Commentary

Dr. HQ: Wagner's arm woes

Updated: September 4, 2007, 4:15 PM ET
By Rick Wilton | Baseball HQ
Billy Wagner, LHP, Mets:
Wagner complained of a dead arm earlier in the month (6.23 ERA, .375 BAA in August), so manager Willie Randolph gave him some time off earlier in the week. After six days off, he was inserted into the game to try to get a six-out save and failed miserably. He threw 48 pitches and labored to get Phillies hitters out. While the velocity on his pitches was OK (96 mph on the fastball), they lacked the sharp movement he is known for. In fact, Wagner's pitches have been flat and his command off almost the entire month. The 48 pitches is his high pitch count for an outing this season and will not help the dead arm.

What is the "dead arm syndrome" this late in the year? It could be weakness in the shoulder or maybe a signal he is not completely healthy. We do not have the details from the Mets, so it is hard to assess his medical situation.

Scott Rolen, 3B, Cardinals:
The Cardinals finally have started providing some interesting but not surprising background information. Rolen's troublesome left shoulder continues to tighten up on him. The term the Cardinals are using is a "frozen shoulder," known in medical circles as adhesive capsulitis. The shoulder capsule gradually tightens and decreases a player's range of motion. The medical staff no doubt has a routine down for Rolen that includes various treatments to help loosen the shoulder so he can play.

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