Just heard on FSN NW that while they were “exploring” Soriano’s elbow, they went ahead and performed the TJ surgery.
What Ichiro is doing right now is simply unheard of. This is one of the more remarkable runs you may ever see. After hitting .250 in April, he’s managed to turn his season around where he’s now having the best year of his professional career and has become one of the most valuable players in the American League. 2004 Ichiro is better than 2001 Ichiro.
Goes to show just how much teammates matter in the “Most Valuable Player” discussion, eh?
Rafael Soriano’s going to have “exploratory” surgery on his right elbow to, uhhh… take a look at it? The surgey’s going to be done by Dr. Lewis Yocum, who’s a big name.
I want to mention this not just because it sucks but because, really, there’s no such thing as exploratory surgery. They’re going to cut him open and see what’s going in there, sure, but there’s an excellent chance they’re going to do something about it. Just doing the surgery is damaging, so you have to figure they’re prepared to fix anything they find when they go in. Exploratory surgery is often used as a cover for actual corrective surgery. For instance, Gil Meche had a mysterious exploratory surgery that the team never admitted the scope or seriousness of, and we only figured it out when Meche made some innocent comments about how the second surgery was going to fix what they hadn’t been able to completely fix the first time.
This is serious, and really, should make you wonder what in the world the Mariners medical staff has been doing this whole year as Soriano’s struggled back and forth, on the DL and off, pitching in pain, briefly effective between bouts of awfulness… does anyone think he tore his ligament when he last threw off a mound and experienced pain? Is this an injury that they’ve been aggravating and re-aggravating all year long, never finding the source? Is it even something that was much more minor and might have been healed with rest and rehab, but for the team forcing him to go on, and on, and try to pitch over and over?
We probably won’t ever know the answers to those questions. What’s disturbing as that the team’s handling of Soriano this year shows that they don’t know the answers either, and weren’t doing a good enough job asking — and Soriano’s one of the team’s brightest young pitchers.
On the continuing Villone thing: what a terrible idea this is. Villone’s a decent enough fill-in, but the Mariners have a bumper crop of young pitchers. They should be playing to the team’s organizational strengths and the ballpark: even a modest talent, given some good defense, can look great in Safeco, and if that helps them develop, yay, if it means someone else bites in trade and wants to give us something even shinier, double yay. What the team doesn’t need is to sign another old, declining player to a too-long, too-rich contract they’ll regret almost immediately. That this is even under discussion is a sign that the organization has not learned anything from the disaster of this season, and the greatness of the Garcia trade was a fluke, and not a sign that inspiration had taken up residence in the front office.