The Shut It Down Show

By Ted Cahill

The dog days of summer are nearly over and we can get down to deciding division battles and wild card spots.

But with little more than a month left in this year’s regular season, players with nagging injuries on teams out of contention may begin to start packing it in. Or probably more accurately, being told to pack it in.

Someone in the Mets’ organization finally woke up to the reality that a game pitched by Johan Santana means a lot more when the team isn’t already 10 games under .500 and he’s now done for the season. Really this should have been done earlier in the year if he’s been experiencing the elbow discomfort that is being reported.

So there’s a possibility that other teams will tell their ailing stars to start the offseason a bit earlier this year or to not bother trying to come back. If you have any of these players on your fantasy teams, watch closely for news and be ready to make a change if you’re still in contention.

•Grady Sizemore, Indians – Sizemore will likely have surgery on in the offseason on his left elbow. He can’t throw well, but his hitting seems to be largely unaffected. Sizemore wants to play through it and so far the Indians have let him, especially now that Trevor Crowe is hurt. If Crowe comes back or Michael Brantley is promoted in September, Sizemore may be finally told to just get the surgery done already.

•Jeff Francoeur, Mets – He’s going to need surgery after the season. Why are the Mets pressing their luck here? As their medical team is increasingly under scrutiny he may just get that done a few weeks early.

•Any Met – Carlos Beltran seems to still want to come back. David Wright really wants to play. Will they be allowed? Wright probably will be, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Beltran is shut down. As for the rest of the team, watch out – who knows what player falls victim next.

•Roy Halladay, Blue Jays – Entirely speculation, but he has struggled for the last month. He could be hurting, or he just might be disappointed he’s still in Toronto. I’d be slightly concerned.

•Rookie pitchers – The Indians have already said they intend to shut down David Huff when he reaches about 160 innings and Oakland has talked about a six-man rotation to ease the innings on their young starters. Other young pitchers around the majors may find that their teams will be cautious with them as well.

•Alfonso Soriano, Cubs – He has an injured left knee and is scheduled for an MRI on the next off day for Chicago. He wants to play, but if the Cubs haven’t improved their position by Sept. 10 they may just shut it down if the MRI isn’t clean.

•Joe Crede, Twins – It’s a little early to declare this team dead in the playoff chase, but things don’t look good. With Crede experiencing “post-surgical changes” in his back and with his past, Minnesota likely won’t be shy in putting him on the shelf.

•Johnny Cueto, Reds – He’s planning on returning Aug. 31. We’ll see how long this lasts. With Aaron Harang and Edinson Volquez already done for the year, Cincinnati might just add Cueto to the list too.