Friday, March 18, 2011

BD Spring Training Report: NL To The DL | Baseball Digest

BD Spring Training Report: NL To The DL | Baseball Digest

Yesterday the Spring Training Report took a look at the injury situation in the American League. Today we take a look at who’s hurtin’ for certain in the National League.

NL East

Atlanta: Superstar-in-the-making Jason Heyward returned to the Braves’ lineup yesterday after sitting out the the last four games due to a sore back. Heyward saw a specialist on Wednesday for further evaluation. “He told me it’s bone structure vs. muscle or anything like that, nothing to be torn,” said Heyward, who hasn’t played since his back stiffened Saturday in batting practice, a scheduled day off for him. “If I can’t tear anything or do anything worse, I’ll play, and that’s what I told Fredi (Gonzalez).”

Florida: The Marlins may have a makeshift outfield in their lineup on opening day. Another superstar in the making, Mike Stanton, has yet to play in a spring game after injuring his quad in an exhibition game against the U. of Miami. While he has taken some at-bats in minor league games, he’s been replaced by a pinch-runner each time he gets on base. On Thursday, Chris Coghlan was sidelined with tendinitis in his throwing shoulder. Manager Edwin Rodriguez has not ruled out Coghlan starting the season on the DL.

Free agent pitcher Javier Vazquez was scratched from a Tuesday start due to elbow soreness, but threw a bullpen session on Wednesday and felt fine afterwards. He’s scheduled to start against St. Louis tomorrow. Fellow starter Anibal Sanchez is expected to pitch in Sunday’s game after being out since March 10 after a comebacker bruised his shin. Their potential battery mate, John Baker, is day-to-day with a muscle strain near his right throwing elbow. He can swing the bat, but so far he has been prohibited from throwing.

New York: Things have been rough in Metsville and they may get rougher. Reports surfaced this week that ace Johan Santana was behind schedule in his recovery from shoulder surgery. The Mets have denied the report, which specifically stated that Santana’s bullpen sessions were not going as planned. Whatever the case, Santana will be on the DL (as expected) to start the season. Carlos Beltran has been slowed by left knee tendinitis and might start the season on the DL. GM Sandy Alderson is contemplating not having Beltran play any additional spring games so that the DL time can be backdated.

Philadelphia: All-Star 2nd baseman Chase Utley continues to be bothered by patellar tendinitis andchondromalacia in his right knee and sought out assistance from a specialist on Thursday. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is hoping Utley can avoid surgery. “We’re doing everything we possibly can to have him not get into a surgery,” Amaro said. “Until we stop seeing progress, then we’ll continue to exhaust all those possibilities.”

Third baseman Placido Polanco had to leave Wednesday’s game after hyperextending the same elbow he had surgery on in November. He’s expected to be back in the lineup in a few days. Closer Brad Lidge is day-to-day with muscle soreness in his right bicep, but Amaro is not worried since Lidge has already thrown a good number of innings. Finally, prospect Domonic Brown was lost for the season after he broke the hamate bone in his right hand and underwent surgery.

Washington: Chien-Ming Wang continues to try to come back from 2009 shoulder surgery. He’s been limited to a pair of bullpen sessions, including one this past Tuesday, so the Nationals have not been able to set a timetable for his return. 3rd baseman Ryan Zimmerman strained his groin on Monday and has sat out since. He’s expected to return to action next week and said he would have played had it been during the regular season.

NL Central

Chicago: Angel Guzman will miss the start of the season and won’t be back until mid-April at the earliest, as he recovers from a tear in his throwing shoulder.

Cincinnati: Johnny Cueto had to leave his start last Friday with stiffness in his right bicep, but after having a throwing session yesterday, he’s expected to return to the mound on Saturday.

Houston: Earlier this month, the Astros lost their starting catcher, Juan Castro, for the year with torn ligaments in his knee. Infielder Jeff Keppinger is no longer hampered by the walking boot he’s been wearing since he underwent foot surgery to remove the sesamoid bone in his left foot. He’s hoping to be back in the Astros lineup in mid-May. Wandy Rodriguez, who signed a new deal this winter, has been bothered by shoulder tendinitis and was scratched from his last start. But the right-hander threw a side session this morning and is good to go.

Milwaukee: The Brewers were hoping to get off to a good start with their 1-2-3 punch of Zack Greinke,Shaun Marcum, and Yovanni Gallardo, but Greinke injured his ribs playing pick up basketball and is out until mid-April. Outfielder Corey Hart may miss opening day due to a strained rib cage. He took swings off a batting tee on Tuesday, but still doesn’t feel right. ”It’s still not coming as fast as I want it to,” Hart said. “It won’t go away. I still can’t go full-speed on anything. Hitting off the tee is fine, but I can’t amp it up the way I know I can. I can throw, but as soon as I have to do a quick move or let it go, it kills.” Catcher Jonathan Lucroy may or may not be ready to catch on opening day. He’ll undergo surgery on Monday to remove pins that were placed in his hand when he broke his pinky finger during a catching drill back in February.

Pittsburgh: Reliever Joe Beimel has been out since early March with pain in his left forearm, but has been cleared to pitch against the Orioles this coming Monday. Catcher Ryan Doumit has missed a week with a strained oblique, but is expected to be back in the lineup today.

St. Louis: Utility infielder Nick Punto underwent surgery in February for a sports hernia and is out until at least mid-April. The Cardinals’ most devastating injury was, of course, losing starter Adam Wainwright to Tommy John surgery.

NL West

Arizona: Infielder Geoff Blum will miss a few days with a swollen right knee that he strained earlier in the week. Zach Duke, who was competing for the #5 spot in the rotation, is out until May after a line drive broke two bones in his pitching hand.

Colorado: Aaron Cook was already starting the season on the DL due to shoulder inflammation, but then slammed and broke his finger in a car door and is out until May. 3rd baseman Ian Stewart is day-to-day with a sprained right knee. Eric Young Jr. is back competing for the utility position after sitting out all spring with a broken tibia.

Los Angeles: The Dodgers were expected to be competitive because of their starting pitching, but have suffered two injuries already. Jon Garland is out until mid-April with a strained oblique, and Vicente Padilla is lost until late April/early May with forearm surgery.

San Diego: Outfielder Kyle Banks returned from a 10-month absence after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and he served as the DH on Monday. He is a certainty to start the season on the DL. Starter Tim Stauffer is still hurting from a strained hip flexor and missed his scheduled start today. He’s listed as day-to- day. Southpaw Joe Thatcher was scheduled to undergo an MRI today on his ailing left shoulder. Thatcher hasn’t appeared in a game this spring and is headed to the DL as well.

San Francisco: Starter Matt Cain returned from a nearly two-week absence caused by elbow inflammation to throw three scoreless innings on Monday. Just like their AL counterparts, the defending NL pennant (and World Series) champions are in good shape to start the season.

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