Seven Unassisted: Joba's struggles, Reyes's thyroid

Dr. Andy Behrens is saving Latin in private schools today, so I'm stepping in with some linked freshness. Settle in, and kindly turn off your cell phones.

A lot is made of how meaningless spring results tend to be, but that's certainly not the case for anyone battling for a job or specific role, like Joba Chamberlain(notes) with the Yankees. Joba threw batting practice to the Tigers Wednesday (six runs over 2.1 innings) and he's been rocked for 11 runs over 3.2 spring frames thus far. "I understand fully what's at stake," Chamberlain told the Newark-Star Ledger. "I also understand that there's no panic button. There's a sense of urgency, believe me. But there's no panic button."

The Mets are having a bunch of tests done on Jose Reyes's thyroid and although some of the reports have been mildly conflicting, it doesn't appear that there's too much to be worried about here. Reyes could be back to baseball activities later in the week. (Thursday Update: And now the Mets are telling us something completely different; Reyes needs to rest for 2-8 weeks while his thyroid normalizes. And so it goes.)

Often times a player is the worst source to consider when we're trying to construct a return timetable; athletes as a whole tend to be wildly optimistic about their healing powers. That established, Brian Roberts(notes) (lower back) seems to think he'll be on the field for the Baltimore opener on April 5 and I'll take him at his word.

If you're tracking the groin strains in Florida, note that Cody Ross(notes) is ahead of Cameron Maybin(notes) right now. Both guys should be back by next week.

When top prospects hurt, we all hurt. Desmond Jennings(notes) is battling a sprained wrist and will be in a splint for 5-7 days; he also took a pitch off the elbow last week. Jason Heyward is also dealing with some nicks; minor bruises to his shoulder and neck got him the day off Wednesday but he should be back tomorrow.

Jesus Flores(notes) is headed to Alabama to have his surgically-repaired shoulder examined by Dr. James Andrews. Connect the dots and it's highly unlikely Flores will be ready to go for the start of the season; in the meantime, Ivan Rodriguez(notes) is around to play the majority of the time.

Considering everything Nomar Garciaparra(notes) did for our fantasy teams during the first half of his career, it's apropos that we give him some reflection time here; Nomar officially retired (as a Bostonian) Wednesday. Garciparra posted six monster seasons in his 20s, but nagging injuries dogged him after that and he only gave us one useful season post-Boston (a solid year with the Cubs Dodgers in 2006). Thanks for the frozen ropes, big guy.


Photo via Getty Images

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