Injuries

DeSclafani’s elbow soreness returns

The adage that bad news comes in threes has a new application in the age of Twitter. Witness three Reds beat writers dutifully tweeting out this bad, terrible, awful news:

This ends the regularly scheduled “there’s no red alert at this time” part of the broadcast. None of us need be reminded of the proximity the ulnar collateral ligament has to one’s broken elbow.

I’ll add a contribution of my own from that website.

The Enquirer now has a short article up about the situation. Also Sheldon at MLB.com. More to follow.

60 thoughts on “DeSclafani’s elbow soreness returns

  1. Pretty easy to see this coming. Unless you work on the Reds medical staff. Ugh.

  2. They’ll try to use “rest and rehab” until July when it’s just long enough that he’ll have to miss this year and next year and then decide to have TJ surgery

    • It may just be bone spurs, some loose debris in the elbow. An MRI will show what it is. Might be arthroscopic surgery and back in six weeks.
      But the recurring soreness is more that just early season work load and throwing.

  3. Wishing and hoping for the best … preparing for the worst. Either way our projected “Ace” is on the shelf for a bit. I wonder who steps up and what we get to see …

    And I, for one, don’t discredit or blame the Reds’ med staff. We see it because we follow the Reds so closely. It happens everywhere, friends. To say we’ve got an incompetent staff is, at the very least, flippant and reactionary. They get paid to do a job and are qualified to do it. It isn’t like they are making a mint either … off that particular soap box now for me.

    • The management of Votto’s knee was incompetent, can we agree on that? And Cueto’s oblique strain lasting from October 2012 through most of 2013 seems a little….off. Maybe the rest of it is bad luck/the same as other teams, but I have my doubts.

    • I don’t think they’re incompetent, but I always wonder why they don’t take an MRI when these issues initially arise? $? Couldn’t be that, given the big bucks they invest in these guys…

      • I read on one of the reports that he had undergone a diagnostic ultrasound. In some ways, it is even better than MRI, especially because you can move the part through the range of motion and see what the suspected parts actually do and if they are damaged. It is somewhat limited versus MRI though because it can’t always see everything, which is generally due to depth of the tissue you’re trying to view.

  4. Bailey on the DL…indefinitiely (bad decision to sign a pitch to a long-term FA contract at market value). Straily traded (a solid decision and baseball move). Disco on the DL with an undetermined ailment/injury. The starting rotation looks like another patchwork exercise for the 2017 season. We are now needing 3-4 of the young pitching prospects to reach their potential rather than 1-2 of the young pitching prospects to reach their potential.

    The 2017 season is shaping up like another run to a top 5 draft pick in 2018…ugh. This is WJ’s legacy. I hope his advice and insight as a mentor and adviser is limited to selections from the breakfast menu and not anything even remotely related to baseball decisions.

    • Hopefully the Reds learn to target bats and trade for arms. Less risk and more action on the ball.

    • “This is WJ’s legacy.” ? Why do Cardinal pitchers pull up lame, yet the GM isn’t hung out to dry?

      A couple of pitchers got injured. Happens to teams all over the league.

      • You are absolutely correct…injuries happen. That has nothing to do with WJ. It’s part of the game and the physical demands of the game. The poor roster management, especially related to the pitching staff, creating need to extend Bailey’s contract was WJ’s legacy. Not creating a plan to move from 2012 to 2016 without jettising the entire starting rotation enmasse was WJ’s legacy. Not filling needs to make a serious playoff run when the opportunity existed was WJ’s legacy.

        A rebuild is always inherently a crapshoot, unless a team has the financial resources to cover for injuries and mistakes in player evaluation. A minor league system, that has players ready when needed to step up and fill needs, avoids a rebuild and the inherent risks of a rebuild. That’s what the Birds do and they jettisoned WJ when he didn’t fit the plan for such an organization.

        I still hope…desperately,,,that this rebuild will be successful and get the Reds back to competitiveness, but when the rebuild keeps getting pushed back a year, every year, that does not bode well for a positive result.

  5. I like the Lorenzen to rotation idea but I also would see if you could get Quintana for a package of …?

    • That discussion begins (and hopefully ends) with Nick Senzel…not going to happen.

      • It always takes 2-3 top prospects for the Reds to acquire someone, but when other teams are acquiring Bruce, Chapman, and Frazier…they always seem to get a mid to low level prospect.

        • You’re comparing apples to oranges.

          Chapman, Leake, Frazier were all rentals. Quintana is signed for 3 more years at a friendly rate. Huge difference.

          There was a limited market for Frazier and the White Sox learned this winter that there is virtually no market for Frazier.

          • Yes, and then there was the timing of the trades. Rather than moving them when their stock was way up, the Reds waited until their peak value had disappeared and then decided to move them.

            The Reds took a different approach when they move Straily this season. Straily’s value had never been higher than at the end of last season and will probably never be higher. I hated to see Straily traded. I think he could have helped the Reds on so many levels, but it was the right move to make at the right time.

          • Chapman trade was a huge mistake on the Reds’ part. Needed to move him at the deadline or take the gamble and the $$ hit to move him during 2016’s deadline. They didn’t want to risk the money for the possibility that he’d get hurt or be ineffective after the suspension. I get that. Just not the right move.

            Frazier wasn’t a rental. He had 2 affordable years left on his deal. 2016 was a lot less than 2017 though and he hasn’t helped his value by being iffy towards the end of 2015 and not so great last year. Sox are probably not too happy about that trade right now. Not sure it was a bad trade for the Reds in retrospect.

            The Leake trade was about what we should have expected and Duvall may end up making that trade look good. It wasn’t a stinker though.

    • Yes to Lorenzen

      Not to Quintana due to cost

      Sal Ramano may make all of us forget pitching woes after he is called up in June. That guy is flat out getting the job done

      • I posted the above before Sal’s pitching today…..

        Is Sal Ramano a #1 starter for the Reds right now? I think this guy gets 3 starts wherever AA, AAA and then he is going to be with the big club for the rest of his career.

        this guy is good

      • There are a few people in the org that aren’t even sure that Sal Romano should really be a starting pitcher and that he is destined for the bullpen, so lets not jump the gun quite yet. I know that Doug is pretty high on him and he has had a nice spring to go along with some good work last year. Personally, I think he may end up being a good starter and assuming he remains healthy, his floor is a nice bullpen piece. I think he needs significant time working in AAA though; at least 10-12 starts.

    • Unless the Reds go shopping on the DFA scapeheap towards the end of spring training (and that’s where they founf Dan Straily!), those are the candidates. The competition begins in eanest this week. We should see signicant reassignments to the minor league camp and extended playing time for the regulars and competitors for the open positions.

  6. Pitching Injuries happen in this era of hard sliders and 95 mph fastballs. The PED era was largely fueled by pitchers searching for faster recovery times- to both avoid the dead arm in the bullpen in August and to prolong a career.
    This is a systemic issue in baseball. Ask a Mets fans about Wheeler and Matt Harvey or a Cards fan about Reyes or the Red Sox about Price. Steven Strasburg shut down his arm years ago after Tommy John in a pennant race to protect his future and limit his innings. That hasn’t worked out so well.

    We aren’t good at quantitating (bio) mechanics, but the eye test tells us Tom Browning and Mike Leake and Tom Glavine and Bronson Arroyo ( before age 35) were durable guys with easy deliveries who didn’t need 95 mph or the hard slider to get batters out.
    The Reds need to spend more time and research into identifying those guys. I certainly don’t want them to draft an 18 year old who throws 96 in the June draft but has been pitching 10 months a year since he was 9 years old.

    The Reds also need to be more proactive with their position players and bullpen. They play 162 games. They need 4 everyday outfielders and 2 everyday catchers. B-Ham needs to be limited to 135 starts to protect him. IF you Votto to be productive at age 38, its time to start limiting him to 140 games. They need to expand upon their bullpen philosophy from last year to protect all guys. That said, I cant see how this particular arm issue with Disco was avoidable. Good luck to him.

  7. The Reds have been terrible with handling injuries under this ownership. They are too shortsighted when handling injuries. Chapman was on the starting track until Madsen got injured and ownership let Baker poison Chapman’s mind about being a “dominant” closer. Now they may change Lorenzen’s role to a starter? Yes, Lorenzen should be a starter, but the Reds aren’t sold on that. Either way, decide what maximizes talent and value and then COMMIT.

    The Reds’ shortsightedness under this ownership has hurt the Reds.

    • Your Chapman narrative probably doesn’t include all of the factors involved, and, while I agree–based on what I know, which isn’t much–about Lorenzen being tried as a starter, there are some significant warning flags about that: Injury and complete lack of experience with the workload. I think that all of us, to some extent, base our thinking about pitchers upon past years. As Old-School ably points out, pitchers throw much harder now than they did even 20 years ago, and, joints and connective tissue having not evolved in that time span, pitchers are probably much more prone to serious injury now than they were then. Even pitchers on teams other than the Reds.

    • Some pitchers perform much better in the bullpen than they do in the starting rotation for a number of reasons. I totally get wanting to see Lorenzen, arguably the team’s best pitcher last season, start every fifth day. But we saw a historically bad bullpen before his installation in the back half of it. We also saw how dominant a multi-inning shutdown reliever can be from the other Ohio team. You need some designated bullpen arms, or the pen will always be an afterthought. As shown by the 2016 Reds, an afterthought bullpen is only good for getting you the second pick in the draft.

      I think Lorenzen can work great as a swing man in this specific scenario – have him start a few games, and pull him for a reliever before his third time through the lineup. I think the Reds are set on keeping him in the bullpen for the long term, and I’m fine with that. We have to remember that they’ve got so much more information on Lorenzen than the fans do, and with DW’s small-but-impressive track record when it comes to using information so far, I’m giving him and the front office the benefit of the doubt on this one.

  8. I’m hoping this report creates an avalanche of “Edward Scissorhands performs surgery for the Reds. The Reds suffer more injuries than the 1940 French Army” post.

    That narrative may be accurate, but for the love of God will someone just offer some actual facts…..just once.

    • I agree, Chuck. Facts would be welcome. Might even defuse this fraught discussion.

    • I don’t know if that data is out there. Injury data, in the form of “man-games lost” is out there. When I looked at it last, the Reds had more than their fair share but weren’t anywhere near the bottom really. I’ll see if I can dig that info up again.

      • It’s https://www.mangameslost.com but the free level of the site only lets you look at the current year’s data. I do recall that the Reds were worse than average for man-games lost but not in the bottom 3 teams. I don’t think there is data on surgery success rates or anything like that available. All injuries are different and I’m not sure how you’d normalize health data at that level. I will note that the data is based on time spent on the DL and the Reds do sometimes seem more reluctant than other teams to use the DL, so that may skew the data slightly. I’m not sure it will skew the data when it comes to long injuries however such as those suffered by Bailey and Mesoraco.

  9. If this doesn’t lead to them starting Lorenzen, nothing will.

    I hope the best for Disco!

  10. Were there updates on Rookie Davis’ injured ankle? One of the least safe professions nowadays is to be a pitcher in the Reds’ organization. …

    • Here is what the Enquirer had about it.

      http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2017/03/12/rolled-ankle-forces-reds-rhp-rookie-davis-start/99103732/

      In case you can’t get through their paywall, Davis is quoted as saying he expects to make his next regular turn.

      After reading the Enquirer article, my question is why was Davis even still in the game after tweaking his ankle (twice) to slip and plunk Ian Desmond with the pitch which resulted in a broken hand for Desmond?

      • “Davis may have first tweaked the ankle … taking his first at-bat of spring in the second, Davis roped a double to the right-center gap off Rockies starter Tyler Anderson. He planted awkwardly on the right ankle rounding first.”

        “Davis had given up only one hit in his first three innings, and got a soft grounder to first from Alexi Amarista to start the fourth. He rushed to cover the bag, and dropped the ball as his right foot probed for the base.”

        “Davis threw a couple warmup pitches and remained in the game, but gave up a double to Trevor Story in the next at-bat, but tweaked the ankle further backing up home plate. He had trouble putting weight on it after that, and the imbalance led him to plunk his next batter, Ian Desmond.”

        “It was later announced that Desmond suffered a left hand fracture on the pitch.”

        This is spring training for gosh sakes and Davis had 3 solid innings from the mound already. Certainly the starters need to be stretched out, but some common sense must prevail. Davis is/was headed for AAA after spring training. He represents a leading candidate for the next wave of starting pitching prospects, but he won’t make the 25-man roster out of spring training. I can understand why he remained in the game after the 2nd inning. I can even understand why he might remain in the game in the 4th inning after rolling the ankle covering 1B, but that became a very questionable decision. There is no excuse or justification for Davis throwing another pitch from the mound after rolling the ankle again backing up home plate…none!

        I sincerely hope Desmond makes a quick and full recovery. He was a victim of the Reds poor decisions and poor personnel management in a spring training game. I hope Davis suffers no long-term effects from the injury, but he shouldn’t take the mound, even a bullpen mound, until the ankle has fully healed. Any bets on if the Reds order an MRI to fully assess the damage to the ankle?

  11. Regarding the Andrew Miller model for Michael Lorenzen:

    Andrew Miller threw 74 innings in the 2016 regular season. So even Andrew Miller (regular season) wasn’t used like Andrew Miller (postseason). Everyone involved in the postseason management of Miller acknowledged that kind of use would be impossible over the course of a regular season.

    There isn’t much of a recent model to go on for how to do Andrew Miller (postseason) in the regular season. Dellin Betances, who was down to 73 IP last year after a high of 90 IP in 2015, may be the closest thing.

    Even last season, with the dreadful bullpen, the Reds didn’t use Raisel Iglesias and Lorenzen on a pace for many more than 70-80 IP. The notion of the 120-IP reliever is entirely mythical. We have no evidence Bryan Price can or will implement that strategy.

    Even allowing for the success of ONE Andrew Miller-style reliever, does a bullpen need TWO? Will a team destined to win, say, 75 games, really have that many high-leverage opportunities to get big impact from their 100-IP relievers? The Reds didn’t last year. Iglesias and Lorenzen went stretches of time without being used and appeared in wipeout games to give them work.

    Finally, Cleveland has an elite starting rotation. The Reds do not, at least not yet. So the presumed correctness of Andrew Miller’s postseason role on a team like the Reds seems misplaced, given the greater need for SP here.

    Always remember, 200 > 80 or even 100.

    • Great points, Steve

      Miller was completely shot by Game 7 of the WS….as was Chapman.

      If a team assigned a pitcher to be the ” High leverage guy” then you’d have to be able to objectively predict when a HLS would likely occur in order to give ample warm up time. If you wait until it happens, then it’s either often too late or you have him warm up multiple times a game….which will have an onerous impact over time.

      If the Reds use data to suggest that Starter X begins to struggle in the 6th….and the batters that will be coming to the plate in the 6th perform at an elevated rate the 3rd time against a pitcher..then you can decipher that there is a X percent chance that a HLS will develop and you warm up Lorenzen in the bottom of the 5th.

    • “Even allowing for the success of ONE Andrew Miller-style reliever, does a bullpen need TWO?”

      For such a bullpen model to operate effectively over a full season, you don’t need TWO, you need THREE and even then you need a manager commited to the model and the concept of high-leverage. The Reds have two multi-inning, high-leverage relievers (Iggy and Lorenzen) with plenty of candidates for a 3rd (Cingrani, Castillo, Storen, etc.) With that said, the issue of using Lorenzen as a reliever or starter goes back to the durability issue. If he is capable of starting, then that role is certainly the best utilization of his talent. If he is not capable of starting, then find the role that best utilizes his talent.

  12. More pitching injuries? When are these people going to learn they are doing something wrong?

    • Who, the medical staff or the pitchers? I don’t think any team has this figured out. In fact, just read “The Arm” by Jeff Passan… a deep dive into the epidemic of arm injuries that so many millions of dollars ride on.

      The upshot from that book is that it likely goes all the way down to 10 year olds being put on radar guns at showcase tournaments. Blew my mind to find out that well over a quarter of Tommy John operations over the last few years are completed on teenagers.

      The other point Passan makes is that there is clearly no “right way” that anyone has figured out. It’s not always “less throwing,” it’s not always “more throwing.” The best bet is if MLB actually bands together to figure out a best practice. Instead, each team takes a proprietary approach, and there have been no winners.

      • Also… Todd Coffey is featured prominently in “The Arm”… fun to follow along his unique mind going through a second T.J.

      • I think a lot of it is about how kids are taught to pitch these days and the fact that a lot of these kids are pitching year-round these days. That along with all the strength and conditioning which builds the muscles and unfortunately the ligaments can’t get much stronger. They can’t keep up with the amount of strain that’s put on them. All in my very amateur theory though.

        • Modern baseball psychology? Looking back through fading memory at the 60’s, the environment wasn’t one where -everyone- had to be a power pitcher and even the power pitchers weren’t trying to be power pitchers 100% of the game. Couple the power pitching obsession with modern nutrition and (over)conditioning regimes and you can see how we got to where we are. Classic rule-proving case – Koufax (who had to leave the game years before his peers). Also, most pitchers came up to the show with two-three pitches not just variations on the heater.

          More finesse, please.

          But, old boyo’
          Never Fear
          We have Bronson Arroyo
          And they have not.

          • Clarifying:

            Koufax as a pure power pitcher, as opposed to his more durable peers.

            and my apologies to the ghost of Hillaire Bellocq (classical reference)

          • My recollection is that Koufax had severe osteoarthritis in his pitching elbow. Perhaps he was genetically predisposed for that, but very likely his hard throwing was a major factor.

          • Dr. Frank Jobe believes Koufax had a torn UCL. Jobe says if he’d figured out how to do the surgery 10 years earlier it would have been called Sandy Koufax Surgery instead of Tommy John. Jobe began to work with the Dodgers in 1964 so he overlapped with Koufax for three years. Koufax pitched for 12 years in the major leagues, starting when he was 19. It wasn’t until he turned 25 or 26 that he became a good pitcher. Won the Cy Young award the two years before he retired.

  13. The Reds apparently will make an announcement about Disco after today’s game. If it was nothing, no red alert, nothing to see here, etc., I don’t know why they would wait to make the announcement. We shall see.

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