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Diamond Cuts: Rocky Mountain Low

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.

Michael Cuddyer and Carlos Gonzalez
The Rockies outfield is suddenly become a MASH unit as two of their primary options have both been placed on the disabled list for what is expected to be a significant amount of time.
It starts with Cuddyer who suffered a fractured left shoulder. The exact location is the glenoid cavity of his scapula, better known as the shoulder blade. Along with the upper arm bone, the humerus, the glenoid forms the primary joint of the shoulder, appropriately named the glenohumeral joint. The glenohumeral joint is a ball-and-socket joint meaning it looks a lot like a golf ball sitting on a tee. The head of the humerus serves as the golf ball, sitting on the tee represented by the glenoid cavity of the shoulder blade. The ball (head of the humerus) can easily pivot on the tee (glenoid) allowing for the large degree of motion present at the shoulder. The cartilaginous labrum, supporting ligaments, and surrounding musculature all work together to help stabilize the joint and insure the ball remains in place on the tee. A labrum tear or fracture of the glenoid can lead to the entire stability of the joint becoming compromised and surgery is often required for injuries of this extent. However Cuddyer's fracture is not displaced, meaning the broken piece maintained its position. This should allow for a proper union to occur and keep Cuddyer out of the operating room. Instead the two-time All-Star will simply have to wait for the bone to heal before he can return. He is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks and, given the potential complications, I would anticipate this taking the full allotted amount of time.
While Cuddyer avoided going under the knife, CarGo wasn't as lucky as he is slated to have exploratory surgery on his injured left index finger. The injury originally occurred in May and is not related to the previous right middle finger injury that limited his 2013 season. However inflammation in the area continues to persist, leading the Rockies to take a more proactive approach. The surgery will hopefully determine why the digit has not gotten better over the last six weeks and may provide fantasy owners better insight as to what they can expect from the former All-Star moving forward. Unfortunately the root of the problem could be a serious issue like a tendon rupture of fracture, which would then require additional work to repair. Look for more information to emerge upon the completion of the surgery.

Bryce Harper
Harper's progression through rehab has allowed him to return to the sticks but unfortunately for fantasy owners it's not the sticks they had hoped. Harper still isn't picking up a baseball bat but he has begun thumb mobility retraining using the joysticks of a PlayStation 4 controller. After undergoing surgery in late April to repair a torn ligament in his left hand, Harper recently posted a picture of the video game equipment to his Twitter account with the quote, “Thumb Mobility Sounds Fun!” While the idea may seem a bit odd, video games are finding their way into athletic training rooms and rehab facilities everywhere. Video games can be utilized to recover from both neurological and physical injuries, particularly to the hands and fingers. A complete return of the range of motion in Harper's injured thumb would allow him to maintain his dexterity and could also help build his grip strength. The Nationals have not yet established a timeline for their slugger but hope he can put down the controller and pick up a baseball in the near future.

Check Swings

Gerrit Cole: The Pirates' decision to place Cole on the DL appears to be a precautionary move, especially when you consider he's already throwing. The diagnosis of shoulder fatigue is obviously vague but the extended time off seems to be doing the trick. If he continues to progress at his current rate he could back in the minimal amount of time.

Cliff Lee: The 2008 Cy Young winner has not yet received clearance to throw as he recovers from a strained flexor tendon in his throwing arm. The fact that Lee has to yet to throw is a good indicator that either the strain is more serious that first indicated or there is a fear of an additional injury. Given the flexor bundle's precarious location near the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), insuring the strain does not affect the stability of the joint is key. Stay patient with Lee as a few more weeks of rest and rehab could be the difference between a prolonged injury and a season-ender.

Mitch Moreland: Moreland becomes the latest Ranger to succumb to injury. His left ankle has been an issue for a while now and surgery continues to be discussed. It appears he will opt for a less invasive procedure to start and hopes to return in three to four weeks. However ligament reconstruction remains an option which would cost Moreland months and not weeks. Given the uncertainty of the situation and Moreland's low productivity I would suggest moving on entirely.

Yasiel Puig: The Dodgers received good news on Puig as the emerging slugger returned to the lineup Monday. He had missed the previous game dealing with a minor hip flexor strain suffered following a slide into second base. Get Puig back in your lineup but keep an eye on him over the next few weeks to insure he doesn't develop a cascade injury to another area of his leg.

Matt Wieters: The Orioles catcher is headed for a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews after his recovery from a sprained UCL has not advanced as quickly as hoped. Season-ending Tommy John is becoming an ever growing possibility for Wieters and this appointment may hopefully provide the final say. Position players often recover faster than pitchers but the catching position may be a bit of an exception based on the sheer amount of throwing that is required. The appointment is set for next Monday.