He went on the disabled list for two months, and when he came back, he had a new injury that affected his swing. A separate, disquieting notion had taken root, a sense that he was trying to find something that he had lost. “It was like old Bryce right there,” hitting coach Rick Schu said after one batting practice session. “Good to see.”
Hand injuries are hell on hitters – Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos both suffered power drains when they returned this season. Without full strength in his hand, Harper can make the same swing he always and receive different feedback. You can see why he spiked his helmet at first base after the flyout to the track last night, where the frustration comes from. For so long, the swing he put on that ball would be enough to drive it out of the park. With a left thumb three months removed surgery, it died at the track.
Harper keeps changing his stance and tweaking his swing, but what Harper’s looking for may not be discovered until his thumb strengthens. It is a physical issue that led to shaken confidence that led to mechanical issues.
“I would not discount the fact that he had an injury to his top hand,” Williams said on 106.7 The Fan. “If you don’t feel strong or if you feel something is wrong with your hand, that can affect you. Him coming back from an injury is not easy. If we have a little bit of patience, put in some good hard work, hopefully he gets hot here and he can carry us a little bit, too.”
It seems Harper is heading for a Carlos Gonzalez comp of “Great Talent, but Always Hurt”.
• I just don’t think Mark Trumbo is close to being 100% healthy. Before going on the DL, he had a .296 ISO with a 74% Contact%. After the coming back from a stress fracture in his foot, he has a .041 ISO (just three doubles in 79 PA) and a 67% Contact%. It just may be a lost season for him at this point.
Stat: Buchholz vs Pitcher X
K/9: 6.6 vs 6.2
BB/9: 3.4 vs 2.6
ERA: 6.20 vs 5.97
xsFIP: 4.43 vs 3.93
Pitcher X is Jacob Turner and the Marlins thought he was so bad they released him. Buchholz has been a bit unlucky this season, but is basically around a 4.00 ERA pitcher.
“It’s just a question of making sure that we’re not putting him in a position where he’s compromised and maybe is at risk of doing something else by making up for what’s going on in his foot. We’re just working through that. I think part of the reason it was managed conservatively last year is because of where the Cardinals were; and based on where we are now, this is obviously a long-term proposition. We acquired him for a long time. We just want to make sure we get it right.”
There’s no timetable for Craig’s return.
“He feels good,” Cherington said. “He doesn’t feel like he’s that far away from playing. But we’re just going to try to be methodical on this one, because he’s new to the organization, because we’re managing a new case and because there’s a lot of information to digest. We just want to go through all of that before we make a decision on when he’s going to play again.”
I read the following as: “We are just shutting him down”.
• A note for next season, CC Sabathia had surgery on his knee and unexpectedly found a bone spur. When you at the point in the draft when people are just taking chance, maybe give CC a little more love for a possible bounce back.
Cain said on Tuesday that he has had bone chips and spurs in his throwing arm, which are prompting next Monday’s season-ending surgery, “for a long time.” Moreover, the 29-year-old said that he never has had full range of motion in his arm, dating to high school. Nor will the upcoming procedure, to be performed in San Francisco by team orthopedist Dr. Ken Akizuki, restore his flexibility.
Cain would have preferred to avoid surgery. But he ultimately realized that he needed it if he wanted to continue to pitch.
“It came down to, really, my body wouldn’t let me [pitch],” he said. “I lost too much range of motion in my arm. It was going to hurt to throw. I probably would have lost stuff, too. It was just time to do it.
Fastball Velocity Watch for Pitchers Returning From the DL
• Jordan Lyles‘s average fastball velocity looks fine.
• Kyuji Fujikawa‘s velocity looks fine.
Players on the DL
(*) 15 Day Disabled List
(**) 60 Day Disabled List
(***) 7 Day Concussion List
(****) Free Agent
Red colored entries are updates since last report.
Major League Report
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