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Diamond Cuts: The Latest Dodgers Injury

Jeff Stotts

Jeff Stotts works as a Certified Athletic Trainer (MAT, ATC, PES, CES). He won the 2011 Best Fantasy Football Article in Print from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.

Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp, and Yasiel Puig

The Dodgers injury woes continue as Ramirez's right shoulder is currently in a sling following a tumble into the crowd at Wrigley. If you watch the video, it is hard to tell what part of Han-Ram's shoulder was hurt, making it difficult to speculate what exactly occurred. The Dodgers did not provide any additional insight simply calling the injury a "jammed shoulder". That vague description does little but provide a minor bit of information regarding the mechanism of injury. It's similar to referring to a knee injury as a hyperextended knee. When a hyperextension occurs, multiple injuries including sprains and strains are in play.

Ramirez is slated for a MRI on Monday that will provide better details to how long he will be sidelined. The team fears the worst and has hinted Ramirez will miss an extended period of time. The use of the sling to prop the injured arm is another sign that the injury should be considered serious.

Fortunately the injury is not to the shoulder that previously required open surgery to fix instability in the joint. However the absence of Ramirez would have a trickledown effect on a LA lineup that has thrived with the shortstop. Factor in injuries to Kemp and Puig and the Dodgers could be in line for an offensive skid. Puig's left wrist and thumb contusion kept him out of the lineup on Sunday but he is expected back for the team's upcoming series against the Cardinals. Kemp, on the other hand, remains out with a sprained ankle and isn't expected back soon, despite recent progress. The former All-Star outfielder is hoping to begin more aggressive workouts in the upcoming week but remains several weeks away.

Derek Jeter

The Yankees captain made his third trip to the disabled list if his ailing right calf does not improve. Jeter already missed time this season with a right quadriceps strain and a MRI revealed he has a similar injury in the calf. The multiple strains are not surprising given Jeter's recent injury problems. He missed a majority of the season rehabbing his fractured left ankle and players often overwork the muscles of the contralateral side as they favor the injured joint. Until Jeter's left leg is 100 percent, the right leg will be susceptible to these types of injuries. New York has yet to make the final decision regarding a possible DL stint but it seems inevitable given how the season has gone for Jeter. He's logged just 19 plate appearances this year and simply cannot be relied upon moving forward.

Miguel Cabrera

The Tigers continue to get limited appearances out of their MVP as Cabrera has missed eight of Detroit's last 12 games. He has been hampered by a hip flexor and abdominal strain that is limiting his mobility. He was able to pinch-hit Sunday but was immediately replaced after singling in extra innings. He will continue to rest and rehab the area and a DL-trip doesn't seem likely. The strain is more problematic in the field than at the plate, meaning Cabrera could see extensive time at designated hitter. Remember Cabrera yo-yoed in-and-out of the lineup last year after spraining his right ankle, but still managed the Triple Crown and AL MVP honors. Look for Miggy to see more days off and appear in a limited role until he is able to comfortably field and throw.

Carlos Gonzalez

CarGo aggravated his sprained right middle finger and appears headed to the DL. Gonzalez has played through the injury for nearly a month now but changes to his grip were limiting his effectiveness. He admitted he was restricted at the plate and that the sprained finger was making him nothing more than a "slap hitter". Looking at his recent numbers, it is hard to argue. He hasn't hit a home run since July 20 and has just one extra base hit over that same stretch. Finger injuries generally require longer to heal and most often need to be completed immobilized to create the most suitable environment for healing to occur. Look for Gonzalez to be restricted during the mandated 15 days and return only if he is able to properly grip a bat. Based on this year's track record of players with finger issues, it would be wise to anticipate this taking slightly longer.

Check Swings

Clay Buchholz: Though no definitive timeline has been established, the Red Sox right-hander appears to be inching toward a return. He had his most active and intense workout over the weekend and hopes to begin throwing from a mound soon. The next week will be key for Buchholz as he had previously reached a similar point before suffering a setback with his shoulder injury.

David Wright: The Mets will be without Wright for at least month after he suffered a Grade II hamstring strain. Strains are graded based on severity and a Grade II strain indicates that the fibers of the muscle have been torn, though a complete tear did not occur. The injury is considered a moderate strain and the official timeline is three-to-five weeks for recovery. However the Mets will have little incentive to rush their All-Star back and will be extremely conservative with his return.

Yovani Gallardo: While his hamstring strain is considered less severe than Wright's, Gallardo has been placed on the DL and is expected to miss longer than the allotted time.  Hamstring injuries affect pitchers differently than position players. Gallardo suffered a strained left hamstring, meaning his lead leg is the effected leg. The hamstring on the lead leg is active during the cocking phase because the muscles are primarily responsible for knee flexion while aiding in hip extension. As Gallardo drives his arm and body forward to deliver a pitch, his momentum transfers from his back leg to his injured lead leg, which is now serving as a lever arm for the high amounts of force being generated. Here the motion is a closed-chain activity, meaning the hamstrings play a role in extension of the knee and must be able to fire properly to help support the pitcher. A strained or tight hamstring could limit that ability and lead to other issues, particularly in the shoulder and elbow. Milwaukee would be wise to consider ending Gallardo's year if ay weakness or tightness lingers. Their season is spent and there's no use risking his health moving forward.