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Big League Stew

Throwing Pains: Hurting at the hot corner

Rob Iracane
Big League Stew

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Welcome to Throwing Pains, your weekly run to the hot corner hospital to see what the Rx roll call looks like. I am not a doctor and I won't even play one on the web. Nope, it's up to the players to get hurt and for me to give them my wildly unprofessional diagnoses based on a semester of high school anatomy and a cursory knowledge of how to search the WebMD website.


To the DL!

Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants: Sandoval, who made headlines this winter for his successful weight-loss program, just went down with a fractured wrist that required surgery. There's no diet in the world that could have prevented this ouchie. Sandoval broke his hamate bone during an at-bat last Friday; the hamate is towards the lower part of the hand, near where the knob of the bat usually rests.

Diagnosis: The once pudgy Panda will miss 4-6 weeks recovering from surgery. Luckily, the injury should make it easier for him to maintain his svelte figure through his rehab. Ever try to grip an ice cream scoop with a busted hamate?

Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals: Looks like it was a bad week for star third basemen around the majors. The Nats franchise star played through pain for a while but the abdominal strain he suffered during spring training turned out to be far worse than originally diagnosed. There's a tear down there.

Diagnosis: Zim will also miss about four-to-six weeks after having his torn muscle fixed up. But good news! He's already walked a 30-minute mile on the treadmill just a day after surgery. Hey, if walking a mere mile in 30 minutes on the treadmill was such big news for us regular schmoes in our local gym, we'd all be making headlines. {YSP:MORE}

Bobby Jenks, Boston Red Sox: Jenks, along with fellow new Sox reliever Dan Wheeler, were shelved Thursday after a marathon 14-inning loss to the Los Angeles Angels that forced manager Terry Francona to empty his bullpen. Jenks and Wheeler have minor maladies but it's their combined ERA over 9.00 that is causing concern in the Hub.

Diagnosis: The Sox called up veterans Rich Hill and Scott Atchison to fill the empty spots on the bullpen bench. Pitching coach Curt Young says he's diagnosed Jenks' mechanical flaw via videotape but he is still unsure how to solve the awful yellow beard.

Orlando Hudson, San Diego Padres: Blame Hudson's hustle for his hampered hamstring. While trying to extend a double into a triple on Monday, Hudson strained his left hamstring rounding second base and pulled up lame. So let the lesson be learned: Never hustle.

Diagnosis: Orlando begged his manager, Bud Black, to not be placed on the DL and said he was ready to go on Wednesday. It was for naught, as Hudson was placed on the 15-day DL and replaced in the starting lineup with Eric Patterson.

Jim Thome, Minnesota Twins: The Year of the Oblique strikes again! The aging slugger was moved to the 15-day DL Tuesday night after he strained his left oblique. Thome was initially day-to-day but when day-to-day turned into a whole week of not playing, the Twins felt it best to shelve him and call up Trevor Plouffe to take his roster spot. He could be back in his DH spot as early as next weekend.

Diagnosis: Recovering from oblique strains might be easy for young whippersnappers like Curtis Granderson but for old dudes over 40, it could take a bit more work and time. No matter, the big man is a tough guy and heck, he only needs to get back for more at-bats.

Zach Braddock, Milwaukee Brewers: In one of the more bizarre trips to the disabled list in recent memory, the Brewers reliever needs some time off from baseball to work out a sleeping disorder that has plagued him for a while. It's no joke, either. Braddock has been seeing doctors and getting tested and the diagnosis is not good.

Diagnosis: There's no telling what's really hurting Braddock. Tom Haudricourt reports that his symptoms could be related to the anxiety disorder that shelved Zack Greinke a while back. Those of us who don't get a full night's sleep from time to time know how it can affect our bodies and our moods.

Brian Roberts, Baltimore Orioles: Yowch! Too often we lay people read about the injuries that baseball players suffer and we can only wonder what that pain must be like. How many of us have experienced thoracic outlet syndrome or blown out a knee ligament? Not many! But longtime Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts went down this week with a totally non-sports-related injury ... a toothache! Roberts underwent a root canal after a sleepless night of pain in his chompers on Monday and missed Tuesday's game.

Diagnosis: Brian snuck back into the Orioles lineup on Wednesday and collected a double and a run scored in Baltimore's win over the Kansas City Royals. Good work, doc! Sounds like your endodontic expertise (and a little bit of Novocaine) has this fan favorite back and at 'em.

Eric Chavez, New York Yankees: If there was a wing at the Baseball Hall of Fame that saluted players for injuries suffered, Eric Chavez would be in the inaugural class with Mike Hampton and Mark Prior. Shame, then, that a guy who found a comfortable role as backup corner infielder with the Yanks broke his pinky toe while legging out a triple in Thursday's game. Odd, the Detroit Tigers center fielder, Don Kelly, dove for the line drive and whiffed, turning a would-be double into a triple. Had Kelly played it straight up, Chavez' little piggy would still be crying "Wee wee wee!" all the way home.

Diagnosis: Chavez will supposedly be out for four-to-six weeks. He hasn't played more than 137 games in a season since 2005 and, with his backup role behind Alex Rodriguez firmly entrenched, he would have struggled to make 50 appearances in 2011. Still, this injury is yet another shame for a talented player still just 33 years of age.

Welcome Back! Victor Martinez, Evan Longoria, Zack Greinke.

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