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March 30, 2012

Collateral Damage

Let the Games Begin

by Corey Dawkins and Stephani Bee

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B.J. Upton, Tampa Bay Rays, (Lower Back Soreness)
Upton was still feeling the effects from his collision with Desmond Jennings in the outfield two weeks ago; Tampa Bay elected to place Upton on the disabled list to allow him to fully recover. The injury is being listed as lower back soreness, but the root cause of the soreness could be related to muscle strains, ligament sprains, or even bone bruising in his spine.

Strains and sprains can last for more than a few weeks but usually heal just fine. When there is a collision between two diving fielders and soreness lingers, concern about a bone bruise in the spine rises. In severe cases, this trauma can cause small fractures, but usually the player is in a lot more pain than Upton appeared to be in. While the Rays do not believe Upton’s injury will necessitate a long recovery period, they’re refusing to nail down a timetable.

Mike Morse, Washington Nationals, (Right Latissimus Strain)
The right latissimus dorsi muscle—the lat—has actually been Morse’s Achilles heel this spring. He’s been having trouble getting it healed despite conservative physical therapy and receiving PRP injections a few weeks ago. However, Morse underwent an ultrasound examination and finally received good news. The torn area has improved, and with the aid of the PRP injection, filled in, so Morse can move forward with his rehabilitation. Unfortunately, because he hasn’t played in more than two weeks, he is still far behind everyone else in camp. He will still likely start the season on the disabled list, but the injury can be backdated so Morse does not need to miss too many games.

Franklin Gutierrez, Seattle Mariners (Torn Right Pectoral Muscle)
Adam Moore, Seattle Mariners (Right Hand Fracture)

Seattle placed Gutierrez on the 15-day disabled list retroactively to 3/24 because of his torn pectoral muscle and placed Moore on the 15-day disabled list as he recovers from a fractured bone in his right hand. Both are eligible to return on April 9, but Moore has a significantly better chance of that happening if recent reports are true. Most hand fractures heal in a fairly standard amount of time—four to six weeks—so Moore will be right on target.

Gutierrez, unfortunately, only started light throwing recently, so he’ll almost certainly need more time. He still has to get his arm strength back to normal and his timing down at the plate. Seattle has not given an updated timeline for Gutierrez.

Mike Carp, Seattle Mariners (Right shoulder sprain)
Carp was placed on the disabled list not too long after Moore and Gutierrez. Carp gains the distinction of being the first regular-season injury of 2012 due to a right shoulder sprain he sustained on Opening Day while diving for a Kurt Suzuki double. Carp hopped right back up, tracked the ball down, and threw it in to the infield, so it’s unlikely he dislocated the shoulder. In fact, he actually stayed in the rest of the game but was unable to get a base hit. If the injury is mild and he recovers quickly, Carp could be ready for the home opener on April 13.

Flesh Wounds
As usual, players injured during the course of spring training are now being moved to the disabled list. … Brandon Kintzler was placed on the 15-day disabled list as he deals with inflammation in his right elbow. … The Twins released Joel Zumaya because of Tommy John surgery. … Reid Brignac is still dealing with plantar fasciitis, but the Rays feel he should be ready by Opening Day. … Alex Rios was held out of yesterday’s game because of a sore Achilles tendon and is supposed to return today. … The MRI on Curtis Granderson’s right elbow showed no major structural damage, only inflammation. He returned yesterday and got a hit in four at-bats. … Drew Storen will start the season on the disabled list with a sore right elbow, but it is expected to be a short stay. He reported no pain after playing catch a few days ago and had a negative MRI. He should be back in mid-April. … Kyle Waldrop has an inflamed elbow, which may cost him a spot in the Twins’ bullpen. He previously underwent Tommy John surgery in 2008. … Kyle Blanksshoulder impingement could send him to the disabled list to start the season. … Skip Schumaker will likely be placed on the disabled list in the next few days for a torn oblique muscle sustained earlier in camp. … Chris Perez and Jesse Crain both were able to return from their oblique strains and throw perfect innings yesterday. … Derek Lowe had to leave yesterday’s game with back spasms, something he felt he could have pitched through if it were the regular season. … David Huff strained his right hamstring while trying to field a bunt yesterday. … Jonathan Venters returned yesterday from right elbow inflammation. … Jed Lowrie has a sprained thumb. ... Miguel Cabrera is due back today following his small facial fracture. … Endy Chavez is out with a mild groin strain, but he should be ready before the start of the season.

Corey Dawkins is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Corey's other articles. You can contact Corey by clicking here
Stephani Bee is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Stephani's other articles. You can contact Stephani by clicking here

1 comment has been left for this article.

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