Results tagged ‘ David Riske ’

Riske to undergo elbow surgery

Brewers reliever David Riske tried rehab, but on Tuesday he succumbed to season-ending surgery to repair a ligament in his right elbow.

Dr. Lewis Yocum, who examined Riske on Monday in Los Angeles, was to perform the surgery. It was expected that Riske would need a full reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament — also known as Tommy John surgery — but Ash wrote on his Twtter feed that the extent of the procedure would be determined once Yocum got a look at the damage inside the elbow.

Ash made his announcement on Tuesday morning, just as the big league Brewers were scrambling to summon support for an overworked and banged-up bullpen. They began the season with hope that Riske would be a durable option, but he made only one appearance before going to the disabled list with discomfort.

Last year, Riske pitched through discomfort for much of the season and ran up a 5.32 ERA in 45 games.

Tommy John surgery typically sidelines a pitcher for 9-12 months the first time he has the procedure. Riske still has one more season on the three-year, $13 million contract he finalized with the Brewers at the 2007 Winter Meetings.

"Tommy John" surgery likely for Riske

Brewers reliever David Riske had a setback in his recovery from a right elbow injury and likely will need reconstructive surgery that would end his season, assistant general manager Gord Ash said Tuesday.

Riske has an appointment with Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles on Monday, at which point a decision will be made regarding “Tommy John” surgery. Such a procedure would sideline Riske for up to a year.

“The likelihood is that he will have a reconstruction,” Ash said.

Riske has been on the disabled list since the second week in April because of pain in his elbow and later was diagnosed with laxity, or looseness, of the ulnar collateral ligament. Riske was examined by both Dr. William Raasch, Milwaukee’s head team physician, and Yocum, a noted orthopedist based in Los Angeles, and opted for a course of rehabilitation to strengthen the joint.

It appears that course didn’t work, because Riske reported what Ash called “ongoing pain” in his elbow during a weekend appearance at extended Spring Training.

The Brewers have said from the beginning that Riske’s options were rehab or surgery, but Riske disputed during the team’s last road trip that surgery was ever discussed. Ash was surprised by those comments. 

“I don’t know what he was doing, because the diagnoses from both Dr. Raasch and Dr. Yocum were that he had a ligament issue and that if he rehabbed first and it didn’t work, he would have a reconstruction,” Ash said on Tuesday.  

In an unrelated matter, Ash said that outfielder Chris Duffy had accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Nashville and would report there beginning Wednesday.

Prospect Lawrie suffers broken nose

Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash “tweeted” yesterday that prospect Brett Lawrie suffered a broken nose on Thursday night when a batted ball took a bad hop. Lawrie, you’ll remember, switched from catching to second base over the winter. According to Ash, Lawrie is “not expected to miss any significant time.”

What is it about Brewers prospects and broken noses? Last year, Taylor Green suffered the same injury on a bad hop during the Arizona Fall League.

Lawrie, the Brewers’ first-round Draft pick last year, has been very good for Class A Wisconsin this season. He is batting .281 with 15 extra-base hits including five home runs, and has driven in 28 runs in 40 games. He also has 11 stolen bases.

In a seperate post on Twitter, Ash noted that reliever David Riske’s scheduled outing in extended Spring Training in Phoenix was rained out. Riske, on the DL with a right elbow injury, was scheduled to throw again today. Not sure if this means they will now push Monday’s scheduled follow-up outing to Tuesday.

Rehab for Riske

Brewers reliever David Riske has opted for a course of rehab to strengthen the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. In three weeks or so, Riske and the team will determine whether he needs a surgical fix that would end his season.

The decision to try rehab was made after Riske visited Monday in Los Angeles with noted orthopedist Lewis Yocum, who concurred with the original diagnosis from Brewers head physician William Raasch. Both doctors believes that the “laxity” in Riske’s UCL can be overcome without Tommy John surgery.

“It’s not torn. If it were torn, then it would be an automatic decision to repair [with surgery],” Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said. “But because it’s not torn and there is only very minor laxity to it, the idea is to try to rehab it for three weeks or so to see if you can strengthen the area around it. If not, then he might be facing a surgery.”

Riske will re-join the Brewers on Friday in Houston and then will work out in Milwaukee from April 27 through at least May 14. On May 15, the Brewers begin another three-city road trip. 

Riske is under contract this season and next as part of a three-year contract with the Brewers. Even if he avoids surgery this season, there are no guarantees that he’s in the clear for 2010, according to Ash.

“If he can strengthen it to the point where he can make some contribution this year, then you’ve still got time to do surgery for his next contract,” Ash said. 

Riske hurt; Swindle on his way up

The Brewers placed reliever David Riske on the 15-day disabled list today with a tight right elbow and called-up lefty R.J. Swindle, who will join the team in time for the start of a three-game series against the Mets at new Citi Field.

What stood out to me about the Brewers’ announcement was that Riske traveled with the team to New York this afternoon but will fly across the country on Monday to visit Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles for a second opinion. I haven’t covered too many pitchers over the years who traveled to see the renowned Yocum and ended up with nothing more serious than tightness in his elbow. Eric Gagne saw him earlier this spring, but he had “some pathology” in his shoulder, as Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash explained it. In other words, there was more going on in the joint than inflammation.

Riske had surgery last fall to remove a bone spur from his elbow but said this spring, even while allowing at least one run in nine of his 11 Spring Training games, that he felt physically fine. He’s in the second season of a three-year contract that once again illustrates the risks associated with awarding multi-year deals to pitchers.

Hopefully, rest and rehab will be enough. Riske could be a very key member of the bullpen this season if he gets healthy.  

Wrapping a bow on Spring Training

Was Brad Nelson trying to make one final bid for the Opening Day roster with his go-ahead, three run home run in Saturday’s Spring Training finale?

“Truthfully, honestly, yeah!” a wide-smiling Nelson said after the Brewers capped their exhibition season with a 7-4 win at Dodger Stadium. “When you haven’t heard anything, why not?”

He finally did hear after the game that he had cracked Milwaukee’s Opening Day roster. It was an emotional moment for a player drafted in 2001 who had climbed to the top of the Brewers’ prospect chart, fallen back down and now has climbed back to the big leagues.

General manager Doug Melvin congratulated other players in person Saturday night including outfielder Chris Duffy, whose contract will be purchased from Triple-A Nashville on Sunday to complete the 25-man roster. Also making the cut, as expected, was infielder Casey McGehee, who will switch from uniform No. 52 to No. 14 for the regular season.

The Brewers finished the spring slate with a record of 22-10-3, including 16-3-1 over their final 20 games, 10-1 over their final 11 and 4-0 to end the ledger. They once again came from behind on Saturday after relievers Todd Coffey and David Riske combined to throw 64 pitches over the first two innings as the Dodgers took a 3-0 lead. Seth McClung threw 30 more pitches in the third inning and Jorge Julio threw 24 pitches in the fourth.

Dave Bush, appearing in relief to tune up for a probable inning of work on Opening Day (his first start does not come until April 11) finally settled things down in the fifth inning with a nine-pitch, seven-strike frame.

“I wanted to encourage everybody to throw their off-speed pitches, their change-ups,” manager Ken Macha said. “[Coffey] didn’t throw any until the end. Riske threw 13 straight fastballs [in one stretch]. … The other guys all mixed their pitches.”

The Brewers rallied with three runs in the seventh inning and four more in the ninth. Craig Counsell hit a tying RBI single before Nelson crushed a three-run homer to straightaway center field.

Gameday: March 22 vs. Giants

Another day, yet another game against the San Francisco Giants. Doesn’t it seem like the Brewers and Giants have played 100 times this spring, and that Carlos Villanueva has pitched in every one of them? He’s in there again today, scheduled to work in relief of starter Mark DiFelice.

Here’s the starting lineup:

Rickie Weeks  2B
J.J. Hardy  SS
Corey Hart  RF
Prince Fielder  1B
Bill Hall  3B
Mike Cameron  CF
Chris Duffy  LF
Jason Kendall  C
Mark DiFelice  RHP

DiFelice is slated for two innings and 30 pitches. Besides Villanueva, who is down for three innings and 45 pitchers in an effort to sharpen him up, relievers Todd Coffey and Sam Narron are scheduled to work today.

Some notes from Macha’s morning meeting with reporters:

Bad news on the Trevor Hoffman front. His oblique strain is not getting any better, and the team’s trainers don’t expect him back on the mound until the end of the week at the earliest. It is becoming more and more likely that Hoffman won’t be ready for Opening Day.

– Manny Parra developed some minor back spasms and missed his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday. He’s still scheduled to make his next start on Wednesday and will be working with one extra day of rest because Tuesday is an off-day for the team.

– Macha once again described his bullpen picture as “cloudy,” and met at length Sunday morning with general manager Doug Melvin to discuss the options. Villanueva and Seth McClung remain the leading contenders to fill-in for Hoffman, Macha said. He doesn’t see David Riske as an option until Riske pitches at least one good outing, and Macha also said he’s not at the point of considering former Orioles closer Jorge Julio, who reached 97 mph on the radar gun on Saturday against the Angels. Julio is still competing for a bullpen spot, though.

– Angel Salome (back) took some swings on Saturday and “felt weird,” according to the manager. Just a hunch, but I don’t think we’re going to see much of Mr. Salome during the final two weeks of camp.

– Duffy is rehydrated and back in the lineup after missing parts of three days with a stomach ailment.

– The Brewers considered giving Villanueva this start but instead tabbed DiFelice in what Macha termed a, “manager’s decision.” Macha wants to see how DiFelice, who relies on movement, fares against the Giants’ starting lineup.

– To get DiFelice and Villanueva stretched out in the “A” game, the Brewers moved Jeff Suppan to a Triple-A game against the Salt Lake Bees. It’s a home game for the Nashville Sounds, so Suppan will pitch on one of the side fields at Maryvale Baseball Park.

– No matter where you are in the Valley, it’s a bad day to be a pitcher. The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory today, and wouldn’t you know it, the wind is blowing straight out to center field at the moment. The winds are expected to reach 25-35 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.

Riske joins list of bullpen concerns

First it was Carlos Villanueva. Now David Riske is among the bullpen arms of concern to Brewers manager Ken Macha.

Riske surrendered a go-ahead solo home run to Kendry Morales in Saturday’s 4-4 tie with the Angels and has allowed at least one run in all five of his Cactus League appearances. In five innings, Riske has surrendered 10 hits including three home runs, and he also surrendered a homer to Bill Hall in a Minor League scrimmage earlier this month.

“I think he’s had enough outings to where he has to get the ball moving a little bit,” Macha said. “Is that a concern? If you ask him, I think he’d probably say the same thing. He feels, and we feel, he’s a better pitcher than what he’s done down here.”

Riske got a late start in the Cactus League because he was rehabbing from right elbow surgery. He and Villanueva are the leading contenders to pitch the eighth inning in front of closer Trevor Hoffman, but Riske has a 10.80 ERA and Villanueva’s is 8.64. On top of that, Hoffman is at a bit of a standstill in his return from an oblique injury.

On a brighter note, Jorge Julio had another good outing against the Angels on Saturday. He issued one walk but otherwise worked a clean eighth inning and preserved a 3-3 tie.

“Until we get the Hoffman situation figured out, we’ve got a lot of variables there,” Macha said.  

Hall homers off Riske in simulated game

While the rest of the Brewers worked out Sunday morning, reliever David Riske and third baseman Bill Hall together took a step forward in their return from injuries.

Riske threw a simulated game on a Minor League field against a group of hitters that included the rehabbing Hall, who followed J.R. Hopf’s leadoff single with a two-run home run. In all, Riske faced six hitters — Hall batted three times — and threw precisely 20 pitches, which was his target. After Hall’s long homer to right, Riske retired the next four hitters in order and drew raves from Hall about the deception on his fastball.

It was Riske’s first action since undergoing right elbow surgery last September, and he has not had any setbacks. Hall is cautiously working back from a slight tear to his left calf.

Riske to pitch; Gagne mulling surgery

Rapid-fire injury updates:

– Noted orthopedist Lewis Yocum examined reliever Eric Gagne on Saturday morning and concurred with Brewers head physician William Raasch: Gagne has labrum and rotator cuff damage, but should take a cortisone shot and attempt a course of rehab before succumbing to surgery. The decision is now up to Gagne.

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin was conferring with Gagne’s agent, Scott Boras, on Saturday afternoon about what comes next. It’s unclear whether Gagne, who is in camp on a Minor League contract and now probably won’t make the team, will remain at Maryvale Basebale Park or depart.

– Fellow reliever David Riske will pitch an inning in a Minor League game on Sunday at Maryvale Baseball Park, his first game action since right elbow surgery last September. Mangaer Ken Macha said the team preferred a controlled environment for Riske’s first outing; if he reaches his pitch count (20), they can simply call off the rest of the inning.

– Righty Braden Looper played long toss on Saturday morning and said he continues to feel improvement from a strained muscle at the back of his ribcage. He hopes to throw off a mound soon, but there is no set schedule to do so.

And on a completely different pre-game topic:

– The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt made the interesting observation during batting practice that all four of Milwaukee’s managerial candidates were standing within 10 feet of each other on Saturday. In addition to Ken Macha, who got the job, and Willie Randolph and Dale Sveum, who took jobs as Brewers coaches, Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly was standing behind the cage watching BP.