According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Shin-Soo Choo is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment today with Class A Lake County.
Choo required surgery after being hit in the left thumb by a pitch on June 24. He began taking batting practice last week and was cleared to return after having his surgically-repaired thumb examined by Dr. Thomas Graham on Saturday and making it through BP with Lake County yesterday with no issues.
This has been a disappointing season for Choo in many respects. In addition to his DUI in the spring and recent thumb injury, the 29-year-old outfielder is batting just .244/.333/.353 with five homers, 28 RBI and a .687 OPS over 306 plate appearances.
It’s not known how many at-bats Choo will need in the minor leagues, but he has previously said that he would like to return during a series against the White Sox from August 16-18. While he should be back sometime within the next two weeks, that might not be quick enough to help the reeling Indians. After losing eight of their last 12, the Indians currently sit at 56-56, four games behind the first-place Tigers in the American League Central.
We’re not talking the 100 meters here. We’re talking practical baseball sprinting. That’s defined by the StatCast folks at MLB as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window,” while sprinting for the purposes of, you know, winning a baseball game.
StatCast ranked all players who have at least 10 “max effort” runs this year. I won’t give away who is at the top of this list, but given that baseball’s speedsters tend to get a lot of press you will not be at all surprised. As for the bottom of the list, well, the Angels don’t pay Albert Pujols to run even when he’s not suffering from late career chronic foot problems, so they’ll probably let that one go. I will say, however, that I am amused that the third slowest dude in baseball is named “Jett,” however.
Lately people have noticed some odd things about home run distances on StatCast, suggesting that maybe their metrics are wacko. And, of course, their means of gauging this stuff is proprietary and opaque, so we have no way of knowing if their numbers are off the reservation or not. As such, take all of the StatCast stuff you see with a grain of salt.
That said, even if the feet-per-second stuff is wrong here, knowing that Smith is faster than Jones by a factor of X is still interesting.
All-Star voting ends this Thursday night, just before midnight eastern time. The All-Star teams — at least how they’ll appear before the dozen or two substitutions we’ll get before the game — will be unveiled on Sunday at 7pm on ESPN, just before Sunday Night Baseball.
Which means you still have time to alter these standings, which now stand as the final update before things are set in, well, not stone, but at least some Play-Doh which has been left out of the can too long and is kinda hard to mess with.