Tuesday, March 09, 2010

And The Dominoes Begin To Fall

Yesterday, we were hoping that AJ Ellis would be able to fill the big shoes of Russell Martin, with Martin out for four to six weeks thanks to a groin pull. Monday, the injury bug continued to bite our Dodgers, who lost both Casey Blake (strained rib cage) and Cory Wade (shoulder; two weeks):

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A day after losing catcher Russell Martin for four to six weeks with a pulled groin muscle, the Dodgers saw third baseman Casey Blake come out of Monday's exhibition game against the Giants with a strained rib-cage muscle.

The injury was believed by the club to be minor, but it continued a worrisome trend that included word earlier in the day that reliever Cory Wade had been shut down for two weeks with shoulder tenderness.

Manager Joe Torre said Blake felt something playing pregame catch, but it didn't hurt him swinging so he started and singled in the top of the second inning.

But while fielding Kevin Frandsen's sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the second, Blake barehanded the ball and threw sidearm to first base and felt it again. The muscle is on the right side of his rib cage. [...]

The 36-year-old Blake said he's never had a rib-cage pull. He played in 139 games last year for the Dodgers, battling through a couple of bouts of tight hamstrings but staying off the disabled list.

Behind Blake at third is Angel Berroa, who ended up going 2-for-4 in Monday's game versus San Francisco. We've also got enough infielders trolling around the team (including Blake DeWitt, whom we're hoping to see back up with team in 2010 (though not necessarily at the cost of losing Blake)).

Behind Wade is...well, honestly we've got about four hundred pitchers hoping to join the squad, so I'm less worried about his loss. However, I do feel bad for Wade, who (like Martin) was hoping to come back from a disappointing 2009 (27 G, 27.2 IP, 5.53 ERA, 71 ERA+) that followed a breakout 2008 (55 G, 71.1 IP, 2.27 ERA, 183 ERA+). Like Martin, Wade's maladies might be the product of overuse at a young age. We'll have to see if two weeks off can cure his shoulder ills.

More concerning, however, is that we've played only three spring training games and already three key guys, two of which are every-day position players, have already gone down. (MSTI did some sleuthing to find that George Flat Breezy Sherrill might also be on the mend.) Considering the lack of big-name upgrades to the team this offseason, our success in 2010 is predicated on everything going right for us this year, in order for us to have a chance at repeating as NL West division champions. And it's only March 8, but I already feel like our starting blocks are moving farther and farther back.

photo swiped from boardgamegeek.com


Orel said...

2010: Year of the DL.

Disabled List? I was thinking Divorce Lawyer.

Kyle McCarty said...

The main thing I worry about in losing Russ for Spring is how the young pitchers are going to react. Will Kershaw be comfortable with Ellis? Probably nothing to worry about because Martin and Ausmus will still be around, but you never know how they will react in a game situation.

Trying to be optimistic, and maybe it's a reach, but I think this could help Russ be more fresh down the stretch this year.

Orel said...

Dodgers pitchers like what they get from Ellis (AP/Yahoo!)

Orel said...

post-reading music