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Sprained Left Shoulder Puts Washburn on Shelf

March 04, 2003|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

TEMPE, Ariz. — Jarrod Washburn sprained his left shoulder during workouts Monday, and the injury will force the Angels to choose between scratching their ace from his opening day start or using him despite an abbreviated spring workload.

Washburn, covering first base during a fielding drill, swerved to avoid a collision with teammate Brendan Donnelly, fell to the ground and landed hard on his pitching shoulder. After X-rays ruled out a broken bone, doctors diagnosed a mild sprain and did not consider the injury serious enough to warrant an MRI exam.

"It's nobody's fault," Washburn said. "It was just a freak thing."

Washburn said doctors told him he could resume throwing off a mound in seven to 10 days. He said he expected to be ready for opening day "unless there's some kind of unforeseen setback," but pitching coach Bud Black said, "It's all speculative" until the Angels see how Washburn responds to treatment.

Black said the Angels would not start a pitcher in a regular-season game until he was capable of throwing 90 pitches. After missing exhibition starts Wednesday and next Monday, Washburn tentatively would have four starts before opening day. He pitched two innings Saturday, in his only Cactus League appearance thus far.

Washburn pitched the Angels' opener last season and was selected to do so two years ago, before strep throat knocked him out.

The Angels plan to open the season with four starters, John Lackey, Ramon Ortiz and Kevin Appier, besides Washburn. Scott Schoeneweis, Mickey Callaway or Matt Wise, competing to replace the injured Aaron Sele as the fifth starter, could fill in for Washburn if necessary.


Commissioner Bud Selig said he accepted an invitation to preside over the April 1 ceremony in which the Angels will receive their World Series rings. Selig also said the Angels' bid to play host to an All-Star game at Edison Field remained under strong consideration.

The Chicago White Sox will be this year's host team, the Houston Astros next year's. Selig said he hoped to award the next "four to five" games in the coming months and said that the game would no longer automatically rotate between American League and National League sites.

Edison Field was built in 1966 and renovated -- at a cost of $117 million -- for the 1998 season.

"They spent a lot of money on it, and they have a great ballpark," Selig said. "In a lot of ways, it's really a new ballpark."

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