Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Injury roundup: American League
By David Schoenfield
I never know what to make of spring training injuries. It seems like there have been a lot of injuries this spring (listen to Orel Hershiser talk about all the pitching injuries ) but unless we went back and checked previous seasons, it's difficult to say if that's really the case. It's also easy to overreact, since teams are going to be cautious with any sore arms or tight hamstrings at the start of the season -- especially for clubs heading north, where temperatures are still hovering in the 30s and 40s.
With that, here's a scroll through the American League with some of the latest injury updates:
Curtis Granderson and Pedro Feliciano, Yankees: Granderson has a strained oblique but thinks he'll be ready for the first series. Feliciano, who hasn't pitched since March 9, sounds less promising, as he'll remain behind in camp. Steve Garrison might win his spot on the roster.
Brian Matusz and Justin Duchscherer, Orioles: The lefty had to leave a minor league game on Monday after getting struck on the biceps with a line drive, but should be fine to make his first start on Saturday. Duchscherer will start the season on the DL with a strained hip that sidelined him most of last season, opening up rotation slots for Chris Tillman and Brad Bergesen.
J.P. Howell, Rays: He's still on track to start pitching in the minor leagues in mid-April and hopefully reach the majors by early May.
Dayan Viciedo, White Sox: He fractured his thumb on March 10 after getting hit by a pitch. He'll stay behind in Arizona until he's ready.
Jake Peavy, White Sox: He is to pitch three innings in a minor league intrasquad game today and then stay behind in Arizona. Phil Humber will be the team's fifth starter until Peavy is ready.
Grady Sizemore, Indians: He'll start the season on the DL, making Michael Brantley the starting center fielder with Austin Kearns in left. The Indians have no timetable for Sizemore's return from knee surgery.
Justin Morneau, Twins: As of Monday, Morneau still hadn't been officially cleared by doctors to play Opening Day, but Morneau is hopeful he'll be ready.
Joe Nathan Twins: He hasn't pitched great this spring as he comes back from Tommy John surgery, but he passed a test by going two innings in one outing and pitching on back-to-back days. Still, Ron Gardenhire as indicated Matt Capps might be used in some save situations early on.
Kendrys Morales, Angels: He took batting practice Monday and will begin agility work on Tuesday. Mark Trumbo will begin the season as the team's first baseman.
Joel Pineiro, Angels: He might head to the DL with muscle soreness in his back, pushing his first start to April 8.
Andrew Bailey, A's: A strained right foreman has landed Bailey on the DL. He's also recovering from elbow surgery. No timetable on his return. Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour will share closer duties, according to manager Bob Geren.
Franklin Gutierrez, Mariners: He's likely to begin on the DL with a stomach ailment the team is still trying to diagnose. That leaves Michael Saunders and Ryan Langerhans as center field options.
Tommy Hunter and Brandon Webb, Rangers: The Rangers are having all kinds of issues with their pitching staff. Hunter is out at least six weeks with a strained groin while Webb is still in the midst of rehabbing his shoulder. A May return is the optimistic outlook. Meanwhile, C.J. Wilson left his last start with a tight hamstring and Arthur Rhodes has tendinitis in his wrist. Alexi Ogando appears to be the guy stepping in for Hunter.
Follow David Schoenfield on Twitter at @dschoenfield. Follow the SweetSpot blog at @espn_sweet_spot.