Baseball’s Crowded Disabled List

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by Bob Acton of Sportingbet USA – now –

Here we are mere days away from the beginning of the 2006 MLB season and while some things change, others always seem to remain the same. In this case we are referring to the usual rumblings out of New York and the Cubs pitching staff that will start the season without Kerry Wood and Mark Prior.

The last World Series win for the Yankees was 2000 and since then owner George Steinbrenner has spent an incredible $783,466,307 on his prime beef, only to watch five other teams win the grand prize in October.

In Chicago Prior, 25, has a strained subscapularis muscle in the right shoulder. The muscle is part of the rotator-cuff group of muscles. Prior has not pitched this spring. The Cubs had put him on a slower-paced throwing program in an effort to avoid the elbow problems that plagued him the previous two springs.

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Earlier this month, Wood underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to repair a minor cartilage tear. He began throwing shortly after that. He threw 60 pitches from a bullpen mound earlier this week.

Prior last threw from a bullpen mound March 12. Two days later, he reported discomfort in the shoulder. An MRI arthrogram revealed the strain. The Cubs’ doctors prescribed a rest period of 7-10 days for Prior, who began throwing lightly this week. The team has set no timetable for his return. Last season, Prior went 11-7 with a 3.67 ERA in 27 starts. He has a lifetime record of 41-23 with an ERA of 3.24.

Wood, 28, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder last Aug. 31, after he went 3-4 with a 4.23 ERA in 21 games, 10 of them starts. He is 70-54 with a 3.67 ERA and 1,286 strikeouts in 1,109 innings pitched and was the NL Rookie of the Year in 1998.

Meanwhile many baseball insiders have been talking up the Toronto Blue Jays and all their signings this past offseason, especially A.J. Burnett. Well the hard throwing righthander will miss his first two starts of the season with an arm injury. There is an issue of scar tissue tearing apart from the elbow and that is a major concern. “He’s going to miss his first two starts,” Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said Wednesday from Dunedin, Fla. “We could probably bring him back a little quicker, but I think all things being equal this allows him to keep him totally on track to where he’s supposed to be.”

Burnett signed a $55 million, five-year contract during the offseason, three years after elbow surgery.

Ricciardi said Burnett will pitch three or four innings Saturday in Toronto’s final spring training game. He will begin the season on the 15-day disabled list and make rehab starts April 6 and 11.

Burnett signed with Toronto after going 12-12 with a 3.44 ERA for the Florida Marlins in 2005. The 29-year-old right-hander was a key piece of Toronto’s offseason overhaul. The Blue Jays also added closer B.J. Ryan for $47 million over five years, and traded for slugger Troy Glaus and first baseman Lyle Overbay.

The Texas Rangers always struggle on the mound and they tried to address that area with the signing of Adam Eaton from the San Diego Padres in the offseason. Eaton left his final spring training start with the same finger injury that plagued him last year.

Before injuring the finger June 15 in his first loss in two months and shortest start all season, Eaton was 9-1 with a 3.18 ERA for San Diego. Eaton twice went on the disabled list after that, was 2-4 in his last nine starts and didn’t pitch for the Padres in a three-game playoff loss to St. Louis.

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Jay has been watching and following sports since he could walk and turned to betting in his late teens. His favorite sport is MLB and has been producing winners on UltimateCapper for over 15 years. Follow Jay's free sports picks and enjoy the winners.