Blog Entry

"Lisfranc" Key To The Yankees Season?

Posted on: June 16, 2008 3:11 am

It's late at night and I'm about to hit the sack, but I figured I'd put this out there for tomorrow morning.

Obviously, I'm referring to the Chien-Ming Wang injury which he suffered in the series finale in Houston. From all indications, it seemed like he stubbed his foot as he rounded the 3rd base bag on his way home on a Derek Jeter 2 run single.

The one good thing to come out of the bits of information the Yankees released, is the fact that it the injury is not to his achilles. We all know that an achilles injury most probably would mean his season would be over.

But a lot of the media, including the beat writers are beginning to speculate that the injury may be to his Lisfranc joint. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, "Lisfranc joint injuries are rare, complex and often misdiagnosed. Typical signs and symptoms include pain, swelling and the inability to bear weight. Clinically, these injuries vary from mild sprains to fracture-dislocations. On physical examination, swelling is found primarily over the midfoot region."

Wang clearly showed his "inability to bear weight", but that does not necessarily mean it's a Lisfranc injury. Part of the reason that the media jumped to the Lisfranc issue, is because that is the injury that Brian Bruney suffered earlier in the season. I highly doubt that most reporters knew what that injury was before the season began, and I believe that it's from the lack of information that is causing them to jump to conclusions.

Then again, they may be correct, but it doesn't seem like they're coming from a source of knowledge. Rather, they seem to be coming from a lack of hard facts.

Here's a portion of what Tyler Kepner of the NY Times writes on his blog. "The Yankees called the injury a sprained right foot, and they will hope for the best until Wang has a magnetic resonance imaging test in New York on Monday. But the early signs are grim.

The injury is to the top of Wang’s foot, the same general area that reliever Brian Bruney injured when he tripped while covering first base in April. Bruney was found to have a Lisfranc injury and is expected to miss a minimum of three months.

Wang has symptoms of the same injury, including swelling and the inability to bear weight on the foot; he left Minute Maid Park on crutches, in a soft cast. Bruney’s injury was in the middle of the foot, and Wang’s is believed to be in the webbing of his toes, between his big toe and second toe.

“I feel sore,” Wang said in a statement to the Yankees’ media relations director, Jason Zillo. “The doctor says I have to go to get an M.R.I. tomorrow. Of course I’m disappointed.”

Wang was examined by an Astros team doctor, John Duggan, but he did not have X-rays. Girardi said he would be shocked if Wang made his next start.

“You’re going to go through injuries, and you’ve got to find a way to get it done,” Girardi said. “But it’s not easy to replace 19 wins.”

If he is indeed done for the season, the Yankees will have to decide what to do strategically. The options are to stick it out with what he have here and in the minors, or to make a trade for a different top pitcher. The C.C. Sabathia rumors will begin to fly whatever the outcome of the MRI is, but I hope that if the Yankees choose to trade, it'll be from a position of strength. I sure hope that it isn't more than some kind of sprain, but it's best to wait until the MRI results come in before we decide what course of action to take.

Here are some of the options the Yankees can take, as per Peter Abraham:

Count on Chien-Ming Wang going on the disabled list. He left Minute Maid Park today on crutches and his foot was too swollen to put a shoe on.

The question is for how long? It could be three weeks, three months or the rest of the season if there’s a serious fracture or torn ligaments. We won’t know until Monday, that is assuming the Yankees make some sort of announcement.

Only then can Brian Cashman decide on a course of action. Here are the possibilities:

Dan Giese:
He was Scranton’s best starter before coming up to caddy for Joba Chamberlain. Now that Joba can go 100 pitches, Giese can return to starting. He has allowed only one run in 6.1 innings since getting called up.

Ian Kennedy: He’s throwing off the mound and his strained lat is said to be fully healed. But he likely needs at least one rehab start before being ready for big-league duty.

Dan McCutchen: He pitched a terrific game on Saturday. But he has thrown only 32.1 innings in AAA. The last thing the Yankees want to do is rush him to the majors before he is ready.

Jeff Karstens: He hasn’t pitched much this season because of a groin strain, but he’s healthy now and has experience in the majors.

Kei Igawa: He has a 3.73 ERA at Scranton, giving up only 67 hits in 79.2 innings while striking out 69. Are they just supposed to give up on him? Clearly Igawa should never have been signed in the first place. But he was and he’s available.

C.C. Sabathia (Indians):
He knows how to pitch in the AL, he’s a lefty (always a plus at the Stadium) and you’ll have a few months to try and sign him. But if the Yankees are desperate, Mark Shapiro will seek the world for his ace, especially if he’s going to an AL team. Start with Robinson Cano.

Freddy Garcia (free agent): He has been throwing off a mound and claims his shoulder is sound. He could be ready sometime in July. All he would cost is money.

Rich Harden (Athletics): The oft-injured Oakland right-hander has been terrific of late. But other than Danny Haren, what Oakland pitcher has done well since leaving that organization? (Tim Hudson, as somebody pointed out to me. My point is that Beane tends to sell high.) Plus you know Billy Beane will wring every last drop of talent out of the deal.

Randy Wolf (Padres): Left-handed, solid numbers but has never pitched in the American League. Cashman and Kevin Towers probably have spoken twice in the time you have read this post. They are very tight.

Category: MLB

Since: Apr 1, 2008
Posted on: June 16, 2008 8:27 am

"Lisfranc" Key To The Yankees Season?

It sure seems like "Lisfranc' is quickly becoming the word of the day. He seems to imply that it's the Yankees themselves who think that Wang may have suffered a Lisfranc fracture and will likely be done for the season. It doesn't look good, but we'll have to wait for the MRI.




June 16, 2008 --

HOUSTON - They won't be sure until Chien-Ming Wang exits the Carl Pavano Memorial MRI tube today and the test is examined, but there is a strong belief in the Yankees' universe that Chien-Ming Wang's season could be over due to a Lisfranc fracture in his right foot.

Wang suffered what was diagnosed by Astros team doctor John Duggan as a sprain on the top of the foot while scoring on Derek Jeter's single to right in the sixth inning of the Yankees' 13-0 victory over Houston yesterday in front of 43,165.

"I feel sore and the doctor said I have to have an MRI," Wang said via the Yankees PR department. Wang, who didn't have tests taken yesterday, had a soft cast on the foot and req

uired crutches to get around. "Of course I am disappointed. On Tuesday, when I will know more, I will talk."

By tomorrow, the 37-33 Yankees, who have won four straight games and nine of 12, may be without their ace for the final 3 ½ months of the season that was rapidly improving because of stellar pitching by Wang, and Andy Pettitte, and Joba Chamberlain's progress as a starter.

If Wang has a Lisfranc fracture (a fracture and dislocation of mid-foot bones on top of the foot) he could require surgery that would finish his season. Brian Bruney suffered the same injury on April 22, opted not to have surgery and has no definitive return date.

Former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan suffered a similar injury during the 2006 season, didn't have surgery and missed seven weeks.

Mussina made it clear he didn't know the extent of Wang's injury. However, he understands what losing Wang would mean.

"Nothing against A-Rod and (Jorge) Posada but when you lose a front-line starter, that's a big deal," Mussina said. "There are seven other guys in the lineup. When you lose your No. 1 starter, that's very hard. He is the ace."

Like everybody else, Pettitte's fingers are firmly crossed, but he realizes the magnitude of losing Wang, who threw five shutout innings and improved to 8-2.

"Obviously, it would be a huge loss," Pettitte said. "He is our ace and unreplaceable for what he does."

The Yankees' options to replace Wang are limited. The Indians aren't about to deal C.C. Sabathia and the Yankees don't have the major league-ready arms Cleveland would want. Dan Giese is in the Yanks' bullpen, and Daniel McCutchen, Alan Horne, Jeffrey Marquez and Kei Igawa are at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. And any deal for a second-line starter such as Shawn Chacon would carry a high price tag.

Girardi refused to speculate on Wang's injury but said he "would be shocked" if Wang were able to make his next start Saturday.

"We have to find a way to get it done," Girardi said of having to replace Wang. "It's not easy to replace 19 wins."

Girardi thought Wang, who was on base via a fielder's choice after bunting, suffered the injury when he touched third. Mussina, however, said Wang's foot gave out when he was on the grass between third and home.

Robinson Cano, who went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs, scored ahead of Wang and was the first to notice something wrong when the pitcher crossed the plate.

"He didn't say anything," Cano said of Wang, who bent over and grabbed his right knee. "I hope it's a few days and he gets back on the mound. He isn't a guy you want to go on the DL."

Since: Apr 1, 2008
Posted on: June 16, 2008 3:37 am

"Lisfranc" Key To The Yankees Season?

One of the options that pete Abe neglected to mention is Alan Horne. Since coming back from his injury, he's started a couple of games for Scranton. He may need a bit more time, but he should definitely be considered an option.

Since: Apr 1, 2008
Posted on: June 16, 2008 3:26 am

"Lisfranc" Key To The Yankees Season?

For anyone interested in watching Michael Kay and Ken Singelton discuss the injury on the potgame, here is a direct link:

There is also a piece from the Girardi postgame comments in which Kim Jones directly asks if it is a Lisfranc injury. IMO she seems to be prematurely jumping to conclusions. tell me what you think.

Since: Apr 1, 2008
Posted on: June 16, 2008 3:22 am
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