Featured Note of the Week
Mark Mulder (LHP, STL)
Since the beginning of his current shoulder woes, we were skeptical about him bouncing back and being able to pitch effectively. His shoulder was damaged enough to likely require surgery, yet the Cardinals continued to hold out hope that he could pitch for them.
The latest MRI is similar to the June one—impingement and fraying of the rotator cuff. He’s tried an extensive rehab program with little success (see his starts since returning from the DL). Now he’s reportedly going to seek out a second opinion. No doubt he can’t avoid the inevitable: surgery.
Mulder is done for the year and he will undergo surgery in the near term. Since 2002, a year after he pitched 229 innings at 24 years old, Mulder’s secondary numbers have been trending downward. One has to wonder if that heavy workload and the cumulative effect finally took its toll on his pitching shoulder.
From Injury Watch Notes This Past Week
Jim Edmonds (OF, STL)
Edmonds is still battling bouts of dizziness, blurred vision and headaches as he continues to battle post-concussion syndrome. The Cardinals medical staff still doesn’t know if the symptoms will clear up in a week or so or if he’ll have to deal with them the rest of the season.
The fact the Cardinals are in the playoff hunt as the NL Central leaders is a problem. If the Cardinals were not in the playoff picture, you can bet Edmonds would have been shut down by now. As we stated in recent reports, comparing Edmonds’ situation with Mike Matheny and Corey Koskie, post-concussion syndrome is difficult to project and is a serious condition. If we don’t see the symptoms clear up shortly, it’s not out of the question the Cardinals will shut him down.
Brandon Backe (RHP, HOU)
Backe gave it a go and was able to work six starts after being activated with a sprained ligament in his pitching elbow. When he broke down physically last month, Tommy John surgery was the most likely option. He’ll have reconstructive surgery in the next week or so, and will miss the entire 2007 season.
Carl Pavano (RHP, NYY)
The Yankees shut down Pavano for two weeks before he could start throwing again. It is obvious that Pavano is done for the year, and one has to wonder about his Yankees career and pitching at the major league level. Hiding two fractured ribs has not endeared him to either the front office or his manager.
Juan Cruz (RHP, ARI)
In his latest outing, Cruz was visited on the mound by his manager and pitching coach. They noticed he was laboring, and they knew why.
A few weeks ago, Cruz was moved to the bullpen due to fatigue in his pitching shoulder. It has returned, even though he’s working in relief. It sounds like the Diamondbacks will try to nurse him along the rest of the season with extended days off between outings. Once his season is over, he’s likely to begin a shoulder-strengthening program to build up his arm strength to help avoid the fatigue problem.
Matt Wise (RHP, MIL)
The Brewers placed Wise on the disabled list with neuritis (irritation of the nerve) in his pitching elbow. In his first bullpen session since going on the DL, he felt several sharp pains while trying to throw and was shutdown. With only a month left, the Brewers are likely to shut him down for the season rather than risk further injury to his elbow.