Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bonser Down

When news surfaced recently that Boof Bonser had been having trouble throwing during the offseason and received a cortisone shot in his shoulder to alleviate some soreness, I feared the worse in spite of reports that previous MRI exams had revealed no structural damage. Perhaps it’s because I’m a worrywart, or perhaps it’s because I’ve become jaded after many years of following sports and learning that seemingly every minor injury eventually transforms into something more significant. Sure enough, it was revealed yesterday that Bonser will undergo exploratory surgery today “to get to the bottom of why he’s having shoulder problems.”

Now, this is a potentially minor operation and if the surgeon ultimately discovers that the problem is not serious, Bonser can still be a factor for the Twins this season. However, it does seem almost certain at this point that he will at least open the season on the disabled list (which, as I mentioned last week, isn’t necessarily a bad thing), and if the Bonser’s issues are significant he could be on the shelf for most or all of the season.

A season-ending injury would be a tough blow for Bonser-backers (a collection I’d group myself in). With his 96-mph heat and nasty curveball, the hefty right-hander seemingly had a decent chance of helping revive the Twins’ battered bullpen if he could harness his stuff. Now, at the very least he’ll have a rocky road as he tries to capture a significant role in the ‘pen during the season while recovering from shoulder surgery. At worst, his time with the Twins might be done.

It’s possible that Bonser’s absence will put some added urgency into the team’s reported pursuit of Juan Cruz, but I remain skeptical about the likelihood of such a move taking place. Cruz would be a tremendous addition for the Twins, but working out a contract with him and his agent while also hammering out a compensation agreement with the Diamondbacks would be a tall order. While the Twins may step up their efforts to acquire Cruz, I think it’s equally likely that they take advantage of their newfound roster flexibility and carry both Philip Humber and Jose Mijares north in April while stashing Bonser on the DL.

I’m truly hoping that when the results of Bonser’s exploratory surgery are announced, the news is good. But given the history of these types of situations, I’m not terribly optimistic.

6 comments:

PWHjort said...

Wow, I predicted that. Exactly like Rafael Soriano. I hope the results aren't as bad as Soriano's were.

PWHjort said...

He's out for the season. Torn labrum and rotator cuff.

Anonymous said...

Nick, Thomas, et al:

"We were set to go into the season with a platoon, which doesn't bother me. But solidifying a position with one guy, a Gold Glove who potentially can hit 25 to 30 homers, that's not a bad thing," Gardenhire said, making it clear that Crede will play as many games as his chronically sore back allows. "

If I am wrong in my projections for a healthy Crede, then so is the manager (and the GM, and the owner).

I will engage in a projection.

2006, Crede's career year: 30-94-283; 544 AB.

2007 was a lost season due to injury. See Cuddyer '08.

2008, 17-55-248, 335 AB.
PROJECTION 544 AB (if healthy):
28-89-248.

C Davis, '91: 29-93-277, 534 AB.

Joe Crede, average of '06 and '08, with at-bat projections for '08:
29-92-265.

Davis, again, '91: 29-93-277.

It should also be noted that Davis hit 12-58-265 in '90, and 12-66-288in '92, that '91 was one of the top 3 seasons of Davis's career. I would hardly call him a great hitter.

If anything, Joe Crede could reasonably be expected to approximate Davis' numbers more than Davis could have himself in
'91.

So someone please tell me why I am wrong (as are Gardenhire, Smith, Pohlad) for projecting that a healthy Crede, playing for a multi-year deal next off-season, just might give us 25 and 90.

Nick N. said...

The manager, the GM and the owner also thought Livan Hernandez, Tony Batista, Ramon Ortiz, Rondell White, Juan Castro, Adam Everett Craig Monroe and many others were good acquisitions. You're really using the fact that they think Crede will do well is a strong piece of evidence? Aren't you the one who was just arguing that this same front office hasn't made a decent free agent signing since Chili Davis?

I've already explained what's wrong with "expecting" 25 to 90 from Crede this year. You can hope for it, and it's not out of the realm of possibility, but it's not realistic. He's done that once in his life and he's got a lot more circumstances working against him now.

And furthermore, there is a lot more to evaluating a player's offensive performance than measuring his home runs and RBI. There's a reason Albert Pujols was a much better hitter than Ryan Howard last season.

BTW, I like how you continually focus on Crede's 2006 season while totally ignoring 2003, 2004, 2005, three seasons in which he was also very healthy and very mediocre.

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