I’ve never been horribly injured.
My parents tell me I was born with a broken collar bone. As a first grader, I accidentally brought my hand down hard on a pencil point. Somehow I didn’t shatter anything in junior high when I accepted a dare to go down Bloody Murder Hill on my bike with no hands and also my eyes closed. I once bounced off a cab while riding my bike in Center City Philadelphia but careened safely into another cyclist. I assume he was fine. He sounded okay as I pedaled away in tears.
The point is, baseball players are an ever-shifting rubric of horrible injuries, the likes of which we may never understand. In the past and future 24 hours, MLB saw two of its All-Stars go down at incredibly poor times, while one returns to try and salvage something, anything, out of what has already been deemed a lost season by many with common sense.
There wasn’t a ton to say about the Reds offense before the best hitter tore his meniscus. But here we are, saying that.
Jay Bruce had just finished going 3-for-3, sending Votto to third with a single, when the first baseman came up lame after a slide. Dusty Baker started making statements about Votto’s superhuman healing abilities, but no matter what kind of sorcery is involved, the Reds’ best player is being sent to the 15-day DL for arthroscopic knee surgery that could legitimately delete him from the NL Central equation for 3-4 weeks.
All of that sounds pretty serious, but the surgery to fix him is expected to take about 20 minutes.
But now comes the part where the Red have to invent a temporary Joey Votto from within their organization. Which is tough, given the superhumanity involved.
Greenhorn Todd Frazier has already stepped in, but if he’s called upon to fill another hole, Miguel Cairo is another option. Triple-A Louisville has bred a six-year minor league vet named Henry Rodriguez, a utility infielder who can come at you from either side and has hit, successfully, which could be jarring to the remainder of the Cincinnati lineup. And there are other teams with possible space-fillers, but
Scrambling to fill a massive hole is a daunting task, and really, there is no getting around the fact that the Reds are a far weaker team. Battling the Cardinals and Pirates for a divisional top spot has them fighting for their lives every day. Now, it seems, they’ve dropped their best weapon; a development that could lead to a power vacuum in the NL Central.
The groans that must have gone up in Toronto-area sports bars when Bautista keeled over in pain must have been raucous. Assuming there wasn’t an offseason pee wee hockey training league game on TV.
But whether Canada knows about it or not doesn’t make Bautista’s left wrist any less inflamed.
Jose was doing what he normally does in New York yesterday, trying to put a baseball on the moon, and was almost successful, if it hadn’t hooked foul. By the time the cameras cut back to him, he was already crouched on the ground, having clutched his left arm immediately after his swing.
Naturally, everybody asked Yankees catcher Russell Martin just what in the hell was going on.
“I’m not really quite sure what happened. It could’ve been a bunch of things. I’m not a doctor.”
Excellent point, Russell.
Claiming the Blue Jays are in a playoff race would be met a few more chuckles than making the same claim about the Reds, but the loss is still pertinent within the organization. The blur of human suffering that has been the Jays’ season thus far made it seem as though a key bird in their nest was just destined to take a tumble.
X-Rays were negative, fortunately, and further tests will be conducted, but in their search for a replacement, Toronto paid for the contract of Anthony Gose–one of many prospects that the Phillies get to watch enter the Majors and see if their massive prospect-dumps over the past few years were worth it.
With the injury, Bautista joins an elite group of teammates who have all gone down with broken pieces in 2012:
- Brandon Morrow
- Kyle Drabek
- Drew Hutchinson
- Luis Perez
- Sergio Santos
- Jesse Litsch
- Dustin McGowan
- Everyone’s feelings of hopefulness
Meanwhile, the promise of massive injuries inspiring a big trade deadline move for Justin Upton begin to stir. Which I’m sure would really help, until Upton steps in a bear trap on his way out of the dugout or something.
And finally, a bit of good news, sort of.
The Phillies have been stumbling through the 2012 schedule, casting off any predictions of maintained greatness months ago. Their putrid entry in the NL East has all but ended the golden era of the past five years, sending a fanbase oddly accustomed to glory back into what they refer to as “’90s mode” in the Delaware Valley.
It’s a form of hibernation that involves great amount of alcohol and putting much of your emotional energy into the Eagles. Which is a gamble in and of itself.
Part of their poor performance has been a string of injuries to key players, but unlike those above, they occurred either earlier in the season, or before the season even started. Only now, with less than half a schedule to play, are they seeing their coveted starters return.
Tonight, the last of those missing persons arrives for the second game of a series in Los Angeles. This time, it’s Roy Halladay, the staff ace who disappeared himself in order to correct a less-than-Halladay start to the year. It seemed to be courtesy of a strained right latissimus dorsi, which Phillies writers have enjoyed spelling for weeks now.
With a four-game win streak on the line–that’s scalding hot for this bunch–Doc is asked to step in and lead the team to whatever the Phillies are really going to accomplish this season.
Doc shook off a pitch count, and the coaching staff seems fairly confident that they can just leave him alone because he’s Roy Halladay and he knows his own body and he’s got that really intense stare that, once you see it, it kind of burns itself onto the inside of your eye lids. Roy is apparently the one who decided he’d made enough rehab starts, so leaving things in his hands isn’t a new concept in the Phillies clubhouse.