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Garland Strains Left Oblique Muscle, Leaves Start Early

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So much for that pitching depth, huh? After just 1 2/3 innings today, Jon Garland left the game against the Mariners with a left oblique strain. With two outs in the second inning, Garland threw one pitch to Josh Wilson and immediately clutched his side in pain. This sounds like an injury we won't know much about until after an MRI.

A key part of the Dodgers' 25 has been cut from six to four, with their celebrated starting pitching depth tested so early in the spring. We already know Vicente Padilla is trying to return when the Dodgers play Chicago, on May 2, but who knows how long Garland will be out? Bill Shakin of the LA Times noted that Chris Carpenter missed five weeks with an oblique injury in 2009. The Dodgers can only hope Garland is feeling stronger every day.

Given that Garland and Padilla both signed incentive-laden, one-year contracts, the Dodgers did not assume all of the risk. There is no need for Ned Colletti to apologize for those deals, and even if he did it would be hard to say he's sorry.

If Garland isn't ready by opening day, the leading candidates to replace him as fifth starter are likely John Ely and Tim Redding. Due to a pair of off days in the first week of the season, the Dodgers don't need a fifth starter until April 10. That means the Dodgers could carry an extra position player for the first eight games of the season until making the necessary roster move to add the fifth starter.

Might this mean an extra week or so for Xavier Paul, who is out of options? We are all wishing he was here, and this is one way to get it done. Hey, you never know when a veteran will separate his shoulder sliding into second base, as Doug Mientkiewicz did one day after the out-of-options Delwyn Young was traded to the Pirates in April 2009.

Hong-Chih Kuo made his spring debut today, pitching one inning of work. The second batter he faced, Jack Wilson, jacked a home run to left, but Kuo retired the other three batters he faced, including one strikeout. I'm not sure what schedule he is on, but Kuo could possibly pitch again on Saturday, in the park.

The Dodgers lost to Seattle, 9-4.


  • Ramon Troncoso, the reliever who hopes the Dodgers will call on him, pitched 1 1/3 more scoreless innings today, though he did allow two hits.
  • Josh Lindblom, the reliever-turned-starter-turned-reliever, pitched in his first game of the spring, hoping for new beginnings in his old role as reliever, and struck out two in his one inning of work.
  • Another thing that made me smile was Rod Barajas, hitting a home run on his profile day.

The Dodgers host the Padres tomorrow, with Clayton Kershaw making start number III of the spring. Jonathan Broxton, Matt Guerrier, and Scott Elbert are all scheduled to pitch tomorrow as well.

Box Score