Thursday, May 20, 2004

Phly Guys | Not much time to write today; hope to have more tonight, hopefully after the Phils sweep the Dodgers. Last night's win and Florida's loss pushed the Phillies into first place all by their lonesomes, but there were disconcerting injury reports accompanying the good news. Mike's Baseball Rants takes a concise and perceptive look at potential repercussions.

Speaking of injury news, a torn fingernail chased Los Angeles starter Hideo Nomo in the second last night, but, unlike my concern over Randy Wolf's elbow, Dodger Thoughts' Jon Weisman spies a blessing in disguise:

The injury forces Nomo to get a nice spring rest, and that has long been what many have suspected that he needs. Consider that in nine starts this season, Nomo has allowed a grand total of three runs in the first inning. His control has been relatively sharp -- only two walks. He has not been a disaster coming out of the pregame warmup. It has been as the innings progressed that he has faltered.

Becoming a couch potato doesn't make you stronger, so ultimately, Nomo is going to have to build up strength through exertion. But isn't it possible that he needs more in reserve, that someone needs to hit the reset button with him? That he isn't fully healed from his surgery and needs more convalescence?

The door is open for the Dodgers to decide that Nomo should miss two starts and therefore go on the disabled list, followed by a minor-league rehabilitation assignment -- without this indicating a setback to Nomo's pitching arm itself.

Jon also links to's latest defense-independent pitching statistics, which have Kevin Millwood as the only Phillie among baseball's top 50 starters, a reflection of the staff's good-but-not-great status. It's also a vivid reminder of why the Phils need their starters to stay healthy -- there's no Schilling-level stopper capable of dominance nearly every time he takes the hill. So get well soon, Wolfie.


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