Since running through an update of the injuries on this team as it careens into the stretch run is likely to completely replace ‘Morning notes’ as a regular feature, and ‘M*A*S*H* unit’ as an article title might offer too much of an approximation of war injuries with the physical problems associated with throwing a ball too many times, let’s go with ‘Ouch Update’ for a title.
I hate it, you hate it, but all of this news is bad, so it’s appropriate.
- Chris Sale – Just days removed from dismissing Sale’s diminished velocity as an issue, the Sox are now acknowledging that he’s going through a dead arm/fatigue phase, and could push him out of the entire next week of games. With all the concern about Sale’s career-high workload, and what it could mean for his health, this is not only to be expected, but also the easiest problem to deal with. With Liriano in the fold, the Sox now have the flexibility to be patient with Sale and offer him all the breaks that John Danks was supposed to come back and provide. About that…
- John Danks – In a conference call with the press, Kenny Williams referred to the idea of season-ending surgery for Danks’ temperamental shoulder as “news to him”, but later qualified it as a “worst-case scenario.” Following the chain of progression for White Sox injuries this years, that means Danks will have surgery. But without jumping to conclusions, there are two months left in the season, Danks rehabilitation is so stagnant after nine weeks in that he’s considering scrapping it entirely, and the rotation is now deep enough that he’ll not only need to throw rehab outings, but prove himself effective in them. Calibrate expectations appropriately.
- Jesse Crain – After two oblique strains and a shoulder issue, Crain is pretty much fine. For the most part. He claims that he’s still building back strength while on the job, but using 21 pitches to record three straight outs seems like pretty typical Crain.
- Alejandro De Aza – After his collision with Alexei Ramirez on Friday night, it still feels like a small blessing that De Aza isn’t on the disabled list. But the wrist that was already too sore for him to continue on that night has since swelled up on him, and he’s due to miss Monday night’s series opener in Minnesota and–per the rule–probably a bit more. Gordon Beckham in the leadoff spot isn’t going to make it easy to forget that he’s gone, but Jordan Danks is a surprising 3 for 7 (only one K!) in Alejandro’s absence.
- Alexei Ramirez – The other party in Friday night’s collision is presumably fine, since he started Sunday night–not particularly well. There wasn’t much of a choice, though. Eduardo Escobar is out with a permanent case of being traded to the Twins, and backup Rey Olmedo won’t be on the roster till Monday, which will likely prompt the dismissal of Leyson Septimo from the major league club. Ramirez plays pretty much every game unless specifically restrained, so his quick recovery might have stamped out Olmedo’s best chance at a significant playing time.
- A.J. Pierzynski – Now that the layoff for his oblique strain has been five games, and extended at least three separate times for precautionary reasons, Pierzynski will start Monday. He will. He will be put in the lineup Monday, just like he was put in the lineup Sunday according to A.J., only to be yanked out once more. It’s worth noting that the plan is to give Pierzynski another day off on Wednesday just to bring him along slowly. At face value, this is some disciplined prudence from Ventura, but it only works if the first part of the scenario is accurate.
The Sox did very well to squeeze out two games from Texas while dealing with these maladies, and the Twins offer a reduced difficulty for a three-game set that would optimally have the recoveries of Pierzynski and De Aza at the tail end of it.