From Will Carroll -
Over the past two weeks, I’ve been hearing whispers, over and over from disparate and independent sources, that Sheffield was slowing his rehab deliberately, feeling no pressure to return. “He says he’s not needed,” one source told me, “and that he’s got to worry more about next year than this year.” Several people I spoke with that have knowledge of his rehab process claim that Sheffield shouldn’t be behind Hideki Matsui. “[Matsui']s busted his [rear] and [Sheffield] is negotiating his contract. He talks more to his agents than he does the trainers.”
Here’s the thing for me:
Sheffield has a torn ligament and dislocated tendon in his left wrist.
Matsui has a fractured left wrist.
It’s not the same injury. More so, Sheffield bats right-handed and Matsui bats left-handed.
For a right-handed batter, the left wrist is everything. It’s the power wrist. The other hand, the right wrist, guides the bat. But, it’s the left wrist that provides all the strike-force and which requires the most strength and movement – again, for a right-handed batter like Sheffield.
For a left-handed batter, like Matsui, the right wrist is more important – as that’s the strike-force, etc. The left wrist to a left-handed batter is the same as the right wrist to the right-handed batter (meaning it’s a guide hand and not the fulcrum wrist for the swing).
A left-handed batter can get by with a left wrist that’s not 100%. But, for a right-handed batter, you need your left wrist to be 100% to be effective.
Comparing Sheffield’s recovery period to Matsui’s is like comparing apples to oranges – because they do not bat from the same side of the plate.
It’s a big difference.
As far as Sheffield feeling not needed, I think this shows that he has a brain. It’s the truth. The Yankees are fine with Abreu and Cabrera in the outfield.
Yes, Sheffield could help at DH – when Giambi plays 1B. But, only if he’s able to hit. And, again, to hit, he needs to have his wrist at 100%.
Anyone who has read this blog in the last 16 months knows that I’m not shy about getting on the case of a Yankees player. In fact, I’m ragged about doing it – all the time. Yet, I just don’t see the reason to get on Sheffield at this time. Like I wrote yesterday, when it comes to Sheffield, it’s ‘thanks for the memories and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.’ He’s old news.
Just say good-bye and leave it at that.