Baek down

DMZ · April 22, 2005 at 2:45 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Baek, who’d been outstanding so far in his starts for Tacoma, is out. “Strained flexor bundle” is the word. He’s gone on the 15-day DL, but the word on the street is that he could be out a month or longer. Something should come out about expected return date soon.

From the Everett Herald:

Utility player Scott Spiezio, who went on the 15-day DL Wednesday because of a strained oblique muscle in his left side, also has been stricken with the flu bug that has swept the team. Spiezio, in fact, hasn’t returned from Southern California, where the Mariners played the Anaheim Angels early this week when he was hurt.

Uh huh. Somewhere in the greater LA area, there’s a nice hotel with a highly-paid backup corner infielder being held in a room by hired goons who make sure he’s fed, comfortable, and out of the lineup.

“But I’m feeling much better.”
“I’m afraid you’re going to have a setback if you don’t step back from the door, Mr. Spiezio. Would you like me to have someone bring up some magazines?”
“You’re not going to drive me out into the desert and tie me to a cactus to die so you can get out of my paying my contract, are you?”
“Uhhh… noooooo…”


26 Responses to “Baek down”

  1. ray on April 22nd, 2005 3:08 am


    Hey wasn’t that a seen from a Simpson’s episode?

  2. M.O. on April 22nd, 2005 6:21 am

    Great one, Derek!

  3. PLU Tim on April 22nd, 2005 6:46 am

    Funny, I had never heard of the “strained flexor bundle” injury before last august. Now this is the 3rd M’s pitcher with the same injury.

  4. chris w on April 22nd, 2005 7:05 am

    My usual rant (condensed): the Ms have a serious problem keeping pitchers healthy. It’s getting ridiculous. Heads should roll.

  5. Jimmie the Geek on April 22nd, 2005 8:33 am

    Maybe Spiezio could spend the downtime woodshedding with his band. That way they might get good, so he’ll have a fallback once he’s out of baseball in the next couple years.

    More likely, they just stick him on Baseball Tonight. Ugh.


  6. Adam M on April 22nd, 2005 8:42 am

    Maybe he’ll stay in Hollywood and get work as Ricky Gervais’ stunt double.

    Spiezio’s not the only guy who’s ever signed a contract he couldn’t perform up to. Couldn’t the M’s trade him and some cash for at least a prospect/setup guy/statistician/sack lunch/etc.? At this point, he’s just sunk cost; he’s not even insurance in case somebody gets injured, because they’ve got other contingency players who will perform better. He is the definition of redundancy, no? But he’s only redundant on our team. Somebody else (Ken Williams, Omar Minaya, I’m looking at you) could surely conceive of some use for him. Why would no one gamble if the M’s would pay some salary? Is he getting a rep for being a bad clubhouse guy/whiny baby as well?

  7. Pilots fan on April 22nd, 2005 9:01 am

    DMZ, been meaning to compliment you on the article last week in the PI regarding Franky. Fair analysis and good writing.

    Back on topic — we all keep talking about these arm injuries to our pitchers, and I think a lot of us have had enough. You were looking for topics to write about? There ought to be enough smoke here to find a fire …

  8. chico ruiz on April 22nd, 2005 9:06 am

    Can anyone explain in layman’s terms what a “strained flexor bundle” is? I’m guessing it’s a forearm injury, but beyond that it’s unclear to me. Is this what Pineiro had?? What are long term issues with it? Anybody know?

  9. Steve on April 22nd, 2005 9:10 am

    re #6:

    Spiezio’s not the only guy who’s ever signed a contract he couldn’t perform up to. Couldn’t the M’s trade him and some cash for at least a prospect/setup guy/statistician/sack lunch/etc.?

    Put yourself in the position of the other GM. Let’s say Bavasi offered Spiezio + $$ for your prospect and you were seriously considering this.

    Wouldn’t you tell Bavasi, “Keep Spiezio. Just give the the $$ and I’ll give you the prospect.” Seriously, adding Spiezio to the deal just means that you have to add more cash to the deal to make it happen.

    If the Mariners were at that point, it would be simplier and easier to just Jarvis Spiezio.

  10. chico ruiz on April 22nd, 2005 9:20 am

    # 9–I like the use of the verb “to Jarvis.” Much more colorful than “dfa”

  11. anotherjeff on April 22nd, 2005 9:23 am


    I agree with #10 and was going to say the same thing. Made me chuckle.

  12. Steve on April 22nd, 2005 10:17 am

    If you google “strained flexor bundle”, all you get is Mariners pitchers. Pineiro and Atchison, literally every single hit. Either Larry Pedegana seems to be the only doctor in the world who can diagnose this ailment, or it’s actually an infectious disease. Maybe it’s the brand of towels they buy.

    Assuming that these are not the only three people (Joel, Scott, Baek) in the history of the world with this problem, I wonder what other teams (and doctors) call it.

    If you take the quotes off you get a few more hits, no other baseball players that I can find. Some medical hits that require paid subscription. Apparently the flexor digitorum accessorius longum is important. My latin is, well, it’s not latin, but I think that means these are the long tendons in your arm that work your fingers. Meaning this is possibly in the same category as Repetitive Stress Injury, like carpal tunnel syndrome.

    Hmm. You know, RSI is thought by some people to be contagious, not in the sense that you physically get germs from people but that sometimes when people in offices start showing signs, other people around them start showing it too, in clusters, while other people in the exact same work environment further away don’t.

    Yo, Felix! Wear headphones all the time! Don’t talk or look at anyone! Stay away from your teammates and the doctors!

  13. pensive on April 22nd, 2005 10:28 am

    DMZ.After reading your Post regarding the expenses that figure into the operating costs.One of my first thoughts was hope front office is not sparing the expense of all medical diagostic tools. This is just sad to read another young arm injured.

  14. Brett Farve on April 22nd, 2005 10:29 am

    9/10/11: In order to be “Jarvis’d” you must have first been acquired by trading a hig-priced stiff; “to Cirillo.” While I too chuckeled at the “Jarvis” comment, I think its a little off. 🙂

  15. Brian Rust on April 22nd, 2005 10:33 am

    If you hold out your hand, then make a fist, your “flexor bundle” is what does the work. As near as I can tell (and I looked this up in Gray’s Anatomy during the #1 starter roundtable discussion), the flexor bundle is a loose description for “the muscles that grip a baseball.”

    I don’t think the diagnosis is idiosyncratic to the M’s organization, but merely a more specifically descriptive term for what other organization might call a “muscle strain.” Or a “sore arm.”

  16. msb on April 22nd, 2005 10:46 am

    and IIRC ‘bundle’ is used to describe adjacent things; for example, you can have nerve bundles, muscle bundles…

  17. Jim Osmer on April 22nd, 2005 11:27 am

    If “jarvis” is a verb than to “wiki” should be too.

    Wiki–to earn a large major league salary while playing at AAA like you just don’t care. to pout like a supermodel while wearing catcher’s gear.

  18. Steve on April 22nd, 2005 11:30 am

    15 – I get you. I think it’s curious, though, that specific diagnosis, “strained flexor bundle”, has ONLY EVER been used (on the web) to describe three people, all of whom pitch for the M’s. Dr. Pedegana is the only doctor on the web who’s ever used that exact phrase. Not just baseball — anywhere.

    There is a TON of medical information on the web — most of wrong, but it’s there. For one thing, people who suffer from every imaginable complaint, real or imagined, discuss them at length. So I wonder what other doctors call it. Sure, “sore arm” is common, but surely SOMEONE must have run across this diagnosis before Pedegana.

    I assume that the actual soreness is up at the other end. If you make that fist, you can feel the muscles and tendons move up at the elbow.

    I’d still like to see a comparative chart of all teams, showing the percentage of their pitching staffs up and down the system that go out with long-term injuries. It sure seems like the M’s are snakebit, but maybe that’s because we’re looking. Maybe other teams’ rates are just as high.

  19. Jim Osmer on April 22nd, 2005 11:33 am

    I think the solution is drafting college pitchers (like the A’s) which weeds out many fragile arms who would get hurt during those years.
    It doesn’t seem like the A’s are easy on their pitchers. Maybe the coddling doesn’t help.

  20. Steve on April 22nd, 2005 11:41 am

    OK, I found this:;jsessionid=CpEjq2nzdyGDCPYVrDXw1MRfKEsB10gk213MoAmFO9FoTeObKLLX!430004150!-949856032!9001!-1

    (from The American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation)

    It describes what happens when you throw. In terms of injury, the author concludes “Rehabilitation strategies included not only addressing local pain and weakness, but also a focus on conditioning the core musculature, rotator cuff, and a comprehensive evaluation of throwing motion.”

    Which suggests that the problem could be conditioning, or it could be poor motion mechanics, or both. Maybe the M’s need to think about alternative techniques for doing those things, so they can do them better.

  21. Christopher Michael on April 22nd, 2005 11:42 am

    I think the solution is to be more pro-active, like Texas, and start hooking up these pitchers every day before their workout so they can spot these things in time to correct them. Everyone drafts highschool pitchers yet ours are the ones that keep falling apart. That to me points more towards our organization not working hard enough to prevent these things.

    Wiki actually works perfect for replacing Lazy. “I’m feeling so Wiki today.” Sadly we’ve had a long list of guys that fit the Jarvis category the last few years.

  22. DMZ on April 22nd, 2005 11:42 am

    The A’s also invest a ton of money in medical support for their pitchers before they get injured, doing biomechanical study and a lot of video to try and diagnose developing flaws in deliveries before they result in damage. Even without Rick Peterson, this is a huge part of how they try to protect their investment in their pitchers.

    “Babying” is only part of it.

  23. wabbles on April 22nd, 2005 12:02 pm

    Three words for Spiezio: designated for assignment. I’m telling ya, ya heard it here first. (Maybe, just maybe, we can trade him for a AA pitcher like we did with Bobby Ayala but that’s doubtful. Ayala didn’t have Spiezio’s contract.)

  24. Morisseau on April 22nd, 2005 1:48 pm

    Anybody good with web animation? How funny would it be to create a parody of the current ad campaign where bryan price and Ryan Anderson are selling torn labrums on QVC? Maybe it would get seen by a higher up in management and they might get the point that they could take better care of their pitching prospects.

  25. chico ruiz on April 22nd, 2005 2:25 pm

    Okay, thanks for the responses in an effort to define the flexor bundle enigma. My conclusion: it’s what everybody else calls either forearm or elbow tendonitis. Any dissent on that?

  26. msb on April 22nd, 2005 3:09 pm

    #22-DMZ said:”The A’s also invest a ton of money in medical support for their pitchers before they get injured, doing biomechanical study and a lot of video to try and diagnose developing flaws in deliveries before they result in damage. Even without Rick Peterson, this is a huge part of how they try to protect their investment in their pitchers”

    I’ve been curious to see if the A’s maintain Peterson’s methods, and if the Mets show a change in pitcher health with his implementation of the techniques in NY….

    (FWIW, #12 when googling, if you don’t limit by ‘strained’, you’d get more hits for flexor bundles, and flexor muscles…)