Photography: Jordan Megenhardt
D-backs left fielder Conor Jackson came up limping after catching a fly ball in the bottom of the seventh inning of the D-backs’ game against the San Diego Padres Sunday, and the resulting injury has landed him on the 15-day disabled list.
The issue seems to be a strained hamstring, and the team’s medical staff, Hinch said, didn’t seem terribly concerned. However, with a few players including first baseman Adam LaRoche playing at less than 100 percent, the team can’t take the risk of playing short-handed.
“We’re not afforded the luxury of playing short for that long,” Hinch said. “We’ve got some guys playing with some injuries, so we’ve got to put Conor on the DL. Given how these leg things work, it’s early in the season so we’re going to be smart about it.”
Because the injury doesn’t seem too serious at this point, it is possible Jackson could be ready to go before his 15 days are up, in which case the team could have him play in a minor league rehab game and activate him immediately.
In a corresponding move, the team recalled right-handed relief pitcher Esmerling Vasquez.
“Until our bullpen stabilizes, and we’re able to feel good about our pitching, at least the volume which they’re pitching, we’re going to bring an extra pitcher back,” Hinch said.
Vasquez will be available in the bullpen tonight.
Photography: Jon Willey
MLB.com columnist Peter Gammons wrote Tuesday about the storylines to keep an eye on in Spring Training this year.
And with much of the attention focused Brandon Webb’s way, it’s nice to see Gammons point to the significant addition the D-backs are making to the lineup this year.
Conor Jackson, D-backs. When one looks at Jackson’s 2009 line, it is hard to believe: 30 games, one home run, .182 average, .516 OPS. Ugh.
“Conor was never right all year,” GM Josh Byrnes says. “He didn’t feel right in Spring Training, and it worsened when the season opened. We tested him for swine flu. That wasn’t it. He had two negative tests for Valley Fever, but as it turned out, they were false negatives. He was really sick. He’d be bundled up in the clubhouse, his color was terrible.”
The correct diagnosis was finally made, Jackson was treated and returned to health. He played in the instructional league, the Arizona Fall League and spent weeks in the Dominican Winter League.
“He felt and looked great,” Byrnes says. “Conor is a very good player (.300, 12 home runs, .823 OPS in 2008). He’s very important to our team, whether he’s playing left field or first base. He’s a clubhouse leader for us. Everyone likes and respects him, and he’s important to our chemistry. He doesn’t swing and miss a lot, and he hits left-handed pitching. We’ve made some additions this offseason, but his return is as important as any of them.”