If you’re one of those people who believes that a team should communicate injury information clearly and quickly, I would wager you’re not a big fan of the Indians’ PR department. It seems to be the rule rather than the exception that there will be obfuscation, delay and some good old fashioned hemming and hawing before you ever actually figure out what’s going on with a player’s injury situation.
We saw it with Hafner’s “tired” shoulder. We saw it in the weeks leading up to Jake Westbrook’s Tommy John surgery. And we saw it again last week with Mitch Talbot.
The Indians originally told the press that Talbot was being skipped in the rotation because Fausto prefers to pitch on four days rest rather than five. When asked if Talbot was injured, they said no, and that they wanted to keep it that way.
Then they said that he’d need at least a week of rest: his elbow was sore and an MRI revealed a “strain”.
Then he’d be back in the rotation in three or four weeks.
Now, in the Indians’ defense, they can’t divulge a player’s medical records to the press; we’ve got some pretty neat laws in this country that prohibit that sort of thing. On the other hand, we’re not asking for confidential medical information here: “Is Mitch Talbot’s arm falling off” is hardly classified information, right?
Whatever. I’m actually not all that concerned about the Indians’ willingness to share the information with me because I’m not really into “breaking” news. I figure that when we find things out, then I can write about them, but (luckily) it’s not my job to actually find that stuff out. For those who do have that job though? It must be pretty frustrating to be consistently misled.
Anyway, that’s not what I’m really interested in writing about today. One of those links above is a link to Jordan Bastian’s twitter account. After he tweeted about the ligament strain in Talbot’s elbow, I asked him whether the ligament was the ulnar collateral ligament—the UCL which is what is replaced in Tommy John surgery.
Guess what? It is.
Guess what else? A “strain” is really the same thing as a “miniature tear”, it just sounds better.
Now let me say two things very clearly. First, I’m not a doctor. Second, I’m not a reporter. This means that not only do I not have any inside information, but even if I did, I wouldn’t know what to do with it.
But if you asked me to gamble, I’d say we’re not going to see Mitch for a while. I wonder if the Indians will ever bother to let us know?
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