San Francisco Giants 2011 Spring Training: NL West Injury Update

It was about a week ago that I wrote a feature previewing the NL West and I wanted to add a bit of an addendum to it. The Giants have been fortunate not to have any serious injuries (knock on wood) so far in Spring Training, but the rest of the division isn’t quite as lucky. Here’s a breakdown of important injuries around the NL West:

Colordao Rockies: Right hander Aaron Cook recently broke some bones in the ring finger of his pitching hand, and will likely miss the first whole month of the season. He is tentatively scheduled to be back with the team some time in May. This leaves the Rocks scrambling to find a replacement in the roatation, which will likely come from within the organization.

Arizona Dimaondbacks: Newly acquired starting pitcher Zach Duke was struck with a line drive in his pitching hand a couple of days ago, breaking two bones. Duke will likely miss 6-8 weeks becuase of it, and will probably be replaced with either Barry Enright or Aaron Heilman for the time being.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Starting pitcher Jon Garland will be sidelined for 4-6 weeks after an MRI confirmed a strained oblique muscle, and will likely start the regular season on the DL. The Dodgers seem confident that they can replace his innings in Spring Training with ease, and are hoping he can return in time for his first scheduled start on April 12th, the first game the Dodgers would need a fifth starter. Also, pitcher Vincente Padilla is recovering from surgery he had to relieve a nerve in the forearm of his pitching elbow in late February. The Dodgers aren’t placing any timetable on his return, but when asked GM Ned Colletti felt that he would be back and ready to go before the All-Star break. Padilla threw some long toss late last week, but still won’t be game ready for a while.

San Diego Padres: Reliever Joe Thatcher has missed almost all of Spring Training with soreness in his left shoulder, but has since done some drills and played long toss a few days ago. Youngster Kyle Blanks is still recovering from reconstructive elbow surgery he had last July, and played 5 innings at first base in a game in late February. Blanks took some live pitching AB’s today, his first time doing so since last summer, though is still very limited as to how much throwing he can do.

No one ever likes to see players get hurt, but Giants fans won’t be complaining about the rest of the division starting the season hobbled or short-handed. I know I won’t.

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