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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

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oh f*%#!

Non-operative treatment according to Gelb.

Another BFD presser.

awh's speculative prediction: no surgery, but a long period of rest.

Bring on the pitching staff and relax.

Blanton trade announcment? Fingers crossed for M. Young.... Might be a long shot, but I've been surprised over & again by this front office

Harrumph

Bursitis is my guess. Not an actual "knee" issue, but can painful enough to scare ya.

Bursitis could cause his career to decline. Oh, wait...

Cipper, how/why are guessing "bursitis"?

A couple threads ago:
"If you feel uneasy about some things you've seen this spring, you're not alone."

Um...what about if I feel perfectly fine that it's just March 7 and no one's been traded to Japan. I mean really. How many times have guys killed ST and sucked starting, like, April 2? How many times have guys stunk up the state of Florida only to explode into CBP with a vengeance? Despite the lousy ST offense, I'm not buying the pessimism.

Andy, agree. See my post on the last thread.

Unfortunately, the Doomsday Dopes seize every opportunity to go negative.

After talking to the CMO last night where I work . . . his potential reading of 'beginning of arthritis' seems more apt especially now the mention of a long-rest period/no immediate surgery.

If it was a clear structural issue, they would just schedule it and be done with it.

This is looking more and more like an issue that needs surgery.

Just scope it now and be done with it. He'd be back in mid-April if they did it now

Hopefully "Last's season MVP" Wilson Valdez can carry over just a bit of his offense into the actual season because he will be your starting 2B on Opening Day.

At least Danny Baez is healthy.

Can't wait to watch him spit seeds and never pitch for the Phils again in 2011. That 12th pitcher is so valuable and even more valuable when the player is making nice change.

Meanwhile younger, cheaper and potentially better pitchers waste bullets playing for Ryne Sandberg in LV.

chondromalacia = Rest for several weeks. Utley won't be back on the field until at least May at this point given the likely rehab appearances he will need. Ugh.

Hopefully Howard is able to display some real patience because I just can't imagine right now this lineup that teams are going to give him fastballs.

Could care less if he strikes out 180-190 times if he walks 100+ times this year.

worried about the news on utley, but in the meantime...

jroll's OBP this spring is just .208. good thing he's not going to change his approach at the plate. "is on base % overrated? sometimes." no, jimmy, it is not.

Just guessing. I've dealt with it. It doesn't show up in Xrays or MRIs, but feels like something is torn in the knee. Its actually where a tendon attaches the shin right below the knee and can be very painful. Usually flares up from over training.. in my situation the pain lasted from Nov to late Feb...

****chondromalacia****

What the hell is that?

I agree with NEPP. I have no medical background whatsoever, but if there is a viable surgical option, why wait? Just do it. If they mess around with conservative treatment for another month or so and he ends up needed surgery, it's just wasted time.

If Chase misses time, I think 2b will comedown to who has more left in the tank - Ryne Sandburg or Juan Samuel.

NEPP - Runner's knee. I had it before and it's a bitch. Didn't require surgery but lots of rest. Last about 4 months until I was able to really run again at full speed.

Even the best athletes typically have to rest it 4-6 weeks at a minimum with other alternatives instead (e.g., swimming).

"****chondromalacia****

What the hell is that?"

The Red Sox' catcher?

"jroll's OBP this spring is just .208. good thing he's not going to change his approach at the plate."

Somebody over at a Kansas City Royals blog wrote a hysterical (sarcastic) post about Jeff Francoueur about how part of being a good leader meant refusing to make changes. The key to leadership was just doing the same thing over and over again until it worked.

everything you want to know about chondromalacia (and some you may not);


http://orthopedics.about.com/cs/patelladisorders/a/chondromalacia.htm

2011 Phils' marketing slogan:

"Old Time Baseball' because they are going to play their share of low-scoring, fast-paced games this year.

heather - funny how their definition for leadership sounds an awful lot like others definition of insanity. ahhh, the Royals!

**chondromalacia**

i love learning new injuries. remember when plantar fasciitis was a new and exciting injury. now it's old hat, bumped to the side of the road by the chondromalacias of the world.

heather - more importantly, what are you doing at a KC Royals blog? you may have a problem...

Cipper - Your right. Why this is a bitch to treat because if you go the surgical route and scope the knee you really don't know the the extent of the cartilage damage until you have him on the operating room table.

One last thing:

- This isn't something you want to do surgery on either. Its an option of last resort because of the mixed outcomes and the success with non-surgical intervention and rest.

If this really is the beginning stages of arthritis, it really is the beginning of the end for Utley as a 2B or really any position except maybe 1B. Basically a DH in waiting.

Why do some many idiots want to just cut into Utley right away?

If any orthopedist automatically recommends surgery right away with a high degree of enthusiasm, immediately go for a 2nd opinion.

Wait, these are the beginning stages of arthritis?

Chondromalacia is a "top ten" running injury. I suffered with it after running a downhill marathon with a crazy parachute finish in St.Louis. I never trained downhill after that.

Boy am I glad he was still hitting while rest is one of 2 options. Just flat out stupid. Rest means rest.

As a huge Chase Utley fan and Phillies fan my entire life, this injury scares the shittake mushrooms right outta me.

it can't be chondromalacia. That usually affects young, healthy athletes. I was told the Phillies problems are age-based.

At least its not micro-fractures...

Seriously though- it's irritated cartilege under the kneecap. You have to let that rest to let the irritation go down first. It's probably going to be at least 4 weeks. The Phillies should insist that Chase rest the required amount of time and then think about returning. Say you hold him out the first month of the season. That would be almost 8 weeks of rest and treatment.

That doesn't guarantee that he will come back 100% healthy but I'd rather lose him the first month of the season than risk him getting hurt in August and losing him then. Plus, missing the first month or so may help him avoid wearing down in late September.

He just had 3.5 months off. 2 more months...damn.


We KNEW we needed a legitimate utility infielder going into the season and Rube ignored the need again. Valdez at 2B for a full month right off the bat is gonna kill this offense.

@NEPP....he didn't have 3.5 months off. The guy works out in the offseason in case you didn't know. And he should have shut it down during said workouts but he's a "gamer" or stubborn.

Valdez will be an ok stopgap. It just puts more pressure on Ibanez and Howard to supply the pop that makes this offense go. Either that or Cholly is going to need to think about a different approach on scoring runs.

I asked a few threads ago, but is this likely the same injury he had last season that was mentioned in the media by Davey Lopes?

There's only so much you can do with utility infielders though. Many times it comes down to either overpaying for a guy to come in and be a bench player when he wants to start or rolling the dice on some low price options.

A guy like Valdez, Young, or Barfield is not ideally what you want but sometimes you need to ask someone like that to step up for a period of time. Valdez acquitted himself fine last year in that role.

Yeah this has to be what Lopes was talking about. What motive would he have had to make such a thing up?

"And he should have shut it down during said workouts but he's a "gamer" or stubborn. "

Pushing through knee injuries that require REST to heal = stupidity.

If you're unsure about what said injury is, I'm sure a team doctor would be more than willing to check you out since that's their job.

Heresy, I know, to criticize St. Utley, but when stupid machismo ends up costing this team games, I'm pissed.

Honestly, with the concerns we had with the infield, overpaying a guy would have been a good play.

Hopefully Rube pulls a rabbit out of his hat (as he's been pretty good at doing the last couple years) and figures out a non-Exxon solution. Thankfully, with Polly around, we have a bit of flexibility. We can find either a 3B or 2B and go from there. My fear (and hunch) is that Rube will stand pat not wanting to overpay for a short-term solution.

Well, this is the least surprising development yet. It's been obvious from the start that the injury was way more serious than they were letting on.

125 wins, here we come!

@Heather. I don't understand why it's taking so long for people to call Utley on the "gamer" notion. Sometimes it's called being stupid. If Ryan Howard were to pull a similar stunt he'd be hanged in effigy.

I had runners knee back in 2001. It hurt like hell for about 3 months and it seriously messed with my mobility (at least pain-free mobility). However, I never went to the doctor and I simply self-medicated with TONS of Ibprofen and ice/heat treatments. At the time, I was in the Army and I didnt want to get put on a medical profile as it would have screwed up my promotion/deployment eligibility. Hurt like HELL though.

Or you know- you've had the problems before in the past and they've gone away eventually so you would have no reason to think this time would be any different.

Or "stupid machismo."

Criticize people, but do so in some realm of logic.

@NEPP...thanks for serving our country!

NEPP: Charlie has said in the past that Polly is his third baseman. What makes you think they will look to upset that by acquiring a third baseman and sliding Polly back to second?

No big deal, Joe. Smartest decision I ever made and it gave me my current career. And I got to shoot at stuff...fun times.


On Utley, I doubt he thought it was anything more than normal aches/pains of working out. I doubt he was stubbornly pushing through a known injury during his off-season regiment of workouts.

MG: Yes, Howard really better be locked in. He needs to take pitches outside the zone and crush balls inside the zone.

With Werth and Utley gone, he is our ONLY power threat in the lineup. Unless you really believe in Ben Francisco.

"Or you know- you've had the problems before in the past and they've gone away eventually so you would have no reason to think this time would be any different."

Or you are a professional athlete with doctors at your beck and call, with your body as your commodity. Sure, makes perfect sense to make educated guesses and continue doing what you're doing through increasing pain. /sarcasm/

BB - Good bet. They won't make a move although I could see the Phils scanning the waiver wire if they aren't satisfied with what Barfield/Orr show over the next 3 weeks.

Silver lining of this injury: Perhaps Chase won't be so worn down in the 2nd half this year as he'll get to rest the first month of the season. Having Chase at 100% late in the season would be quite useful for a change.

Oh Heather quit making so much sense!

And obviously this has bothered him in the past, at least last season as Lopes so pointed out. You have to be smart about it. It is your knee. It's not like a stiff neck that you go "Ah f it slept funny last night, it'll go away." Your knees are your livelihood, especially as a middle infielder who is moving all the time on every play.

Silver lining: Everyone who was smart enough to bet the under on the over-inflated Phillies win total at 97.

Jack - I just want him not to press and feel that he has to hit HRs though. Take the BBs and if they keep walking him at over a 100+ BB pace so be it.

I would mind seeing Howard only hit say .270 with ~35 HRs if he walks 100+ times and his OBP pushes .400.

Imagine he is going to get alot more IBB this year than the 8 in '09 and 11 in '10 he received the past 2 years.

The entire infield is a ticking timebomb. Polly wore down last season, as did Jimmy. Utley is already out. It's pretty crazy to look at the infield and your most reliable player from a health standpoint is a guy who is 6'4" roughly 250 lbs. That really just shouldn't be.

****What makes you think they will look to upset that by acquiring a third baseman and sliding Polly back to second?****

UC also called Jayson Werth his starting CF at one time...and proceeded to play Vic there every day for the rest of that season.

Things change. Polly is a gold glove (legitimately so) 2B and he even played there a couple times last year (12 games, 9 starts @ 2B) despite that same "He's my 3B" pronouncement. If we cannot get a legitimate 2B but CAN get a legit 3B, its easy to see them moving Polly over till Chase is healthy. Its not gonna mess up Polly to have him play 2B for a bit.

Jack- so you're on record with predicting under 97 wins for the Phils this year? How many games will they regress? Do you think they'll miss the playoffs?

Heather: I'll go slow so you can understand this.

Every year you work out and have this issue (both Utley and the Phillies have indicated it has happened in the past). Every year it goes away eventually once you get a few days into spring training.

So this year you start training and have the same problem. Do you not have years of empirical evidence telling you that "this will pass"? It's not like you sit there one day and think, "Well this is a slight tinge more pain than I normally feel- I better get this looked at." And really, once it seemed like the pain wasn't going away Utley did go to the doctors. I don't think he was trying to work through something because he's stupid, or full of machismo, or trying to be a tough guy. He knew from past experience that the discomfort goes away eventually. This time it wasn't. But please by all means continue the dialogue of, "I'm mad at Utley because of stupid machismo."

"On Utley, I doubt he thought it was anything more than normal aches/pains of working out. I doubt he was stubbornly pushing through a known injury during his off-season regiment of workouts."

Knee pain, by and large, isn't "normal". There's no exercise that you should be doing, especially in the offseason, that leads to knee pain of the sort experienced in runner's knee. You MAY be able to fight through it, but it has an underlying cause and you shouldn't just ignore it, especially when there's a multitidue of doctors and physical therapists at the team's beck and call.

Wild prediction on Ben Fran for the season. 18-20 home runs.

Just a hunch

MG: I'm no orthopedist, either. The point was made (by others including myself) that if surgery is a "viable option" what is the point in waiting. No on is suggesting to cut into Utley for the sake of cutting into him. If there is a low-risk surgical option, why wouldn't you do it?

The problem is, none of us really know what's wrong with him. If his ailment is something that could benefit from surgery, why wait?

Fair points Truth. It still smells funny to me. I would like to know if he was receiving cortisone in the past for it or if he was letting it ride on its own.

Heather, I fought through my knee pain and it eventually went away. It happens. People get aches and pains all the time when working out and eventually they go away with nothing more than a little rest & ice. Its not a big deal most of the time. Then there are issues like this where it ends up sucking.

"Polly wore down last season"

If by "wore down" you mean "hit in the elbow with a fastball", then yes, he wore down.

'He knew from past experience that the discomfort goes away eventually. This time it wasn't. But please by all means continue the dialogue of, "I'm mad at Utley because of stupid machismo."'

Repeat after me: knee pain isn't NORMAL. I have had doctors tell me this after I stupidly decided to push through it and ended up hurting myself much worse than I had to.

There is no exercise that you should be doing that hurts your knee. If there is, you're doing something wrong or there is an underlying problem.

I think I'll go with the doctor's word on this one over yours, TTI.

And thank you also for your permission to continue to blame Utley for his stupid machismo. I didn't realize I needed it.

Iceman: While I will wait until the predictions thread before opening day to give details, yes, I predict under 97 wins. I do think they will make the playoffs.

R. Billingsly - Because the surgical procedure has a lower rate of success than rest and other treatment. Its a no-brainer in terms of diagnosis that you don't go with surgery at this point.

I don't think it's crazy to say Francisco can hit 18+ HRs. I'm more worried about Howard's production at this point.

Funny as it may sound...the guy I'm most confident about this season is Ibanez. He should be slotted in front of Howard and see a lot of heat to feast on. And all reports are saying that he's got his legs back under him.

Truth: Cholly may have said that, but Polanco did make some starts at 2nd last year while Utley was on the DL. And Polanco did win a couple Gold Gloves at 2nd, so it's not like you'd be sacrificing defense if you moved him there.

If Utley's going to be out for an extended period, this team desperately needs to find a bat to replace him. Polanco's ability to play 2 positions at least gives the Phillies the flexibility to look at availalable options among both 2nd & 3rd basemen.

Yeah you're right getting beaned in the elbow really isn't wearing down. I stand corrected on that point.

But he still isn't a spring chicken. I just hope that elbow is back at full strength. But don't worry folks..the mastermind Heyman is saying the Phillies should take a flyer on David Eckstein.

I hope they pick up a cutoff man for his throws if they bring him in.

Wheeler would surely get off to having Eckstein. No one else would.

Bed's Beard: He was hit in the elbow in April. He hit .274/.329/.319 from August 1st on.

If he struggles this year, will we attribute that to the HBP too? I mean, that's a long time to still be affected by such a fluke as being hit by a pitch. Or maybe he just wasn't good last year. Or maybe his age slowed his recovery time. I don't really know what the right answer is.

bap is 100% right. If the Phils can find a 3B available that's better than any 2B available, they will get him and play Polly at 2nd. Charlie will adjust.

"Heather, I fought through my knee pain and it eventually went away. It happens. People get aches and pains all the time when working out and eventually they go away with nothing more than a little rest & ice. Its not a big deal most of the time. Then there are issues like this where it ends up sucking."

Does "Can" equal "should"?

Would any doctor you went to while experiencing your runner's knee have said, "Yes, continue the training you are doing, and pop NSAIDs like candy, and that will make it feel better soon?"

"ive had this injury before" advice is as insightful as "i batted leadoff in high school before" baseball advice - not at all.

Heather: Who said knee pain is normal? I do love your ability to ignore the past precedent angle though. You are already in mid-season posting form. It is also entirely possible- and I know you won't believe this- that Utley said something to the doctors and they said, "Have you had this discomfort before?" When he answered yes they possibly said to give it a few days and if it hasn't gone away yet we'll take a second look at it. Mind blowing right?

Joe D: I imagine that Ben Fran will be slotted after Howard in the line-up which I think helps him. The guys slotted before and after Howard in the line-up early in the year are going to need to come up big for a while.

BAP: I don't think you'd sacrifice anything really either. I just think the Phillies are not going to look at a third baseman per se.

My advice to Utley would be to never play 2nd base with this injury. It's not the running its the stopping. It's not the leaping its the landing. 2nd base is a "downhill" position.

It's going to be tough for Utley to return to 2nd Meyer. You are right on that. It's a position of constant motion just like SS.

Eckstein isnt that terrible outside of Petco. He's basically a .290 AVG/.350 OBP hitter on the road the last 2 seasons.

Short term, that's a hell of a lot better than we'd get from Exxon offensively (.258 AVG/.310 OBP last two seasons overall).

"If he struggles this year, will we attribute that to the HBP too? "

No. This concludes another edition of simple answers to stupid questions.

I just can't root for David Eckstein. I loathe him.

***"ive had this injury before" advice is as insightful as "i batted leadoff in high school before" baseball advice - not at all.***

Whatever you say man...whatever you say.

*** I loathe him.***

Yup...that would be an issue for me too. He's just so damn irritating. It'd be like having Nomar.

Jack/BAP/etc.: Agree 100%. You go shopping for any 3B or 2B and depending who the best available is, you play bighead the opposite.


TTI: Polly moved to 2B last season and let Ransom/Valdez play 3B when needed.

Iceman: You do realize that 97 wins is a fairly huge number & that a lot has to go right in order to win that many games? And, in spite of fans' belief that we incurred an unprecedented number of injuries last year (in reality, our injuries weren't that much different from what practically every other team suffered), a lot DID go right for the Phillies last year. Namely:

Roy Halladay had the best year of his career & was the single best pitcher in baseball. That is not likely to happen again.

Roy Oswalt went 7-1 for us, with a 1.74 ERA. That kind of performance has exactly zero chance of happening again.

Carlos Ruiz, a .250 career hitter, hit .302-.400-.447. Not likely to happen again.

Our No. 5 hitter posted a .921 OPS. You think Ben Francisco will give you that?

Brad Lidge was mostly good. It's anyone's guess whether that will happen again. It's 50-50.

Ryan Madson had, by far, the best season of his career. That COULD happen again, but more likely he'll be merely good, not great, like he was in every season before 2010.

And so on.

I just find it comical that, several days ago, you took grave offense when some pundit predicted a 90-win season; now you take grave offense when Jack says they won't win 97 games. How many games do you think it's reasonable to predict the Phillies will win without Jayson Werth & with Chase Utley a huge question mark? 155?

@BAP....I agree with almost all of your points and I'm in the camp of the Phillies winning less than 97 games. However Doc will continue to dominate.

Exactly one team won 97 games last year (Phillies). Two teams won 97 games in 2009 (Yankees and Angels). Three teams in 2008 (Rays, Angels, Cubs). One team in 2007 (Cleveland). Two teams in 2006 (Yankees and Mets). Two teams in 2005 (White Sox and Cards).

The point is, it's very rare. Even if you're among the best teams in baseball, you probably aren't going to hit 97 wins. That list above should also show how hard it is to do it two years in a row--only the Angels did that.

Expecting to win more than 97 games is almost always a bad bet.

The only win total I care about is 11. I need to see 11 wins in the playoffs. I couldn't care less what the regular season win total is unless it keeps them from getting 11 in the playoffs.

Jack - Exactly. I love that bet and a few others too on the over/under. Braves at +425 to win the NL East is interesting too at my crazy stakes ($1-$2).

BAP - why shouldn't we expect Roy H. to be the best pitcher in baseball again?

MG: While I do like to gamble, I won't bet against the Phils just because.

However, anyone who asks my advice will receive that advice: Phils under on the win total, and Braves +425 are both smart bets. The lines are over-inflated because of the hype the Phillies have gotten.

Chase Utley missed a month and a half last year.

And the Phillies won 97 games.

The Phils got 78 starts from guys who had ERA+'s of 84, 84 and 85.

And the Phillies won 97 games.

Only Raul Ibanez and Jayson Werth played at least 150 games for the Phils last year.

And the Phillies won 97 games.

Wilson Valdez, Juan Castro, Greg Dobbs and Cody Ransom started 162 games.

And the Phillies won 97 games.


But yeah... the Phils, as bap points out, were blessed last season. Only on Beerleaguer.

Joe: Agree about Halladay -- and I'd better say it before someone comes in & says, "BAP thinks Halladay is going to stink this year."

He will be dominant again because he's one of the game's best pitchers. He will NOT win 21 games again for the simple reason that even the best pitcher in baseball will rarely win that many games in a season. I'd set the over/under somewhere around 17.

Because BAP finds it hard to be optimistic about anything, including the best pitcher in baseball being the best pitcher in baseball.

CJ: Do you think the Phils will win 97+ games this year?

I say we just replace all of Utley's limbs with bionic parts now. Make him "better, stronger, faster" and injury-proof.

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