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Thursdays can be quiet if there aren’t many games. I guess that’s a good thing, giving the carpal tunnel a bit of a break. I’ve been spending more time in the studio this week, prepping the next couple BP Radio shows. This week’s is HUGE–our national correspondent Graham Bensinger sits down with Pete Rose. I had the chance to speak with Michael Lewis on the eve of his new book’s release. Coach is a quick read, but one I highly recommend. As always you can listen in over the net on ESPN950.com or sign up for our new podcast and have the show delivered to you. You can also call in with questions or comments during the second, local hour of BPR (11 a.m. EDT/8 a.m. PDT) by calling 800 TALK 2 90.

Enough promotional work, on to the injuries…

  • Cards third baseman Scott Rolen heads to the DL as expected with a “mid-grade” shoulder sprain. The worry now is that Rolen also has some labrum damage. Imaging can’t be done because the position that the radiologists need Rolen to be in is too painful for him. The Cards aren’t able to make plans yet and are cautiously optimistic.
  • Bone spurs in the elbow are never good. For Kelvim Escobar, who had bone chips in 1997 and 2002, this is a predictable recurrence. Escobar had surgery in both cases, and it’s a distinct possibility that he will this time as well. This is slightly different in that the bone spur is simply a bone chip that’s still attached, meaning this was either caught early or became symptomatic earlier. The initial plan is to treat the injury with anti-inflammatories, meaning they’re attacking the symptoms rather than the cause. It could be successful, but it looks like Escobar is accelerating his five-year elbow tuneup.
  • The sullied exit of Tony Pena adds some drama to the drain-circling by the Royals. As we wait for Frank White or Mark Gubicza to take the managerial seat, the Royals now get to worry that Mike Sweeney, one of their few tradeable commodities, is injured again. Sweeney has an oblique injury that kept him out of Thursday’s game. That it’s a slow-healing oblique combined with Sweeney’s history of slow healing and his pre-existing back problems makes this one sound bad on paper. We’ll see how it comes out on the field.
  • Jose Vidro is headed for Cincinnati for a second opinion on his ankle. I’m betting that he’s headed to see Tim Kremchek, though I couldn’t get confirmation. Kremcheck is a consultant for the Nationals as well as the team physician for the Reds. Vidro’s ankle is not making progress, and while surgery is seldom an option for a high ankle sprain absent a complete ligament tear, this certainly has to be a big concern for the Nats.
  • It looked bad when Ryan Dempster took a ball off his forearm Wednesday. Mike Piazza had been hitting the ball on the screws all day, even against Mark Prior, and the rocket shot up the middle could very easily have broken Dempster’s arm. He got off “light” with a deep bruise and should miss just a couple of days. Dempster is the stopgap closer while Joe Borowski readies himself, both in Iowa and once he gets back. He’ll likely not be the immediate closer, but Dusty Baker is frustrated with the performance of his bullpen, part of the reason he went so deep with Carlos Zambrano last Sunday.
  • Many asked about how serious an infection like Sammy Sosa has in his foot can be. If you’d like to know, ask Vince Sinisi. The Rangers prospect broke his forearm and during the recovery developed a staph infection. Seven surgeries, tons of treatment and nearly a year later, Sinisi is just now getting back on the field. Sosa can only hope his recovery is nothing like Sinisi’s. While Sosa is healing, the O’s are rapidly running out of outfielders. Larry Bigbie left Thursday’s game with a strained hamstring.

  • Quick Cuts: Juan Rincon comes back on Friday and will slot back into his set-up role. Rincon worked out diligently during his 10-day suspension. Cue the outrage … The Marlins think Guillermo Mota will be back late next week, but whispers are that they’re not counting on it … The Blue Jays believe Dustin McGowan will be in the rotation next season. He’ll start by getting back on the mound in early June … Travis Lee comes back to the Devil Rays early next week. Watch out, Red Sox.

See you at the track as my girl Danica becomes the big story.