This was supposed to be a pivotal time in the professional baseball career of Alfredo Silverio, one of the Los Angeles Dodgers' most promising minor league outfielders, a guy who was added to the 40-man roster this spring and a player who was coming to his first big league camp not to try to make the team but to at least give the front office and coaching staff an extended look at his talents before probably spending the entire season at Triple-A Albuquerque.
Turns out it is a pivotal time. But for a different, less fortunate reason.
While home in the Dominican Republic on Jan. 23, shortly after he attended the Dodgers' winter-development program in Los Angeles for the organization's top prospects, Silverio was in an automobile accident, suffering injuries to his back, shoulder, elbow and neck. More importantly, he also suffered a concussion from which he still is recovering.
The result is that Silverio, who hit .306 with 42 doubles, 16 homers, 85 RBI and an eyepopping 18 triples at Double-A Chattanooga last year, isn't expected to do much of anything this spring as far as baseball activities go. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said there is no timeline for when Silverio can get on the field.
``There isn't one right now,'' Mattingly said. ``Normally, nobody messes around with (a concussion). It was a significant car wreck. I feel terrible for this kid.''
In addition to the numbers above, Silverio, 24, homered in last summer's All-Star Futures Game and was named to the Southern League All-Star team. Because of his injuries, he now probably will at least begin the season at extended spring training, continuing to rehabilitate his injuries.
``I can't believe he is going anywhere other than here right now,'' Mattingly said. ``When he is ready to start playing, this is the best place for him. He is continuing to get treatment and getting ready to get back on the field.''