Dodger fans everywhere held their collective breath yesterday after Zack Greinke left his first 2014 Cactus League start with a mild calf strain (poor little cow). They’ve since exhaled. Now, another pitcher is ailing.
Prospect Ross Stripling (No. 6 on my preseason Top 50), will have a contrast MRI today after feeling discomfort in his elbow. He reportedly felt something in his elbow 5-6 days ago and chose not to tell the training staff. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, right.
From Dodgers Digest Medical Correspondent VND, a contrast MRI differs from a “normal” MRI by “the addition of gadolinium. In this case not injected via IV, rather introduced directly into the articulation (joint).” Additionally, “(It) increases the contrast to help visualize soft tissue structures within the elbow, in this case specifically the ligamentous structures.”
The purpose of the contrast MRI is to provide more information not available in a standard MRI, and to accurately diagnose ligament tears.
“MR arthrography may extend conventional MR capabilities because contrast solution distends the joint capsule, outlining intra-articular structures such as ligaments, cartilage, and joint capsules and their abnormalities. MR arthrography is also useful to assess the stability of osteochondral lesions in the articular surface and delineating loose bodies.”
No doubt the doctors are looking at his ulnar collateral ligament. If his UCL is torn or damaged beyond natural repair, he’d likely need to undergo Tommy John surgery.
One way or the other, it doesn’t sound good. It’s marginally better than a shoulder injury (ala Taijuan Walker), but it still isn’t good for the 24-year-old righty who figured to make his MLB debut this season (still might, if the MRI doesn’t reveal anything terrible).
Greinke, on the other hand, was seen walking without a limp after being pulled yesterday, which is great news. He could even throw a bullpen session as early as Saturday. I suggested he and Clayton Kershaw should skip the Australia trip. While this minor setback doesn’t ensure that will happen, it helps the case more than it doesn’t — especially since Greinke said yesterday he wants to pitch if he goes down under.
Side note: Don’t backpedal, Zack. Stick to your stance and don’t let the media influence you. And, most importantly, it makes me look smart, which doesn’t happen often.
“There is no news on Matt Kemp, who was scheduled to undergo an MRI today on his surgically repaired left ankle. Kemp actually had the MRI Thursday, but Mattingly said that team Dr. Neal ElAttrache would not be relaying the results until ‘sometime this weekend.’
Kemp took the field with teammates as usual for stretches but still hasn’t been cleared to run. The team is in no rush to have Kemp on the field for the season-opening series in Sydney, Australia on March 22-23. The 29-year-old outfielder figures to begin the season on the disabled list regardless of the MRI results.”
Non-injury related: Drew Butera is the designated hitter today, which is terribly ironic.