Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.

Michael Brantley’s shoulder is giving him problems again

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Potentially bad news in Cleveland. Michael Brantley is dealing with fatigue in his surgically-repaired right shoulder.

Brantley didn’t start Tuesday or Wednesday (the Tribe had yesterday off) and he’s finding that the more he plays the worse his shoulder is holding up. This occurred during spring training as well so it may just be a chronic thing he battles all year and for which he’ll simply need more days off. It’s being portrayed as good news by the Indians inasmuch as he says he’s feeling better with the rest.

Still, the production is lacking thus far. He’s batting only .231/.279/.282 with no homers in 43 plate appearances this season. Worth watching.

Andrew Heaney: “I’m trying to will my body to heal itself”


Angels starter Andrew Heaney has a bum elbow. He has damage to his UCL and, for now, he and the club are trying to rehab it rather than have him undergo Tommy John surgery. He’s received platelet-rich plasma injections and it takes time for that to work. In the meantime he waits.

But he doesn’t just wait, Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register reports:

Heaney, who is trying to treat his sore elbow without surgery, said he’s started meditating in an effort to help the healing process.

“Right now I’m trying to will my body to heal itself,” Heaney said Thursday. “The mind is a powerful thing.”

Some people laugh at this stuff, but visualization and positive thinking works for some people. Personally I’m skeptical of how much mind can work to overcome matter, but there’s certainly no harm. More importantly, a lot of players who deal with injuries talk about how isolating and discouraging the whole process is. Medical science will ultimately fix the elbow (or not) but there is no reason why Heaney should suffer mentally while that all plays out. There’s more to a patient than just the nuts and bolts.


Santiago Casilla was NOT happy Bruce Bochy pulled him from the game

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The Giants beat the Diamondbacks last night, but it got dicey late, and that led to one angry San Francisco Giants pitcher.

With the score at 4-2 entering the bottom of the ninth, Giants manager Bruce Bochy put his closer, Santiago Casilla in the game. Casilla allowed a double, a single and then walked a guy to load the bases. He also struck two men out, but the bases were loaded and Jake Lamb was coming to the plate, one single away from tying the game and forcing extras, one extra-base hit away from winning it for Arizona. Notably, Lamb hit a homer off of Casilla last month.

Bruce Bochy had seen enough and didn’t let Casilla face Lamb. Rather, he called on Javier Lopez. Lopez retired Lamb and the Giants were victorious. Afterward, however, Casilla voiced is displeasure. From John Shea’s story in the San Francisco Chronicle:

But long after the game, in a corner of the visitors’ clubhouse at Chase Field, closer Santiago Casilla was fuming because he was pulled by manager Bruce Bochy with two outs and the bases loaded in the ninth inning. Casilla was furious on the mound when Bochy arrived and wasn’t over it after the game.

“The reason I got upset was because he took me out of the game where I thought he had confidence in me,” said Casilla, who was replaced by left-hander Javier Lopez, who retired lefty-swinging Jake Lamb to end the game. “I think I could pitch to the lefty, but I guess it shows the manager didn’t have faith in me.”

Well, don’t load the bases up in a close game and maybe that’s not an issue? Crazy, I know!

Casilla ended up saying that he’s just an employee and that he respects Bochy’s decisions. But if he really did I doubt he fumes like that.