Thursday, April 07, 2005

Bobby Madritsch Update 

Here are the latest updates on Mad Dog Madritsch

Tribune - M's Biggest Loss could be Madritsch
Times - M's Lose Another One
PI - M's Lose Game, Starter

The pitcher left the game in the fifth inning when he felt something wrong at the back of his left shoulder. He was taken to a Northgate radiology clinic for an MRI that showed he had suffered a mild strain. The club won't have a timeline for Madritsch to return until tomorrow at the earliest.

When asked if there was any hint of this coming, Hargrove responded, "It happened on one pitch, it wasn’t something he’d been dealing with. One pitch and there was a pain in the back of his shoulder."

Pitching coach Bryan Price, who went to the mound and talked to Madritsch, said the 28-year-old was unnerved. "He was scared and had every reason to be. This is a kid who’d never say anything about an ache or a pain, but this was something different."

Man, its hard to imagine Bobby Madritsch scared of anything, but there you have it. The news that it appears to just be a strain is comforting, but anything that scares Bobby scares me tenfold.

As for what the M's will do, Hargrove says that "the simplest decision isn’t always the right one. We have options." Meaning that it won't necessarily be Ryan Franklin who slides into the rotation. It could be Jorge Campillo, who has pitched well since being sent down to AAA or possibly Bryan Price favorite Cha Seung Baek.

Another possibility is that Joel Pineiro returns early, instead of pitching a rehab assignment against Fresno on Sunday. This makes a lot of sense to me, if the injury to Bobby is only going to keep him out for a couple of weeks.

Don't count on it being Felix Hernandez, who turns 19 on Friday. An injury won't be what prompts the Mariners to bring him up to the big leagues. The team should stick to its plan to get Felix experience against AAA hitters, and call him up based on El Cartelua's timeline, and no one else's.

Admirably, Ryan Franklin toed the company line... "The last time I started was March 28, and I threw 90 pitches. Could I start next week? Sure, but I can also pitch in relief again Friday. My job is to be prepared for whatever they ask of me." And in another interview, said "If they need me, I can start. Heck, the problem I have in the bullpen is that I'm still in my starting routine."

My guess at the current odds (I've been avoiding the gambling thing so far this year)...
Pineiro 2-1
Franklin 3-1
Baek 8-1
Campillo 10-1
Felix 50-1

I think Franklin is where he belongs, a great option for the M's when a pitcher can't get through the fifth inning. Pineiro is feeling good, so he could start in Bobby's spot, and Franklin or Villone will be there to finish up the game.

If Madritsch is out for more than three weeks, I think that dramatically increases the chances for it to be a non-Pineiro option, as we'll have to figure out a new fifth starter. Then, it is likely a three-way race between Franklin, Baek, and Campillo, while the chances that King Felix looks ready for the majors increase ;-)

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