A-Rod’s doctor is surprised he could even play in the playoffs

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Joel Sherman of the New York Post has an exclusive interview with the doctor who will perform hip surgery on Alex Rodriguez. A couple of interesting nuggets:

  • The injury had “zero to do with steroids,” which is what a lot of people assume when it comes to hip injuries and ballplayers;
  • The injury was so severe that A-Rod’s hip totally shut down, and the doctor was surprised he was able to play at all, let alone play productively, in the playoffs.
  • The doctor believes that A-Rod will, assuming all goes well with surgery and recovery, return shortly after the All-Star break.

This is all pretty interesting. What is more interesting to me, however, is that given how severe this injury is being described, why on Earth did the Yankees allow A-Rod to dangle like they did during the playoffs, going through the whole bit with the benching and never once saying that, hey, their third baseman had an extremely serious injury.

Instead: they let the media run the bus over him, stop, back it up, and run him over a few more times.  It’s baffling.

Report: Steven Matz has been pitching through pain, may need elbow surgery

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Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Mets starter Steven Matz has been pitching through pain for most of the season. He may need surgery to fix a nerve issue in his elbow. Matz was sidelined in spring training with an elbow injury and made his regular season debut on June 10.

Matz, 26, has struggled over 13 starts, posting a 6.08 ERA with a 48/19 K/BB ratio in 66 2/3 innings. Many were scrambling for explanations for his pitching woes and now they have it.

According to Carig, the Mets let Matz skip his bullpen sessions to help him pitch through the pain. Given the Mets’ shoddy history of dealing with injuries, that’s not a good look for the club.

Carig noted on Twitter that Jacob deGrom offers some optimism for Matz’s case. deGrom underwent right elbow surgery to repair ulnar nerve damage last September and bounced back to have a great season this year.

Clayton Kershaw’s simulated game went so well he threw an extra inning

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Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to throw three innings in a simulated game on Monday. That simulated game went so well, he threw an extra inning, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start next and could be activated towards the end of next week.

Kershaw, 29, has been on the disabled list since July 24 with a lower back strain. That put the pause button on another outstanding season. He’s carrying a 15-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The 87-35 Dodgers have run away with the NL West, needing some combination of 20 wins and 20 Rockies losses (19 for the third-place Diamondbacks) to officially clinch the division. While the Dodgers are all but mathematically assured of reaching postseason baseball, the club would still like to get Kershaw as ready as possible over the next month-plus.