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DODGERS FYI

Tony Abreu is injured again

Reserve infielder limps off the field with a groin problem.

February 28, 2009|Dylan Hernandez

PEORIA, ARIZ. — Tony Abreu limped off the field. Again.

His right groin was hurting. Again.

What started out as a promising spring for the middle infield prospect took a sudden turn into uncertainty in the Dodgers' 18-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners at the Peoria Sports Complex on Friday, as Abreu hurt the very part of his lower body that required two surgeries over the last two years.

Manager Joe Torre said he guessed that Abreu would be out for three or four days, but club officials were bracing themselves for the worst.

Injured while throwing across his body in the fifth inning, shortstop Rafael Furcal's projected backup was sent back early to the Dodgers' spring training base in Phoenix for an examination. Abreu's agent, Scott Boras, said Abreu would undergo an MRI exam today.

Only two days earlier, Abreu was smiling as he talked about his exhibition season debut, his first major league game in almost a year. He drove in the Dodgers' first runs of the spring on a two-out, two-run single and played five errorless innings at shortstop.

Of the hit, Abreu said, "It felt great. I thought about how long it was that I couldn't play in a game. I hadn't been able to play for a year and a half. It was difficult."

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More on Manny

Torre said that he wouldn't answer any more questions about Manny Ramirez until the All-Star outfielder was off the free-agent market.

"You've got about all my Manny stuff that I have," Torre said. "Until it's determined where he's going to wind up -- I'm not angry or anything -- with all the back and forth and stuff, I'd just as soon not respond to any of that."

Players didn't seem to mind as much.

Center fielder Matt Kemp said he didn't mind that Ramirez's situation remained unresolved.

"We're still in spring training," Kemp said. "We're still getting ready for the season. I'm sure Manny's doing the same thing. I'm sure he's working out. I'm sure he's not sitting around the house not doing anything."

Closer Jonathan Broxton said that Ramirez's personality lessened the need to rush him into camp for the purpose of developing chemistry with other players.

"Last year, he got along great with everybody right out the gate," Broxton said.

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Schmidt: Wild but content

In the wake of walking two batters in two-thirds of an inning in a "B" game against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Field, Jason Schmidt talked about how he had to discover an arm angle that would improve his control.

"It's kind of been that way playing catch all spring," Schmidt said. "I've really had a hard time finding the command that I'm looking for. A lot of that is arm speed right now. I've got to get to a point to where I can find a comfortable position to get the right arm slot to be able to get my arm out a little bit quicker."

Torre said he didn't want Schmidt to think too much about that.

"The last thing you want to do, whether you're a hitter or a pitcher, is to start thinking about your mechanics when you're out there on the field," Torre said.

Schmidt, who didn't pitch in the majors last season because of shoulder problems and has one win in two seasons with the Dodgers, said he was glad to be able to think about mechanics instead of his health.

"It's nice to be able to get out there and be pain-free," he said. "I know I can go home and get to sleep at night. That's hurdle No. 1."

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Injury updates

Outfielder Andre Ethier (bruised heel) took batting practice. . . . Third baseman Casey Blake (groin) remained sidelined. . . . Reliever Hong-Chih Kuo (elbow) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session today.

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dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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