Baseball Injury Report

From May 28, 2007 Injury Watch…
Huston Street (RHP, OAK)
While the A’s remain mum on the details of his recovery, we did learn that Street has yet to begin throwing as of Sunday afternoon. He went on the DL two weeks ago and has yet to be given the green light to start light tossing, let alone throwing off a flat surface or a pitching mound. This is enough down time to rule out a mild case of neuritis, or inflammation of the ulnar nerve in his pitching elbow.

Street is fast approaching the date where he will need about the same amount of time he’s missed to get game ready with this ailment. Currently, we won’t see him back until mid-June at the earliest. More likely, the elbow is slow to respond to rest and treatment, meaning he won’t be back until late in the month, maybe even July, if we don’t get a positive report regarding his elbow soon. It is important to note that the A’s are either being very secretive regarding his elbow situation or they are one of the major league teams that are going to be very conservative in releasing information regarding player injuries.

From May 28, 2007 Injury Watch…
Pablo Ozuna (OF, CHA)
Ozuna suffered a serious lower leg injury when he caught his right spike rounding first base. He ending up making a head-first slide into second base and didn’t appear seriously hurt. He walked off the field on his own when he left the game. Surprisingly, he suffered a fractured right fibula (the outside and non-weight-bearing bone) and a torn ligament in his lower right leg.

The reason he was able to walk off the field is due to his high pain tolerance and the fact the fibula does not provide the main support of the body weight; the tibia does. He’s projected to miss at least three months with this injury, though that projection could change after he’s examined again in the next week or so.

From May 24, 2007 Injury Watch…
Bartolo Colon (RHP, LAA)
In his latest start on May 23, Colon was hit hard by the Tigers. He allowed 10 hits, including two homers in 4 1/3 innings of work. He lacked the command of his other starts since coming off the DL. One veteran Angels observer pointed out that Colon did not have the zip and velocity on his pitches that he had in prior starts. Because he missed spring training, this could be a little bit of his dead arm period. Either that, or his pitching shoulder is starting to fatigue and he’s struggling.

His next couple of starts are very important to him. If he does have more trouble, the whole issue regarding his torn rotator cuff and the past two disappointing seasons come back into play.

From May 23, 2007 Injury Watch…
Chris Reitsma (RHP, SEA)
The Mariners placed Reitsma on the disabled list with soreness in his pitching elbow. The Mariners inked him to a deal over the winter to add depth to their bullpen. While he wasn’t dominating, he did pitch well in stretches. He has inflammation in the elbow and is having trouble getting the elbow loose. More will be known about the condition after all of the tests are done.

On the surface, this sounds like a possible flexor tendon problem, but that is pure speculation on my part. Last July, Reitsma underwent surgery while with the Braves to remove some tissue and pressure on the ulnar nerve in his pitching arm. He ended up missing the rest of the season due to the neuritis and surgery on the elbow. One source in Seattle indicated that this does not appear to be a repeat of last year, but the details of the malady aren’t known yet.

From May 22, 2007 Injury Watch…
Bobby Crosby (SS, OAK)
There was never any talk that Crosby’s career was on the downside last offseason, but you had to wonder if the thought occurred to general manager Billy Beane. Crosby had suffered a serious back ailment (which was misdiagnosed, by the way), and his immediate future was cloudy. This spring he got off to a slow start and his manager talked about weekly days off to protect his back. Players of Crosby’s age should not need extra days off on a weekly basis.

This rest concept supported the talk that his back wasn’t 100% entering the season and might not be all year. As we inch closer to Memorial Day and the one-third mark of the season, Crosby is showing signs at the plate that his back may be improving. He’s batting .299 this month, with three homers and 10 RBIs. Crosby is getting around on outside pitches better than he did early in the season, an indication that his flexibility is better than it was in early April. He has seven walks and nine strikeouts, suggesting he’s seeing the ball better, too. He’s played in 11 straight games and hasn’t had any fatigue at this point. He’s showing signs that his power will return to the 2004 levels.

I’m not convinced he’ll hit more than 20 home runs this season, but the high teens and a .275-290 batting average aren’t out of the question.

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