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Hammered by Carpenter
by Alex Ciepley
I guess that title is better than saying, uh, Nailed by Carpenter, but just by a hair.
Ryno Dempster is doing his best to dispel my premonitions of him being the Cubs' Doomster. Dempster pitched very well yesterday, but was Outwitted, Outsmarted, and Outplayed by pesky Chris Carpenter. Dempster's never going to be a particularly snappy starter while walking almost five! batters per nine innings, but he's getting by so far by striking out loads of hitters and keeping the ball in the park. The Cubs could be doing worse for a fifth guy.
Toaster pal Will Carroll is all over the Nomar injury. In today's Under The Knife column, he spells out the ramifications of Garciaparra's groin tear (can you say "groin tear" three times fast without fainting?).
It's possible, though unlikely, that Garciaparra could return with the muscle detached and have some level of effectiveness, but even this unlikely scenario would take two to three months to occur. The more likely course, one the Cubs medical staff admits is now in Garciaparra's hands, is surgery. It would need to occur within the week to be most effective and it would in effect end his 2005. For Cubs fans, this is a devastating blow, one that could potentially mark the end of Garciaparra as an elite player.
If you don't subscribe to Baseball Prospectus, you're missing out on Will's regular takes on injuries around baseball. And since the Cubbies are no strangers to Madame Injury, wise Cubs fans subscribe to get the poop.
Even if Nomar turns out to be a bust, the deal that brought him here still has some legs. Matt Murton, the patient, pure hitter that was a key to getting the Nomar trade done, is currently crushing AA pitchers.
ABBBKSB/AAVGOBPSLG 54 7 6 4/5 .481 .541 .704
Murton's already 23, so the Cubs may be wanting to push him sooner than later. If he keeps hitting like this, they won't have much of a choice.
More Pirates today, as The Prof tries to right his relatively rocky boat and grab his first win of the season. Maddux-Redman, first pitch in 2 hours.