• Giambi’s Wrist Has Ligament Tear

    Posted by on September 21st, 2006 · Comments (30)

    From the Times -

    For nearly a month, Jason Giambi has dismissed the idea that he might need surgery for his injured left wrist. Now, the Yankees say surgery could be an option this off-season.

    Giambi, who has not homered since Aug. 20 and has six hits in his last 48 at-bats, underwent his second magnetic resonance imaging exam in New York yesterday. The Yankees said the tests showed nothing different from his previous M.R.I., on Aug. 31, but this time they announced the existence of a small ligament tear.

    The Yankees also said arthroscopic surgery could be necessary if the pain continued. Giambi will miss this weekend’s series at Tampa Bay but the team said he should be available to play next week.

    “It’s a problem,” General Manager Brian Cashman said before hearing the doctor’s report. “Clearly, he can’t be Jason Giambi with what he’s experiencing right now. We have to hopefully get a feel for whether a week off or something like that will allow him to get the pain out of there so he can swing freely.”

    With Giambi out, the Yankees plan to audition Gary Sheffield at first base this weekend. Manager Joe Torre would rather use Sheffield than Giambi at first base for the playoffs, even though Sheffield has never played the position.

    The team said Giambi had an injection in the wrist yesterday, without specifying what kind of injection. He has already had two cortisone shots in the past three weeks. If Giambi is not ready for October, the Yankees could use Hideki Matsui at designated hitter and Melky Cabrera in left field.

    I know zero about hockey. But, I can tell you that my research tonight on small ligament tears in the wrist found that Eric Lindros, in mid-December 2005, suffered a minor ligament tear in his right wrist. He was out for over two months with it, tried to comeback without surgery, and then made it worse – and then had to eventually get it repaired under the knife.

    Also, in doing my search, I found this from Jume of 1988 on Willie Randolph:

    Willie Randolph, whose season has been troubled by a ligament tear in his left wrist, said today that he received two cortisone shots in the wrist Thursday in New York and that he had temporarily put off the possibility of season-ending surgery.

    Willie Randolph, whose season has been troubled by a ligament tear in his left wrist, said today that he received two cortisone shots in the wrist Thursday in New York and that he had temporarily put off the possibility of season-ending surgery.

    ”We’ll see if it takes to the point where I can get my strength back in the wrist and play better than I have the last month and a half,” said Randolph, who is batting .198. ”If I can make a contribution to the team, then I’ll deal with the pain. But if the wrist doesn’t respond to the shots, then I’m going to have to seriously consider surgery.”

    For the record, Randolph was useless at the bat in 1988 – probably because of the wrist.

    If Giambi’s situation is like that of Lindros and Randolph, he’s not going to help the team by trying to play with a bad wrist. If it’s a situation where surgery is the best option, Jason should shut it down now and allow the Yankees to play someone who can hit in his place.

    If it’s Sheffield, and Gary can play, that’s great. But, if it has to be Aaron Guiel and Craig Wilson in a platoon (if Sheffield cannot play), then I would rather see those two, sound, take their hacks against the pitchers that they can hit, than see Giambi try and play with one wing.

    Comments on Giambi’s Wrist Has Ligament Tear

    1. 98Yanks
      September 22nd, 2006 | 1:30 am

      sorry, but i never wanna see wilson playing first again. what happened to his prowess against lefties? or any prowess for that matter? i’d rather see guiel play full-time, or quite possibly andy phillips/miguel cairo as the righty 1b.

      hopefully sheff can play a decent first. teams are going to bunt his way. but him and the yanks know that, so he should be prepared.

    2. brockdc
      September 22nd, 2006 | 2:17 am

      I agree with 98Yanks re: Wilson. He’s been just awful in his short time with the Yanks, a veritable whiff machine. What happened to his vaunted OBP?

    3. HKGYankee
      September 22nd, 2006 | 2:36 am

      Steve: Spot on as usual. Battling through etc never seems to work vs having someone healthy in there. If that is a healthy Sheff, so much the better.

    4. Scott Coulter
      September 22nd, 2006 | 7:53 am

      Steve:
      I think the Wilson issue is that he has been used less and less. When he first arrived he was sharp, was hitting, hit a couple out of the park, and things looked good. I remember seeing him interviewed and he was quite shocked by the ferocity of the NY Press, unaware that every gesture, every move, would be recorded. He had a bad game or 2 and suddenly was being used less and less. Now he is not sharp because he isn’t playing every day. He’s a spare part for us who is not coming back, but that can be said of some others as well. I like the Cairo/Guiel possibility at 1st, or Phillips/Guiel. Aaron Guiel will probably not be asked back, and that is a shame. I like him a lot, not a great player, but a good player, and a good guy.

    5. antone
      September 22nd, 2006 | 7:56 am

      Anyone want to take back their comments bashing Giambi now? haha….

      I don’t think teams will bunt just because Sheffield is at first because its not like Giambi is any better over there, if they are not a team that normally bunts then they won’t bunt…it’s not like your going to see Murneau or Mauer saying “Hmm let me drop down a bunt because that defensive wizard Giambi isn’t playing first base”…i think that would be more of an issue if they were in the National League or make it to the world series

      plus Sheffield is definitely quicker than Giambi so maybe that will help…I’d be most worried about throws in the dirt at first that he would have to scoop…

    6. antone
      September 22nd, 2006 | 7:59 am

      Hey I just though of something…when Sheffield was playing the infield I believe the reason he was moved to the Outfield was because of all his errors…but I was wondering if someone could look it up to see if most of those errors were fielding the ball or throwing errors?…not sure if that info is available anywhere but it would be interesting to see…

    7. rbj
      September 22nd, 2006 | 8:11 am

      Sheff admitted (don’t remember where/when I heard/read it) that when he was in Milwaukee he would purposely make throwing “errors” (is it an error when you do it on purpose?) just so they would trade him. Doesn’t say much good about his character, but hopefully if he’s going for a ring he wouldn’t make so many errors.

      Let’s all cross our fingers that Sheff can play first and mash the ball.

      And what is it about the Yankees and wrists this year.

    8. September 22nd, 2006 | 8:20 am

      IIRC, someone once went back and looked at the boxscores and found that, while Sheff once claimed he threw balls away to escape the Brewers, it never really happened.

    9. antone
      September 22nd, 2006 | 8:30 am

      I’m still looking for the breakdown of the errors but I did find this umm….red sox blog… that references the errors Sheffield supposedly made on purpose…it’s kind of funny to read the viewpoint too…you might think this guy was a criminal or something…funny stuff

      http://joyofsox.blogspot.com/2005/06/sheffield-biggest-tool-in-shed.html

    10. MJ
      September 22nd, 2006 | 8:50 am

      Giambi’s injury is bad timing. If he can’t go in the playoffs, that’ll make it 2003, 2004, and now 2006 that he’s been banged up in October. And if that isn’t bad luck, I don’t know what is.

    11. christopher
      September 22nd, 2006 | 8:57 am

      I don’t want to see Wilson in the lineup. He must lead the majors in 3 pitch strikeouts.

      I’d rather give Sheffield a shot (assuming he’s healthy enough to play). I know this has become cliche now, but can he really be any worse than Giambi in the field? If we lose in the playoffs, it’s not going to be because we didn’t have Giambi at first base. Sheff is worth the risk, plus I think we need a right handed power bat in the lineup. As deep as our lineup is, A-Rod is the only right handed power hitter we have. Sheff’s bat would be a nice addition.

    12. September 22nd, 2006 | 9:03 am

      Here’s the research on Sheff’s reported intentional errors:

      http://tinyurl.com/jstcv

    13. rbj
      September 22nd, 2006 | 9:26 am

      Thanks Steve. Sounds like Sheff was talking with his brain disengaged.

    14. Raf
      September 22nd, 2006 | 9:44 am

      To be honest, I am a bit suprised we haven’t seen Sheffield @ 1b yet.

    15. MJ
      September 22nd, 2006 | 9:45 am

      Sheff always talks with his brain disengaged. He’s a full-of-shit braggart and just the type of feeble-minded asshole that would lie about something as horrible as tanking on purpose. I swear, I used to love Sheff but man am I glad he’s been away from the team all year. He’s a pretty hard player to really root for, in my opinion.

    16. September 22nd, 2006 | 9:55 am

      If Giambi can’t go, and Sheff can play 1B and hit, I’ll be as happy as a kid on X-mas morning that we have him for the next month.

    17. Jen
      September 22nd, 2006 | 10:34 am

      FWIW, you can’t really use Eric Lindros as an injury example. He’s the Carl Pavano of hockey. In fact, I’m in a Lindros injury pool this year.

    18. antone
      September 22nd, 2006 | 11:24 am

      I think it’s easy to root for Sheffield when he’s on your team…the guy always plays with emotion, I think he really helped put some life in this team the last couple years, kind of filled the void of Paul O’Neill’s intensity that this team has been missing..you can tell the guy loves playing in New York and I definitely thinks he gives his all..and its also not fair to compare him to his younger days…and while you may not always agree with his opinions…it’s his right to say what he feels, aslong as it doesn’t affect his play or the team’s it shouldn’t be an issue…
      i’d still rather see Sheffield up to bat in key situations then some other players who shall remain unnamed ..haha

    19. Raf
      September 22nd, 2006 | 11:50 am

      it’s his right to say what he feels, aslong as it doesn’t affect his play or the team’s it shouldn’t be an issue…
      ===================
      Yep. He has put up his numbers no matter where he has played.

      He may be a loudmouth, but he can back it up.

      Anyone other than me remember him offering to move to 3b before the Rodriguez trade? I hope the 1b experiment works.

    20. antone
      September 22nd, 2006 | 11:53 am

      Okay I lied..here’s some interesting stats for the “unnamed” I was referring to…this is off of ESPN.com’s Elias Stats section…thought it was interesting so I’m posting it..

      Two of the criticisms of Alex Rodriguez in Tom Verducci’s current article in Sports Illustrated are Rodriguez’s poor clutch hitting and his struggle to hit fastballs. At the intersection of those two charges is this amazing statistic: During his three seasons with the Yankees, A-Rod has batted .105 with runners in scoring position against pitchers who averaged at least one strikeout per inning (in the season in question). That’s four hits in 38 at-bats, with one home run and 16 strikeouts.

    21. baileywalk
      September 22nd, 2006 | 11:56 am

      I can’t get over the line “Torre would rather play Sheffield at first than Giambi.” Wow. Giambi’s not a good first baseman, but at least he’s played the position. I can’t believe Torre would make that determination before Sheffield saw any game action.

      People think first base is where lousy defenders go to die, but a mistake by an first baseman — or an inability to catch a throw that’s not perfect — could be the difference in a close game. If they’re serious about Sheff playing first in the playoffs, they need to start him every day for the rest of the season.

    22. September 22nd, 2006 | 12:18 pm

      antone – that statistic doesn’t say much unless we know how other players did in the same conditions. Any comps to offer? One strikeout per inning or better is a sample of pretty good pitchers, and good pitchers bear down when there is a scoring threat. Also, 38 at-bats is still a pretty small sample size.

    23. Raf
      September 22nd, 2006 | 12:19 pm

      I can’t get over the line “Torre would rather play Sheffield at first than Giambi.” Wow. Giambi’s not a good first baseman, but at least he’s played the position. I can’t believe Torre would make that determination before Sheffield saw any game action.
      =========
      Why should it suprise you? It has been said on this site before (can’t remember who said it, tho’)

    24. Raf
      September 22nd, 2006 | 12:23 pm

      antone – that statistic doesn’t say much unless we know how other players did in the same conditions. Any comps to offer?
      ==============
      I’d like to know how he has done over the course of his career as well…

    25. baileywalk
      September 22nd, 2006 | 1:02 pm

      Let me be more specific then: I can’t get over the LOGIC (or lack thereof) of that line. Which is that it’s better to play a guy who’s never played a position (and who’s in his late 30s and not all that mobile anymore) in a playoff game over someone who’s played there for years (though not that well) — and to make this decision without even seeing the inexperienced guy play in a real game.

    26. antone
      September 22nd, 2006 | 1:26 pm

      Believe me I wish I could pull the stats for other players and compare and also for his whole career but I don’t have access to that maybe you can put a request into ESPN haha…

      Anyway it’s only 38 AB’s but that’s over three seasons and only with RISP against pitchers with K per INN average, so how many ABs would you expect him to have in those situations?…not a big sample size but still a telling stat…if anything it may say that he’s getting older and his bat is slowing down…

    27. Raf
      September 22nd, 2006 | 2:21 pm

      Let me be more specific then: I can’t get over the LOGIC (or lack thereof) of that line.
      ===========
      I don’t know. I suppose Giambi is that poor a 1b that Torre thinks that Sheffield could do better?

      Maybe he thinks that since 1b is a few notches left of RF on the defensive spectrum that Sheffield can handle it? You mentioned yourself that “people think first base is where lousy defenders go to die.”

      It could be that a healthy Sheffield is better in field and at bat than an injured Giambi?

      I guess we’ll find out how well Sheffield’s talent transfers to 1b soon enough. It will be an interesting series in Tampa.

    28. Jen
      September 22nd, 2006 | 3:02 pm

      I’m not as worried about Sheff being able to field grounders and catch throws as I am about his ability to grasp the subtleties of the position. Knowing where to be as a cut-off man. Knowing when to flip the ball to the pitcher on plays that take him off of the bag. Stuff like that.

    29. rbj
      September 22nd, 2006 | 3:05 pm

      Considering what Jason has done the last month with the bat and an injured wrist, it’s actually a good sign that Torre’s not push button managing and is willing to consider an unorthodox solution.

    30. September 22nd, 2006 | 3:59 pm

      There’s ways to abuse a non-1B playing 1B too.

      Bunt at him.

      Allow yourself to get picked-off, and then challenge him to throw you out at 2B.

      Stuff like that.

      A smart team would test Sheff on those.

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