No one knows feet like Dr. Philip Kwong of Kerlan-Jobe, so I'll just let him tell you about Wang: "It is unusual to have both a Lisfranc ligament sprain and partial tear peroneal longus together, and longer time will be needed for recovery (8-12 weeks if no significant instability occurs at the Lisfranc joints). The combined injuries represent greater rotational stress than would be experienced for each injury alone. Prognosis and time line for recovery will depend on the exact amount of ligament/tendon tear sustained and on the amount of tissue remaining to provide stability. Healing is the formation of scar tissue and not regrowth of the normal ligament or tendon tissue; consequently, future problems such as arthritis can occur at Lisfranc's joints or reinjury of the peroneal longus tendon." So as I'd expected, the additional damage beyond the Lisfranc is likely to add to the time Wang is out. It leaves very little wiggle time for him to come back and throw meaningful innings, not unless the Yankees are right and Wang comes back at the extreme low end of expectations. I think the Yankees' record is going to dictate how this is eventually handled.The pinstriped rotation has been a mess all year long, as youngsters Ian Kennedy and Philip Hughes have battled injuries and ineffectiveness while vets like Wang and Andy Pettitte have struggled to maintain consistency. As I wrote last week, they ranked 11th in Baseball Prospectus' key pitching stat, Support Neutral Lineup Adjusted Value Above Replacement (SNLVAR, denominated in wins), which measures a pitcher's impact independent of the run support he receives from his offense and the job his relievers do. They've since climbed to 10th at 4.5 wins, but Wang's injury has cost them their most valuable starter:
Pitcher SNLVARMussina's gaudy 10-4 record has been a pleasant surprise, but Wang's ability to go deeper into ballgames (6.33 per start, compared to 5.42 for the Moose) made him the more valuable commodity, even given the slump that he appeared to have pulled out of prior to getting hurt.
Chien-Ming Wang 2.0
Mike Mussina 1.3
Darrell Rasner 1.1
Andy Pettitte 0.7
Joba Chamberlain 0.4
Brian Bruney 0.2
Kei Igawa -0.3
Philip Hughes -0.3
Ian Kennedy -0.4
I do not believe the Indians will insist on second baseman Robinson Cano, even though they lack a solid second baseman. In this market, the value of a talented everyday player signed to a reasonable four-year contract is much greater than a pitcher – any pitcher — who is 18 or so starts from an expensive free agency.Of course, Cashman can't do anything without a willing trade partner, and at this point there are none. As the GM explains, "There is no trade market at the moment... I’m not optimistic that something can get done on that front. We have to try and plug this gap internally and that’s not going to be easy." Pete Abraham did a nice job of elaborating on the team's short and long-term options, which include a still-rehabbing Kennedy, current Yankee reliever and recent callup Dan Giese, Triple-A prospect Dan McCutchen, the Devil You Know (Kei Igawa and Jeff Karstens), and the Devil You Don't Know, injury-prone starters from elsewhere such as Oakland's Rich Harden, who could cost a king's ransom in prospects, San Diego's Randy Wolf and free agent Freddy Garcia, who missed most of last year with a variety of shoulder issues -- hardly what the Yanks need more of.
...Cashman will surely consider the downside of a Sabathia deal: he trades valued young players, Sabathia proves to be a bad fit in New York, and the Yankees let him walk after the season. The upside there is that the Yankees would get two high draft picks in return, replacing some of the talent they would lose in the trade.
Another potential downside is this: the Yankees sign Sabathia to a rich contract extension (six or seven years, $19 million or so per year) and he breaks down physically like Mike Hampton or Kevin Brown, or turns into a 2-10 pitcher like Barry Zito. Cashman understands the horrible track record of pitchers who sign $100 million deals.
Can't Get No Relief: The misery contineus for the Mets, whose brief respite from a five-game losing streak is overshadowed by the second of three straight blown saves by Billy Wagner. He's not the only arsonist in a bullpen that's fallen to 13th in the league in WXRL. Despite a 2.34 ERA and six innings per start from the Mets rotation this week, the relievers allow 19 earned runs in 23 innings and take five out of the six losses.Worse than their current woes, the team has been unable to shake the memory of last year's historic, ugly collapse, their 5-12 record after September 11 and 1-6 record during the final week. Randolph didn't deserve to carry the weight of that collapse alone, though he didn't help his cause when he played the race card a few weeks ago, suggesting that the media was covering him differently than the would a white manager.
Randolph, like any manager, bears responsibility for his team’s performance, but when you look at what he actually does, what he has had to work with and the performance of the roster core, it’s difficult to argue that he is the problem. A quarter of his payroll has no-showed; that’s hard to overcome.As Buster Olney writes, the Mets could have hardly done a worse job at handling this, :
I am not arguing that Minaya needs to be fired, either. I am saying that firing Randolph doesn’t change anything for this Mets team on the field, and what it does for them off the field reeks of letting the media make decisions for you. The best argument for firing Randolph is that the constant coverage of his job status was a distraction for the players. However, that has nothing to do with Randolph or the players-it has to do with a voracious media filling column inches and air time, a group that entered the 2008 season with its sights set on Randolph. The amount of time spent questioning Randolph’s ability, versus the amount focused on the absences of Alou and Martinez, or the collapse of Delgado, or the execrable bench, is a bad joke. There’s no analysis of baseball or the Mets or any thought process at all; it’s just creating a story and then beating it until something happens.
This isn’t quite the Dodgers of 2004-05, whose general manager, Paul DePodesta, was the target of media criticism from the day he was hired and who was let go largely because the Dodgers owner had no plan other than to pander to that media. (How’s that working for you, Frank?) No, this is something a bit less blatant, but no less insidious. Randolph is out of a job today because a storyline was created, the Mets weren’t savvy enough to get out in front of it, and the situation snowballed. Omar Minaya may have made the phone call, but it was the media that made this transaction.
Even the writers of "The Sopranos" could not have invented a more recklessly handled hit. The process really started after last season's collapse, when Minaya -- who came to the Mets having been promised full autonomy and, for more than a year, has had all the power of a marionette -- first regressed into lawyer-speak. "Willie is the manager," Minaya said over and over, as if repeating the phrase would somehow give the crafted but flimsy words backbone and fool anyone into thinking that Randolph wasn't one really bad day away from being fired.Ugh. Makes Joe Torre's departure look like a tea party by comparison. Just remember, Yankee fans, it could always be worse.
When the Mets sputtered in April, the backstabbing began, with Randolph being undermined along the way. Words of Randolph's honest player evaluations in those staff meetings somehow made their way to the ears of players. That left the manager in a brutal position of trying to draw performance out of veterans who heard that behind closed doors the manager wasn't so sure if they had the right stuff anymore. Some on-field staff members doubted whether they could trust the front office.
And when the losing continued, the front-office leaks to the newspapers became rivers of rip-jobs, the leakers inoculated by the fact that they fired first. It's better to blame the manager and his coaches, after all, than to take responsibility. But even after Randolph's demise became a fait accompli, which was sometime in the last days of May, the decision-makers stopped focusing on the change itself and started becoming concerned about properly scripting his firing.
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