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Big League Stew

Latos to miss opening day, out indefinitely with shoulder ailment

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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Nine days ago, I suggested something seemed off with San Diego Padres ace Mat Latos. That speculation was coming on the heels of a rough first half of spring training, punctuated by a shockingly ineffective outing against a group of Padres minor leaguers on March 16.

I didn't know if it could be as simple a mechanical flaw, a result of extra pressure Latos had placed on himself after trash talking the San Francisco Giants all winter, or something more concerning like a possible ailment. Maybe it was none of the above, but something definitely seemed amiss.

Well, we may have a better idea of the cause based on the information we learned on Friday.

From The North County Times: {YSP:MORE}

Black said Latos skipped his Wednesday bullpen session only two days after making his last start on Monday. Latos — who threw 90 pitches in four-plus innings — said he was caught off-guard by the injury because he didn't feel any symptoms during his start or while playing catch on Tuesday.

The Padres' medical staff diagnosed Latos as having an inflamed bursa sac and spent Thursday treating the area. On Friday, Latos felt much better.

"It's literally night and day," Latos said. "Yesterday, it felt like everything locked and as if there was a huge piece of glass or something sharp inside my shoulder. There was no strength to lift it.

Latos was never asked, therefore never denied if the shoulder has been an issue prior to this week. He did indicate he felt the best he has all spring after Monday's game, and stated he was feeling better after Thursday's treatment.

Also, it was reported early on Friday that Latos would only would miss his start scheduled for later today against the Los Angeles Dodgers. But by Friday evening, it was confirmed by manager Bud Black that Latos would miss his opening day assignment against the St. Louis Cardinals.

This development leaves the door open for 28-year-old Tim Stauffer, who recently returned from a hip injury, to take the ball on March 31.

Stauffer started only seven games for San Diego in 2010. The most impressive of which coming on October 2 in San Francisco. San Diego's 4-2 win forced the eventual World Champions to clinch the NL West on the final day of the season.

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