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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


The basic details of Alex Rodriguez’s left hip

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 08, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

 

On a conference call with Yankees beat writers, Dr. Bryan Kelly spoke for more than a half an hour this afternoon, trying to explain the details of what’s already happened to Alex Rodriguez’s left hip and what’s about to happen to it. Here’s an attempt to give you the basics of those details.  

What exactly caused this problem?
Basically, the top of Rodriguez’s femur is misshapen, and it’s been misshapen for 20-plus years. The top of his hip isn’t perfectly round, which means it doesn’t fit perfectly into the hip socket.

“This is a condition that occurs during the developmental phase of the formation of the hip joint between the ages of birth to anywhere between 14 and 15 years,” Dr. Kelly said. “The reasons why you develop impingement has got to do with two things: the genetics of their hip and the mechanical forces that the hip is subjected to during the first 15 years of development, where growth occurs in something called the growth plate. A remodeling process can occur that leads to a non-spherical femoral head and the hip itself is designed to (resemble) a ball-bearing joint, a ball-and-socket joint. If you have a non-spherical head, which is very common in athletes both male and female, the anatomy of the hip limits the amount of functional motion that can occur in the hip joint.”

What damage has this caused?
Rodriguez could not have known about his hip abnormality. Basically, he’s lost range of motion over the years, and his body has found ways to make up for it. But in making up for it, he’s allowed his body to do damage, and it finally reached a breaking point.

“What happens is there’s premature contact between the ball and socket,” Dr. Kelly said. “That’s what the impingement is. For a lead leg in a hitter, a right-hander’s left leg, if you can’t rotate through the ball-socket joint before there’s premature contact, something is happening to alter the mechanics. The first is, that non-spherical portion crushes the labrum, and that’s what causes a labral tear. The second is — over time, this is an insidious process that takes years — the cartilage on the inside of the joint starts to break down.”

Why did Rodriguez think his problem was in his previously repaired right hip?
Apparently this is common. In the process of compensating for the range of motion issue, the body will create problems elsewhere, and athletes often don’t notice the hip problem and instead focus on those parts of the body that are compensating.

“When somebody ruptures their ACL, you can see it happen on TV, I think we saw it this weekend,” Dr. Kelly said. “When somebody breaks their femur and the bone’s sticking through the skin, it’s not unclear what’s wrong with them. But when somebody has mechanical dysfunction across the hip, what the body tends to do — some patients come in and they don’t have an X marking the spot of where the problem is… The body tends to compensate. It alters the mechanics such that other parts of the body are (affected).”

Is this really enough to explain Rodriguez being a non-factor late in the year?
The short answer is, yes.

“That’s where it becomes clear that there is a direct correlation between inability to use your hips and (lack of) performance,” Dr. Kelly said. “It’s no different from when your Little League coach told you your power was generated through your hips. If you can’t generate torque through your hips because of progressive loss of motion, and you can’t generate power, you alter your mechanics.”

Does that mean fixing this problem will bring Rodriguez back to his old self?
Depends on a lot of factors, including Rodriguez’s ability to rehab, regain strength and teach his muscles to work with this new range of motion (which should be better than it’s ever been). It also depends on Rodriguez’s cartilage. It will have been damaged by the repeated abuse, and Dr. Kelly won’t have a perfect sense of that damage until he actually cuts into Rodriguez’s hip on the day of surgery. Early exams, though, were promising.

“The imaging study shows that he has some cartilage wear that makes me think we will be able to get him back to his pre-injury level of play, that it’s not so extensive that it will ultimately impact his ability to play,” Dr. Kelly said. “Unfortunately, our imaging doesn’t give us all the information, and that’s something we’re going to know at the time of surgery.”

Are you certain this isn’t because of performance enhancing drugs?
The short answer is, once again, yes.

“This is a developmental, genetic predisposition to a certain shape of the hip joint that occurs during the first 15 years of development,” Dr. Kelly said. “This is not related to steroid use. Steroids don’t change the shape of your hip joint. This is a very well known developmental phenomenon.”

Associated Press photo

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132 Responses to “The basic details of Alex Rodriguez’s left hip”

  1. Shame Spencer January 8th, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    I put my hand up on your hip, when I dip you dip, we dip!!

  2. austinmac January 8th, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I let my backbone flip. But, that’s just me.

  3. PacoDooley January 8th, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    What a mess – it doesn’t sound like something that they can really repair in a way that will not simply buy Alex a little time. Perhaps this could force him to retire or at least end up as a means to trigger his insurance policy (which doesn’t help in 2014, but would make a huge difference otherwise).

  4. endlessjose January 8th, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Doesn’t matter how this Hip surgery is explained because it just means were stuck with A-Rod for another 5 Years.

    Hopefully the Yankees got good insurance because this gets worse and worse the more we find out.

  5. blake January 8th, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Hips don’t lie

  6. Tar January 8th, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    “AndrewMarchand Yes, A-Rod definitely won’t be back in ’12 — or maybe ’13. #HappyNewYear”

    “AndrewMarchand When he does comeback, it doesn’t sound like he will be very good.’

    How does A.M. come to that conclusion? I read Chad’s post and come away thinking it sounded kind of positive. This may allow Alex to re-gain a lot of what he so quickly lost.

    What’s the alternative 5 years of sucky Alex. I’m thinking this is going to turn out to be a good thing for Alex and the yankees.

  7. Yankee Trader January 8th, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    If this is indeed a congenital abnormality of the femoral head, wouldn’t it be bilateral and wouldn’t it at least been discovered when they did the MRI on the right hip before that labral surgery?

    Will Arod now be more likely to face degenerative arthritis and a total hip replacement in the not so distant future? Was that discussed?

  8. charlestonchew January 8th, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    yeah, honestly, i came away from this post expecting him to come back and play much better than he has in the last few years.

    what is marchand thinking?

  9. blake January 8th, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Rich brought this up earlier….but if this was an anatomical thing as a root cause….and he’s already had surgery on the left hip…..then why didn’t Dr. Philippon notice this 4 years ago and check out theory hip as well and make a not to keep an eye on it?

  10. tomingeorgia January 8th, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Tar,
    I’m with you. Hope we’re right.

  11. Against All Odds January 8th, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Shame Spencer January 8th, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    I put my hand up on your hip, when I dip you dip, we dip

    —–

    Haven’t hears that song in yrs

  12. Against All Odds January 8th, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Heard***

  13. Tar January 8th, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Here is ESPN’s take

    http://t.co/D7hIXwZA

    interesting that they left out this quote from above:

    “Depends on a lot of factors, including Rodriguez’s ability to rehab, regain strength and teach his muscles to work with this new range of motion (which should be better than it’s ever been). It also depends on Rodriguez’s cartilage. It will have been damaged by the repeated abuse, and Dr. Kelly won’t have a perfect sense of that damage until he actually cuts into Rodriguez’s hip on the day of surgery. Early exams, though, were promising.”

    “The imaging study shows that he has some cartilage wear that makes me think we will be able to get him back to his pre-injury level of play, that it’s not so extensive that it will ultimately impact his ability to play,”

  14. blake January 8th, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Check out the left hip I mean

  15. theREALkevin January 8th, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Paco,

    To answer ur question from the previous thread, yes I value Phelps more than Nova. I don’t like Nova all that much. Good stuff but I hate his mechanics. Phelps won’t overwhelm you with his stuff but he’s smart, good curve. If he realizes his potential I think he could be like a poor man’s Mike Mussina. Nerves got to him last season in some of his big outings down the stretch but I like him going forward.

  16. blake January 8th, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    I can’t watch this HOF round table thing….I was going to but it’s making my eyes glaze over

  17. Against All Odds January 8th, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    It’s preparing you for the Yankee regular season

  18. austinmac January 8th, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    The bottom line seems to be he could return at a hopeful level unless his cartilage damage is extensive. The doctor says he can’t fix that. Career ending potential. The doctor said he was hopeful about the cartilage but won’t know until the surgery.

  19. RadioKev January 8th, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    blake January 8th, 2013 at 8:54 pm
    Hips don’t lie
    ———

    Thumbs up.

    Anyway, great post Chad. Very comprehensive.

  20. blake January 8th, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    I certainly hope it’s fixable because Arod in the perma DL is pretty much the worst case scenario

  21. tucker January 8th, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    ARod needs some performance-enhancing hips.

  22. blake January 8th, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    “If this is indeed a congenital abnormality of the femoral head, wouldn’t it be bilateral and wouldn’t it at least been discovered when they did the MRI on the right hip before that labral surgery?”

    One would think…..

  23. Yankee Trader January 8th, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    I’m not convinced on ARods ability to have full recovery. The surface of the congenitally abnormal femoral heads will still lead to damage, I would expect.

  24. Jerkface January 8th, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    One thing working in A-rod’s favor is that he has a pretty good healing factor. If anyone could have this injury & live to tell about it, its A-rod.

  25. blake January 8th, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Jerkface says:
    January 8, 2013 at 9:34 pm
    One thing working in A-rod’s favor is that he has a pretty good healing factor. If anyone could have this injury & live to tell about it, its A-rod.

    Yea but cartilage really doesn’t heal…..just depends on how bad that damage is….

  26. tomingeorgia January 8th, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    There are a few real MDs on here. We’re not talking wisdom teeth, here. I wish him the very best, and the Yankees, too.

  27. David in Cal January 8th, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    The doctor sounds pretty optimistic. But, aren’t surgeons always optimistic about their surgery?

    BTW I’m impressed that ARod could have been the best hitter in baseball and a gold glove SS despite this congenital deformity.

  28. Tar January 8th, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    “wouldn’t it be bilateral and wouldn’t it at least been discovered when they did the MRI on the right hip before that labral surgery?”

    Not sure about the bi-lateral part, but if they did an MRI on his right hip I really doubt it would show his left hip.

    I had an MRI done on my ankle and it missed a tear because it was done slightly higher than where the tear actually was. And I’m talking about the same ankle, so no I think an MRI is usually more tightly focused.

  29. blake January 8th, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    tomingeorgia says:
    January 8, 2013 at 9:35 pm
    There are a few real MDs on here. We’re not talking wisdom teeth, here. I wish him the very best, and the Yankees, too.

    What’s that supposed to mean Tom…

  30. blake January 8th, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    “Not sure about the bi-lateral part, but if they did an MRI on his right hip I really doubt it would show his left hip.”

    I think the point is that if its true that hip injuries are often masked because you compensate with other body parts including the opposite hip…..wouldn’t it make sense to check and keep track of the other hip?

  31. Yankee Trader January 8th, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Tar-

    The congenital abnormality of the femoral head would be bilateral and would be seen on the MRI of the right hip prior to the earlier surgery.

    Here’s a blurb from an abstract on Femeroacetabular Impingement. Again, is degenerative arthrities in ARod’s future?

    Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is a recently described hip disorder resulting from an abnormal morphology between the proximal femur and acetabulum (socket). It is now recognized as a cause of hip pain in adolescents and young adults, and research has shown that it may also lead to early degenerative changes and osteoarthritis. Femoroacetabular impingement as a cause of precocious hip arthrosis was originally described by Ganz et al. in 2001, and a quick literature search on this topic will confirm that it has become a topic of cutting edge research within the orthopaedic community. The abnormal morphology in FAI results in increased hip contact forces with hip motion, especially flexion. This results in abnormal contact that can lead to acetabular labral tears and cartilaginous injury. Early diagnosis and treatment may possibly delay the future onset of hip arthritis.

  32. Tar January 8th, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Alex is a hard worker and according to the above quote Alex’s range of motion should be better than it ever was. I also think it’s all about the cartilage. Again looking for positives:

    Early exams, though, were promising.
    “The imaging study shows that he has some cartilage wear that makes me think we will be able to get him back to his pre-injury level of play, that it’s not so extensive that it will ultimately impact his ability to play,”

  33. blake January 8th, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Would be really awesome if Alex could just get healthy and be somewhat productive again…..we don’t need MVP Arod….we just need some value out of his money

  34. Yankee Trader January 8th, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Tom-

    I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night. That makes me semi qualified.

  35. tomingeorgia January 8th, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    It means, blake, that there is not one of us who knows a thing aboutwhat Rodriguez is facing, and the finest orthpaedists in the world are going to deal with it. Nothing you or I can say or do will influence the outcome. I’m just hoping for the best for the man, that’s all.

  36. Tar January 8th, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    “I think the point is that if its true that hip injuries are often masked because you compensate with other body parts including the opposite hip…..wouldn’t it make sense to check and keep track of the other hip?’”

    Yeah that certainly makes sense to me.

  37. blake January 8th, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    “It means, blake, that there is not one of us who knows a thing aboutwhat Rodriguez is facing, and the finest orthpaedists in the world are going to deal with it”

    Who exactly said they weren’t…,I repeated what the orthopedist said

  38. Nick in SF January 8th, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    What’s the smoking gun that we’re looking for here? That Cheap Hal vetoed some test that could have diagnosed Arod earlier?

  39. Yankee Trader January 8th, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Blake-

    Hopefully ARod gets his 14 homers this season and the 6M marketing bonus counted to the year end calculation for the 2013 season.

    I look at the CBA “fiscal cliff” for 2014 to be every AAV contract for LT purposes to be 177M, not 189M, to allow for what is expected to be 12M in player benefits for each team. Throw that 6M in for 2014 and suddenly the Yankees have only 171M to field a team. Ouch!!

  40. blake January 8th, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Nick in SF says:
    January 8, 2013 at 9:51 pm
    What’s the smoking gun that we’re looking for here? That Cheap Hal vetoed some test that could have diagnosed Arod earlier?

    Nah….but if they knew he had a developmental abnormality and they knew how hip injuries work…..then why didn’t they monitor the left hip closer? Maybe they were….

  41. blake January 8th, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    “Hopefully ARod gets his 14 homers this season and the 6M marketing bonus counted to the year end calculation for the 2013 season.”

    That seems pretty unlikely though

  42. tomingeorgia January 8th, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Nick,
    Isn’t all that stuff covered by the 10 million or so benefits we pay for every year?

    YT, I hope ARod comes back healthy enough to earn all of them.

  43. Yankee Trader January 8th, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Maybe the smoking gun is that teams will now do their due diligence more carefully, like the Red Sox are doing with Mike Napoli, before having the player sign on the dotted line. Spend the $$$$ for whatever lab and X-Ray testing plus cardiac tests will help you make a decision before handing out millions.

  44. Nick in SF January 8th, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    The hip doctor probably has a decent idea of how hip injuries work. Nothing wrong with asking these questions, but the likelihood is that there are satisfactory answers to them. But maybe not.

    Glad we have the beginning of the timetable, at least. No doubt Arod will make the new Yo La Tengo album (out the day before his surgery) the soundtrack of his recovery. Well, maybe some doubt. Who’s going to their concert at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro? It’s on January 23. Great little venue. What do you say, Tar?

  45. blake January 8th, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    “The hip doctor probably has a decent idea of how hip injuries work. Nothing wrong with asking these questions, but the likelihood is that there are satisfactory answers to them. But maybe not.”

    True….I’m not saying they were negligent because I have no idea if they were….do think it’s interesting that they are using a different surgeon this time though

  46. Nick in SF January 8th, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Next we’ll find out that Michael Pineda has had a calzone lodged between his cheeks for the past 8 months.

  47. Yankee Trader January 8th, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Blake-

    Which team with a good lefty reliever nabs Morse? If the Braves offer up Jonny Venters the Nats should jump even though it’s a trade within the division. Right handed power to go with lefties Freeman, Heyward and McCann.

    Suspect we’ll be seeing Morse and either Kubel or Upton, changing teams soon.

  48. blake January 8th, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Don’t think the Braves would trade Venters for Morse and don’t think the Nats woukd trade Morse to the Braves

  49. Pat M. January 8th, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Once they get in there ( the socket ) they’re likely to mind a few other issues. The hope is that the surfaces haven’t been compromised. I had my left hip replaced when I was 42 and then again when I was 47. Ten years later I when in to have it rebuilt after the tip of my femor fractured in a spiderweb fashion. Alex is in for a tough time …..

  50. Tar January 8th, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Nick

    Thanks for the info. My son knew about the show. My only issue is my work schedule. I think I will make a point to go. You are not coming to the “Paris of the Piedmont” are you?

  51. blake January 8th, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    “rebuilt after the tip of my femor fractured in a spiderweb fashion. Alex is in for a tough time …..”

    Ouchy

  52. austinmac January 8th, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    I think we can be confident the Nats won’t trade within the division. They would probably prefer, all things being equal, to send him to the AL.

    I think the Rays and Mariners are the biggest competition although he seems very redundant for the Mariners.

  53. Nick in SF January 8th, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Tar, I don’t think I can make it, though I enjoyed my visits to that club in the past. Maybe if they were playing in Charlotte.

    It’s likely to sell out in advance, FYI.

  54. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    “Would be really awesome if Alex could just get healthy and be somewhat productive again…..we don’t need MVP Arod….we just need some value out of his money”

    An .850ish OPS would probably be that level, imo.

    The issue of whether or not the original doctors assessed his left hip for any bilateral hereditary deformity (from reading YT’s post it appears that they should have suspected it as a matter of course) at the time of the right hip surgery, the Yankees knew (or should have known) for some time that A-Rod was at risk for a decline based on age alone. It’s hard to grasp why they apparently have thought offense wouldn’t be a potential problem that might soon need to be addressed well before now.

  55. austinmac January 8th, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Pat M.,

    That was not too encouraging. Hips are obviously a major joint that takes great stress. I am not optimistic, unfortunately.

  56. Tar January 8th, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Funny you’ve been to the Cradle. I just checked and there were still tickets. I’m going to order tickets now. How good is their engineer? sorry if thats not an appropriate question, I’m kind of picky on sound issues.

  57. blake January 8th, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    The Rays seem to be the most logical fit besides the Yanks to me….the Orioles would be also but I would guess they would prefer to send him elsewhere

  58. Yankee Trader January 8th, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    What lefty reliever do the Rays have to offer the Nats, after losing Davis and Howell?

  59. Nick in SF January 8th, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    You are way out of line asking me about the quality of the Cradle’s engineer. People have come to blows for far less.

    I’m not all that picky on sound issues unless the sound is obviously bad/muddy/etc. I was at the Cradle in 2004 for some Merge anniversary shows. I think the sound was okay? Can’t remember anything about it in particular.

    The new album — out January 15 if I’m not mistaken — is streaming here:

    http://pitchfork.com/advance/1-fade/

    I haven’t listened yet. I usually like to wait until the release date except when I don’t. So far I’m holding out.

  60. MTU January 8th, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    YT-

    McGee

    ;)

  61. Yankee Trader January 8th, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    MTU-

    Welcome. Where have you been hiding?

  62. Chip January 8th, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    I would like to congratulate the BBWAA. Ever since I was a kid I loved, loved, loved the Hall of Fame. I loved going, I loved finding out who was getting in – loved it. Now, these jackholes have made it all about themselves, about their fake morality and hand wringing all of which is nothing more than these a-holes screaming through social media, TV, radio, and their columns “Look at me!!!”

    I’ve seen writers who say they can’t vote for players that have cheated as an excuse to leave off players that have not been linked to steroids outside of the fact that they were tremendous ball players in a time when there was steroid use. If someone has evidence, credible evidence, that Piazza, Biggio, Bagwell etc…used then put it out there, if not, shut the eff up.

    If you find the vote to be too difficult given the circumstances of the time, then give up this and your future votes and go sit off in the corner.

    I appreciate what TJ Quinn did when he gave up his vote, he said that his job was to report the news, not to make it with his opinions.

    Rant ends…

  63. MTU January 8th, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    YT-

    One of Mrs. MTU’s Sister’s passed away.

    We were in Ca.

    Turned it into a Blogcation since things have been so slow in Yankeeland.

    I’ll be around but I’ll be lurking more for a while.

  64. Tar January 8th, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Nick

    I very familiar with the acoustics at the venue. I was asking about the Bands engineer. I would think they would travel with at least one. Merge huh Superchunk?

  65. austinmac January 8th, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    MTU,

    Sorry for the loss. We missed you.

  66. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    My condolences, MTU.

  67. Yankee Trader January 8th, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    MTU

    So sorry. I haven’t been on much either. Please give her my condolences.

    Have to go.

    Goodnight all.

  68. MTU January 8th, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Thanks Mac.

    It’s been kind of a whirlwind.

  69. Chip January 8th, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    My concern is that the Yankees won’t want to take on the $7M owed Morse this season.

    I had proposed earlier that the Yankees expand the deal to include Kurt Suzuki who is going to make too much money to be the BUC behind Ramos; but that would swell the obligation to $14M.

    I think that the only way Brian would take that kind of money on is if he could send some other money back to Washington (Logan) and possibly trade away some money elsewhere (Granderson)

  70. MTU January 8th, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Will do YT.

    Have a good night.

  71. Nick in SF January 8th, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    They’ve always sounded good at venues I’ve been to with good sound. Although they have a line in their song “We’re An American Band” that goes: “Some college in the Spring, the sound is all wrong” but that was from a while ago.

    Superchunk, Spoon, Destroyer, The Clientele, Lambchop… those are the only ones I can remember from that trip.

    MTU, condolences to you and the Mrs.

  72. MTU January 8th, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Thanks Nick.

    Much appreciated.

  73. MTU January 8th, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    Have a good night folks.

    Kind of a quick drive by.

    Might be around for a while in the AM.

  74. Against All Odds January 8th, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Sorry for your loss MTU. My condolences

  75. pat January 8th, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    craigcalcaterra
    Joe Torre, in the WBC, will be the first to use the wireless bullpen phone. Wonder if they can make him one that doesn’t call Scott Proctor.

  76. JCPD January 8th, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Condolences MTU

  77. The Return of Stoneburner January 8th, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    slow days of January – - – -

    The interview follows a New York Times report that said Armstrong is considering a doping confession.
    The special 90-minute Thursday night episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter will air Thursday, January 17 on Winfrey’s cable network OWN. The interview will also be streamed live on Oprah.com.

  78. The Return of Stoneburner January 8th, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Sorry to hear about your loss MTU – - – -

  79. The Return of Stoneburner January 8th, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    With five weeks to go before Spring Training, the Rangers have not ruled out free agent outfielder Michael Bourn or pitcher Kyle Lohse, writes MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. The newly-signed Lance Berkman is a former teammate of both players and GM Jon Daniels said that he “picked [Berkman's] brain over lunch” about the two players. Texas has been reluctant to chase either player because of their price tags but they both remain unsigned with no clear destination.
    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/#P7bQbOMW5V9RMoBP.99

    *****

    Rumblings in Rangersville is that Jon Daniels might be saying to his fan base in a Norman Dale voice – this is your team – they might not be in on Upton as much – or at least there are no rumblings like before – - – -

  80. The Return of Stoneburner January 8th, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    via espn – guesstimate on best and worst case scenarios of The Captain:

    Worst/best-case scenarios
    Jeter 2013, even with the lingering results of the injury, is likely to be a net positive for the Yankees, but that chance of doing what Wile E. Coyote always did, walk off the cliff and have gravity rear its ugly head, will lurk in the background as a possibility. Because of all these factors, ZiPS estimates Jeter having a 14 percent chance at falling short of a .260 batting average, easily a career low, an 18 percent chance of having his OPS+ drop below 80, and an 8 percent chance of being in the bottom 20 percent of starting shortstops offensively.

    But despite all this rampant pessimism, even a small decline is far from guaranteed. Even with adjustments for his ankle injury, ZiPS still gives him a 57 percent shot at being better offensively than the average starting shortstop and a 19 percent chance of being in the top quintile. His projected 7 percent chance at a .325 batting average and 4 percent chance at an OPS+ above 120 reflect an extremely talented player who could very well have another last great year left in him. Jeter’s only surpassed 20 home runs three times in his career, but ZiPS still gives him 1-in-14 odds of doing it a fourth time.

  81. The Return of Stoneburner January 8th, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    BA’s jim callis explanation for his top 10 farm systems – as indicated earlier:

    1. Cardinals
    Loaded big league club awaits Oscar Taveras, Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal.
    2. Mariners
    Their best prospects, even 2012 first-rounder Mike Zunino, have had Double-A success.
    3. Marlins
    Blockbuster trade with Blue Jays propelled this system from middle of the pack.
    4. Rangers
    No organization has more high-ceiling prospects, or one better than Jurickson Profar.
    5. Red Sox
    Help is on the way with Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley, Matt Barnes and Allen Webster.
    6. Rays
    Dealing for Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi helps to make up for recent lackluster drafts.
    7. Twins
    The best collection of bats in the minors, led by Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano.
    8. Pirates
    System isn’t deep but has impressive trios of arms and bats that most can’t match.
    9. Diamondbacks
    No. 6 on my list before subtracting Trevor Bauer and adding Didi Gregorius.
    10. Astros
    Rebuilding will take time, but trades and 2012 draft are steps in the right direction.

  82. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Rosenthal says the Nats want: ” high-ceiling prospects and possibly a left-handed reliever” for Morse.

    The Yankees can afford to give the former, unless the Nats view Nova has having a high ceiling.

  83. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    *can’t*

  84. The Return of Stoneburner January 8th, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    2. Mariners
    Their best prospects, even 2012 first-rounder Mike Zunino, have had Double-A success.

    *****

    Hopefully the same can be said a year from now about the Yanks – - – -

  85. Duh Innings II January 8th, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    Below > ANY PINCH-HITTER ENTRY FOR THIS BLOG!!!!

    The Yanks should not activate A-Rod from the disabled list in 2013. They should ask him to take half his remaining guaranteed salary ($43M) to go away so they can clear that and if he refuses, they should put him on the disabled list permanently which they can do as MLB cannot force them to activate A-Rod or play him. If he was banished from the team all of 2013 and 2014, he would not break the homerun record within the life of the remaining contract (no way he hits the 116 homeruns he’d need to become the homerun king in three seasons 2015-17 after two years of inactivity), most likely would never break the homerun record or reach the 714 homerun mark to collect his second $6M homerun milestone bonus (‘doubt he hits the 64 homeruns he’d need to reach 714), and his is career would be unofficially over.

    If he said “Fine, don’t activate me, I’m not retiring”so he can collect his remaining guaranteed salary, then he can kiss his Hall Of Fame induction goodbye because no writer with a brain in his head would induct a player who was basically exiled from the team the last half-decade under contract (2013-17), was awful the two years before that exile (2011-12), and a cheater for three years (2001-03.) That’s a decade of suck (2011-12), cheating (2001-03), and exile (2013-17) and who’s to say he didn’t cheat 2004-07 considering how very good but not great he was 2008-10 and how awful he was 2011-12?

    The Yanks would probably have to bring back Youkilis for 2014 then either trade for a kid they could stick at 3B and the #9 slot or go in-house (David Adams/Corbin Joseph/Tyler Austin) for 2015-17. Or they go cheap at another position and sign a big bat for 3B if the opportunity lends itself – think Chase Headley when he becomes a free agent.

    Imagine if A-Rod was exiled 2013-17, paid $114M to do nothing.

    1996-2000: Five great years.
    2001-2003: Three years of cheating.
    2004-2007: Four great years where he possibly cheated considering he won two ALMVPs.
    2008-2010: Three very good but not 1996-2000/2004-07 great years.
    2011-2012: Two awful years.
    2013-2017: FIVE years he did not play/was banished.

    How the !@#$ is he getting into the Hall Of Fame on essentially his first five seasons and four great ones out of the next SEVENTEEN YEARS after that (next dozen years if you don’t count 2013-17 – I do because he would still be paid) where he might’ve cheated in those four years? Then you have to ask yourself if he cheated 1996-2000 as after all, how many players win a batting title at age 20 (A-Rod winning the batting title with a .358 BA in 1996)?

    A-Rod should retire after 2013 and yes walk away from $86M in guaranteed money and up to $30M in bonus money. I’d consider his $28M for 2013 severance pay. He’d do more good for the Yanks hanging up the spikes than being a shameless paycheck collector which is what he would be if he didn’t play in 2013 or played but turned out a “I’m Done” embarrassing All Star Break On 2013 then talked about coming back 100% healthy in 2014. Yeah, read “I want to legally steal $25M with a 17 HR, 66 RBI, .254/.330/.362/.692 crapjob in 2014″ (what he’d most likely produce AT BEST in 2014.) He has fame, infamy, fortune, two beautiful daughters, and isn’t anywhere close to 40 yet. If he grew his fortune right he could be a billionaire by age 50.

    He has earned $325,416,252 in player salary plus endorsements and whatever else as a player, so he could EASILY be a billionaire by age 50 with what he’s earned so far (again, if he grew his money right.)

    In fact, if he was a billionaire by age 50/2025, the Yanks were worth say $1.25M by then, and he wanted to become a partial owner of the Yankees, he, Jeter, Mo, Posada, Andy, and Bernie could EASILY buy the Yanks, donate $100M to education George Lucas style, and STILL have a ton of money left over. Plus who isn’t supporting a team owned by The Core Four, Bernie, and A-Rod? The first MLB team owned by dudes who actually played the game – imagine that.

    If A-Rod retired after 2013, he would finish with 647 HR, 1950 RBI, 2901 hits, and a .300/.384/.560/.945 slashline – First Ballot Hall Of Fame Induction because he hung it up four years before he could’ve. Yeah it’d suck that he’d be 99 hits shy of 3000 hits and 50 RBI shy of 2000, but hey, he won three ALMVP awards (two if you want to take away his 2001 ALMVP since he cheated that year – I consider him a two-time ALMVP) and a World Series ring.

    If you look at his Yankee career objectively, he has been a better non-homegrown Yankee than Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield, Rickey Henderson, and Paul O’Neill but not a better Yank than homegrown Yanks Thurman Munson, Don Mattingly, Bernie Williams, or The Core Four. He slots nicely in between Jackson/Winfield/Henderson/O’Neill and the aforementioned homegrown Yankees. The most polarizing Yankee ever hands down, but hey, he still has one more World Series ring than Winfield, Mattingly, and all 2001 on Yankees who didn’t play for the 2009 Yanks if he 2013-17 Yanks don’t win the World Series and we’d all have to say the Yanks would’ve still won the 1996, 1998-2000 World Series with him if he was at 3B and probably would’ve won the 2001-2003 World Series with him as the 3B had he signed with the Yanks after 2000 for SIX STRAIGHT WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIPS with A-Rod as the 3B.

    In conclusion, A-Rod has to look at the big picture. Even if he played through 2017, he’d still be only 42 years old. That’s ancient in baseball life, but that’s barely begun in real world life. He would have nothing but respect if he walked away from $86M cuz who does that?

    Retire after 2013, Alex. Don’t go out A-Dog, Pay-Rod, etc.

  86. jmills January 8th, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    Arod is not lymon Bostock.

  87. Jerkface January 8th, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    they should put him on the disabled list permanently which they can do as MLB cannot force them to activate A-Rod or play him.

    MLB can, in fact, force them to activate A-rod.

  88. Rich in NJ January 8th, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    This is just a fantasy.

  89. jmills January 8th, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Hi guys, gotta’ shave and shower and get ready for that next mess tomorrow. Keep listening to that Rush ! :)

  90. Jerkface January 8th, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    You cannot leave a healthy play on the DL. Once he actually starts to play in rehab games you have to take him off the DL in 20 days (its shorter for a pos player). And if you think you are going to get away with simply never letting him rehab, then you should look up the CBA where the player can simply file a grievance and the Yankees will get owned with penalties & still have to activate him.

  91. CCBiggs January 9th, 2013 at 12:13 am

    Blake said: “but if this was an anatomical thing as a root cause….and he’s already had surgery on the left hip…..then why didn’t Dr. Philippon notice this 4 years ago and check out theory hip as well and make a not to keep an eye on it?”

    Although the comment above was hideously marred by multiple typos and errors, the comment makes a good point. Arod’s hip problem should have been monitored and dealt with a long time ago.

  92. Rich in NJ January 9th, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Granted, auto-credit is flawed, but hideously so? That’s kind of strong.

  93. jacksquat January 9th, 2013 at 12:37 am

    No, the comment above was hideously marred by autocorrect. Simple typos and errors can be read.

  94. jacksquat January 9th, 2013 at 12:37 am

    auto-credit, lol, I rest my case.

  95. PacoDooley January 9th, 2013 at 6:33 am

    theREALkevin January 8th, 2013 at 9:08 pm
    Paco,

    To answer ur question from the previous thread, yes I value Phelps more than Nova. I don’t like Nova all that much. Good stuff but I hate his mechanics. Phelps won’t overwhelm you with his stuff but he’s smart, good curve. If he realizes his potential I think he could be like a poor man’s Mike Mussina. Nerves got to him last season in some of his big outings down the stretch but I like him going forward.
    ———————————————————

    I also like Phelps and have been really frustrated with Nova’s inability to remain competitive for long stretches (his focus and ability seem to come and go), but when he is on he can be very good.

    Nova is younger than Phelps (Phelps is the same age approximately as Hughes), so that could also make a difference.

    Personally, I think you gamble by trading Phelps if you could really get a player like Morse in a trade involving Phelps. You hang onto Nova and hope that he can develop consistency (keeping in mind he is, again, younger than Phelps).

  96. MTU January 9th, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Good morning.

    Thanks to all of you who offered well wishes last eve. Much appreciated.

    I would not trade either Phelps or Nova for 1 yr. of Morse.

    JMHO.

  97. blake January 9th, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Nova is like 3 months younger than Phelps…..pretty much the same age and Phelps has 5 years in team control compared to Nova’ s 4

  98. blake January 9th, 2013 at 7:30 am

    MTU,

    Condolences to you and your wife…..

  99. blake January 9th, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Nova is only 6 months younger than Hughes

  100. blake January 9th, 2013 at 7:34 am

    “I would not trade either Phelps or Nova for 1 yr. of Morse.”

    I probably would but I’m not gonna say your wrong to feel that way

  101. MTU January 9th, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Morning Blake.

    Thanks. Much appreciated.

  102. MTU January 9th, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Blake-

    You said it well a while back.

    If you think Nova is a backend starter he’s a movable piece and easily replaced.

    If you still believe he is better than that he should remain with the Yankees.

    IMO he still has the potential to evolve into the latter.

    I understand how others might think differently.

    No idea what the Yankees evaluation of him is. That’s the only one that truly matters.

  103. MaineYankee January 9th, 2013 at 7:47 am

    MTU

    Condolences to you and your wife.

    I can relate because my MiL just past last wed. and we just returned home last evening.

  104. MTU January 9th, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Maine-

    Same to you and yours.

    I am sorry to hear that. Hope she did not suffer too much. That’s about all we can ask.

  105. blake January 9th, 2013 at 7:53 am

    MTU,

    true….but the Yanks do have somewhat of an abundance of mid to back end starters right now…..and that logjam could grow if and when Pineda comes back and when Marshall is ready.

    Barring injuries….one of Nova/Phelps isn’t making the rotation now…..and the other could get squeezed out if Pineda comes back healthy in the 2nd half…..

    of course Andy is an injury risk and all pitchers are so it’s nice to have depth…..but if you believe as I do that 2013 is maybe the last year they can realistically win a title with this group then it might be time to gamble a bit and burn a back end starter to get an impact bat. JMO. I’d rather get Upton if I have to trade legit pieces…….

  106. MaineYankee January 9th, 2013 at 7:56 am

    MTU

    Thanks.

    She went quietly.

    She was 90 and she lived a good life.

  107. MTU January 9th, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Blake-

    I understand your POV. It has merit. Just not sure that Morse for 1 yr. is a good enough return for a young starter with upside.

    This might be the last year for a while where the Yankees still have a shot. I understand that too.

    I just wish to think more long term.

    I’d move one of those guys in a package for Upton or the like.

    Morse is basically a rental. Might be able to get a draft pick for him though. It’s definitely a judgement
    call.

    Pineda is very much a question mark so I’m not counting on him. Warren and Marshall are both unproven.

  108. MTU January 9th, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Maine-

    That’s about all you can ask.

    It certainly puts things in perspective.

    My best to your Wife.

    My relative went quietly too although she was way too young.

  109. blake January 9th, 2013 at 8:02 am

    “I’d move one of those guys in a package for Upton or the like.”

    me too….I’m just not sure that’s possible….if it is then Cashman should be trying for that anyway.

  110. blake January 9th, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Sorry for your loss as well Maine

  111. blake January 9th, 2013 at 8:06 am

    I’m really excited about the potential that the farm system has at the moment……prospects are prospects and they could all bust but if things break the Yankees way then they could have a top 10 and maybe even a top 5 system this time next year if not before.

    Big league ready bats are becoming more and more valuable…..if Heathcott and AUstin hit at AA and the others start knocking on that door then that drastically increases their stock and the Yanks system with it.

    It’s a really big year for the farm system…..with the budget they really need these kids to take a step forward this year…..they are counting on them.

  112. MaineYankee January 9th, 2013 at 8:08 am

    blake

    Thanks.

    No bad MiL jokes. She was as good as it gets.

    MTU

    It’s hard when it seems to soon.

  113. blake January 9th, 2013 at 8:15 am

    karl ravech ?@karlravechespn
    Having been blessed to watch parts of virtually every baseball game played, 5 nights a week for the last 18 years I feel qualified to opine

    I watch baseball every night too….can I vote?

  114. MTU January 9th, 2013 at 8:26 am

    The Yankees pitching depth served them well last season.

    It was a bright spot in a sea of injuries.

    I’d like to see it kept that way unless a guy like Upton is involved.

  115. austinmac January 9th, 2013 at 8:27 am

    MTU,

    I agree with you they can’t give up Phelps or Nova for a guy who will be gone in 2014. Someone will have to pitch and play then.

  116. blake January 9th, 2013 at 8:31 am

    “I agree with you they can’t give up Phelps or Nova for a guy who will be gone in 2014. Someone will have to pitch and play then.”

    if they aren’t good enough to win it all in 2014 though….does it matter who’s pitching?

  117. MTU January 9th, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Mac-

    I might offer up a lefty reliever and a lower level starter for Morse.

    The Rays are well positioned to grab him if they wish as are the M’s.

    They have Price, Hellickson, Moore, Archer, Cobb, Niemann, and McGee.

    I’d imagine Niemann would be readily available. Possibly McGee.

  118. MTU January 9th, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Blake-

    The transition to 2015/16 is already underway.

    It just hasn’t been acknowledged openly.

    I’m not sure competing to win it all this year is as high a priority as setting the glide slope to 189 is.

    That seems to be the overriding concern right now.

    In that case I’d like to retain as much of our talent as we can unless it’s to trade for a real longterm
    difference maker.

    Morse is not such a person IMO.

  119. blake January 9th, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Morse could be a difference maker in 2013 IMO….he has big time opo power and he would really balance their lineup out.

  120. austinmac January 9th, 2013 at 8:40 am

    I would like to see a team at least watchable in 2014. I’ve seen 70 win teams and baseball is miserable.

    I would trade Logan and a mid-level prospect. I might consider Logan and Joba is Montgomery is believed to be about ready.

    The Rays can easily get him if determined to do so.

  121. austinmac January 9th, 2013 at 8:42 am

    I would very much like to get Morse as he would fill a huge hole. If I had some faith in Pineda I might feel differently, but he is as big a question as AROD.

  122. blake January 9th, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Again it just comes back to what you think Nova and Phelps are…..if they are big league #5 starters then those guys are pretty easy to find and they are more expendable…..if you think either or both has more upside than that then sure you keep them.

    They aren’t getting Morse for Logan and a non-prospect……

  123. MTU January 9th, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Blake-

    He’s worth getting but only at the right price.

    That seems to be where you and I might differ.

  124. Shame Spencer January 9th, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I don’t think I’ll be given any positivity awards by LoHud standards… but I believe in Alex. He’ll never be what he was but I think he can be a 1/2 time 3B 1/2 time DH and be effective.

    Still can’t believe he’s had this for his entire life and has still managed to generate so much power from his hips. It’s pretty incredible. It sucks it’s come to a breaking point, but if there’s any guy in MLB that I think would be determined to get himself back together physically it’s him. Now it’s just a matter of whether or not his body complies.

  125. MTU January 9th, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Unfortunately there is competition for Morses’s services.

    That drives up the price.

    :(

  126. austinmac January 9th, 2013 at 8:46 am

    No starters seem easy to obtain for the $2-3 M they will have to spend on them in 2014. Crummy pitchers will be out of the budget. Young guys would be the only option.

  127. MTU January 9th, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Just get Upton.

    Then you can move Granderson for someone else we’d need.

    :)

  128. MTU January 9th, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Drs. are not going to know A-Rod’s longterm prognosis until they actually get in there and have a look at the damage.

  129. blake January 9th, 2013 at 8:54 am

    “That seems to be where you and I might differ.”

    true….I need to see the price first before saying

  130. blake January 9th, 2013 at 8:56 am

    “Just get Upton.

    Then you can move Granderson for someone else we’d need.”

    this….but they wont’

  131. MTU January 9th, 2013 at 8:57 am

    New thread ——>

  132. Rich in NJ January 9th, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Rich in NJ January 9th, 2013 at 12:22 am
    Granted, auto-credit is flawed, but hideously so? That’s kind of strong.

    jacksquat January 9th, 2013 at 12:37 am
    auto-credit, lol, I rest my case.
    __

    Heh.

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