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.