Denard Span's Vertigo and Jesse Crain's Demotion

AlexAnalyst IJune 16, 2009

FORT MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Denard Span #2 of the Minnesota Twins poses during photo day at the Twins spring training complex on February 23, 2008 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)

Finally a Cure

For the past week, Denard Span has felt dizziness when in the field and has lost sight of the ball when at the plate. The illness finally took it's toll when the second-year pro struck out last week in Oakland on a pitch he never saw coming. 

Yesterday, Span was diagnosed with "vestibular neuritis." Also referred to as a vertigo, in medical terms it means "dizziness and nausea resulting from an inner ear disorder." The sickness can stem from many things, and in Span's case they all make sense.

From a basic cold to influenza to bacterial infections and even long flights, a vertigo can occur in a variety of ways. Luckily for both Span and the Twins, the illness isn't long-term and also can be cured rather quickly with medication and simply rest.

Span last played one week ago before exiting after his second at-bat. While doctors felt Span might be able to return in the back end of the two-series home stand, the team opted instead to allow him extra healing time and placed the leadoff hitter on the disabled list. Span is eligible to return next Thursday, but the team's first game in St. Louis next Friday seems like a more likely scenario.

Re-working the Crain

Jesse Crain was once a top prospect in the Twins' bullpen. After being promoted in August of 2004, Crain showed nasty stuff including a top-notch fastball clocked in the mid-to-high 90s. In his fifth Major League season, Crain has now experienced something he never likely considered—a return to AAA Rochester. 

With an ERA of 8.15 in just over 17 innings of work, the move is a good one for both the Twins and Crain. The team could have ousted Crain, but with options remaining, the better plan is to have Crain re-work his mechanics, regain his confidence, and return to the Majors in the same fashion he did back in the summer of '04. 

The Twins bullpen has improved in recent weeks, and the inclusion of a newly found Jesse Crain in the second half would be a huge help as the team makes a run at the playoffs.