And so another great season of baseball has begun. The Astros won their opener and got a first game home run from Jeff Kent. The Yankees are now 2-0, winning yesterday without Derek Jeter. Will Carroll of the Baseball Prospectus thinks Jeter might be done for the season:
The official diagnosis is dislocated left shoulder. Where have we heard this before? Phil Nevin, of course. Digging through the list of injuries, there are some frightening comparables. Nevin is clearly negative, as is Danny Bautista. The best comparables however are other shortstops--Alex Gonzalez (Florida version) and Rafael Furcal. Neither of these play in the same way nor have the body type of Jeter, but they'll do for our purposes. Furcal is a switch hitter, but all three players injured the left (non-throwing) shoulder. Both Gonzalez and Furcal were forced to have surgery after having previous problems with lax shoulder capsules. Jeter had some problems in his acromioclavicular joint in late 2001. Where Jeter's injury differs is in the mechanism; Jeter absorbed a football-type collision, while both Gonzalez and Furcal had the injuries occur during dives.
The outlook is not good. I cannot find a situation where a player was able to come back in-season from this type of injury. Furcal's injury happened pretty late in the season, so that makes timing this pretty difficult, but looking at the others, things can't be stated positively. The best-case scenario is that after reduction (having the dislocated bone "popped back in"), there would be no ligament or labrum damage. In this case, it's possible that Jeter could be back in as little as four weeks. The worst case, of course, is similar to Nevin or Gonzalez, where Jeter would be done for the season. What the most likely case is won't be known until the results of imaging are in some time Tuesday. Brian Cashman will have to trust Enrique Wilson, commit to Erick Almonte, or hit the phones quickly. ("Hello, Billy? Yeah, yeah, you're the best-looking GM in the game. About that Tejada kid...")
Meanwhile, the #1 ranked Rice Owls won their 26th straight game, blowing out crosstown rival Houston Cougars 11-0 on a one-hitter. The Owls are nine triumphs away from breaking the collegiate record (held by the UT Longhorns) of 34 straight wins. Oddly enough, though, the Owls streak is only the second-longest in Texas this year. Division III Texas Lutheran lost for the first time since last April to end a 31-gamer. (That would be my alma mater who beat them, by the way.)
Finally, my Little League team (the Mustang Twins) plays its first game on Monday. Team picture day is Saturday. I'll have more on those items shortly.
UPDATE: John Manuel was pretty impressed by Rice as well.
UPDATE: Edited to include a link to BP, per the request of Will Carroll.Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 02, 2003 to Baseball | TrackBack