Saturday, April 26, 2008
Garciaparra back on DL with strained left calf; Dodgers recall DeWitt
ESPN.com news services
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers third baseman Nomar Garciaparra was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday for the second time this season, and Los Angeles recalled Blake DeWitt from Triple-A Las Vegas.
Garciaparra strained his left calf during Friday night's 13-inning, 8-7 victory over Colorado. He felt some slight discomfort trying to beat out a double-play grounder in the seventh inning but didn't think about it until he tried to reach a ball hit by Scott Podsednik inside the bag in the ninth, manager Joe Torre said.
"I knew right away I pulled my calf when I lunged for that ball," Garciaparra said. "I tried to walk it off a little bit to see how it felt just walking, thinking I could get through that inning and have it checked in the dugout. But I could feel it as I was walking, so I knew it wasn't good."
Garciaparra, a two-time batting champ in the American League and a six-time All-Star, is going on the DL for the 11th time in his 13-year career and fifth time in three seasons with the Dodgers, including a two-week stint last season with the same injury. He opened the season on the DL with a broken right hand, which he injured when he was hit by a pitch on March 7.
He returned to the lineup on April 16, going 7-for-31 in nine games with a homer and five RBIs.
"Going out there and working so hard to get back and then have something like this put you back on, it's extremely frustrating," said Garciaparra, who turns 35 in July. "I was feeling pretty good, everything was working the way I wanted to and I was helping the team -- which is all I care about."
Garciaparra has spent about 450 days on the DL during his injury-plagued career, but still has 219 homers, 898 RBIs and a .315 career batting average.
He can only imagine what those numbers would be like without all the injuries.
"That's the luck of the draw up here. You've got to be lucky to stay healthy," Torre said. "And as you get around this game a little bit longer and then you get a little bit older, all of a sudden you just seem to be more vulnerable."
Garciaparra won't be accompanying the team on their six-game road trip, which begins Tuesday at Florida and concludes in Denver. Instead, he will be off baseball activity for about week and will receive treatment at Dodger Stadium.
"It took me about two weeks to come back from it last year, but I don't know how long it's going to take this time," said Garciaparra, who was named NL comeback player of the year in 2006 after his first season in Los Angeles.
DeWitt started the season with the Dodgers, becoming their fifth different third baseman to start for them on Opening Day in the past five years. He played in 18 games, going 13-for-51 with four doubles and five RBIs while committing only one error in 57 chances. DeWitt went 1-for-4 with two RBIs on Saturday.
In other news, center fielder Andruw Jones was back in the lineup Saturday after leaving Friday's game with a bruised left calf and went 0-for-1 with a bases-loaded walked. He was injured fouling off a pitch.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.