday … Impending free agent Erik Bedard said Saturday that he’d like to re-sign with the Mariners following shoulder surgery … Nick Blackburn had another terrible outing Sunday, serving up three homers before being chased in the third inning … Junichi Tazawa failed to record a strikeout Sunday and coughed up four runs on 10 hits in five innings … Jim Thome will miss at least one game after aggravating his left foot injury Sunday … Juan Rivera went 3-for-8 with four RBIs and three runs Sunday as his three-run homer capped the Angels’ amazing nine-run 13th inning … Mark Ellis delivered a walk-off homer Sunday against Chicago closer Bobby Jenks … Delmon Young is finally showing signs of life, homering Sunday for the third time in six games.
NL Quick Hits: Johnny Cueto is likely to have his next start skipped after going 0-6 with a 10.63 ERA in his last eight outings … Carlos Zambrano (back) is expected to make a rehab start Thursday at Single-A … Jonny Gomes went deep again Sunday and now ranks second to Albert Pujols in at-bats per homer … Roy Oswalt struggled Sunday for the second straight start, giving up five runs over six innings as his ERA climbed above 4.00 … Rich Harden will be skipped in the rotation for now because he warmed up before Sunday’s rainout … Nick Johnson left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury, which is amazingly his first real health issue of the year … Randy Wolf had 10 strikeouts in 7.2 innings of three-run ball Sunday and also went 3-for-4 with a homer, a double, and three RBIs at the plate … After missing his last start with a toe injury, Aaron Cook returned by allowing seven runs Sunday … Colby Rasmus delivered a walk-off homer Sunday against Padres closer Heath Bell.

Why Ryan Zimmerman skipped spring training

Getty Images
Leave a comment

All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.

The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.

It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.

It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.

Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉