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Angels hitting coach Don Baylor suffers nasty leg injury catching first pitch (Video)

We have seen some first pitch ceremonies go horribly wrong across Major League Baseball (we’re looking at you, John Wall) over the years, but what happened to Los Angeles Angels coach Don Baylor last night is totally unprecedented. Baylor was catching the first pitch from Vladimir Guerrero when he somehow broke his leg.

Everything looked normal at first, with Baylor getting down on one knee awaiting the delivery from Vlad. Then, his right leg gave out and twisted under him in a way that will make you cringe. Baylor tried to get up and walk it off, but his leg buckled again.

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Adrian Gonzalez injured his back while sightseeing

Adrian-Gonzalez-backAdrian Gonzlaez may be enjoying his time in Australia a little too much. The Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman left Thursday’s exhibition game against Team Australia with tightness in his back. He thinks the injury stems from walking around Sydney and sightseeing.

“I need to rest, get off my feet,” Gonzalez said, per MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick. “I’ve done a lot of walking around the city. I’ll be good [for Saturday night]. I’m positive I’ll feel better tomorrow.”

The Dodgers open up the MLB regular season with a series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia this weekend. Gonzalez is confident he will be ready to go by then. He was removed from Thursday’s game in the fourth inning after an at-bat where he appeared uncomfortable and grabbed at his lower back.

“It actually got tighter,” he said. “I swung at a pitch in the second at-bat, and it didn’t feel good. I finished the at-bat because I didn’t want to take myself out of the game in the middle of the at-bat.”

As for the type of sightseeing the All-Star slugger has been doing, the Dodgers gave us an example of that earlier this week.

After seeing that photo, I can’t help but think it was worth it for Gonzo to suffer a minor back injury. The weird injuries are piling up at an unbelievable rate this offseason anyway. At least he got to hang out with a group of guys wearing grape-smugglers.

Josh Beckett reportedly injured thumb by catching it in a door

Josh-Beckett-DodgersLook, we know weird injuries are an important part of baseball culture. It wouldn’t be spring training without hangnails, pitching machine incidents, or sliced fingers. But is it just me or does this year already seem worse than ever? Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett is the latest victim.

Beckett could miss his scheduled start on Friday as he continues to recover from a sprained thumb. A thumb injury is nothing unusual for a pitcher, but the way it happened is what makes Beckett’s injury such a classic spring training debacle. Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times reported that Beckett caught his thumb in a set of doors leading to the clubhouse a little over a week ago.

“I come back from thoracic outlet syndrome and this is what I’m dealing with,” Beckett said.

The 34-year-old righthander had a bullpen session on Tuesday but said he is still having trouble gripping the ball. Beckett made just eight starts last season for the Dodgers because of injuries, compiling an 0-5 record and a 5.19 ERA. He hopes to be ready when the team comes back home after playing in Australia.

As we know, Beckett is not the only pitcher to have bad luck with clumsiness this offseason. Jake Peavy lost a battle with a fishing knife, Francisco Rodriguez hurt his foot by stepping on a cactus, and Hisashi Iwakuma injured his finger by catching it on a pitching net. Like I’ve said before, these guys really could use a plastic bubble.

H/T Hardball Talk

Henderson Alvarez sidelined by infected shin caused by ingrown hair

Henderson-Alvarez-MarlinsMiami Marlins pitcher Henderson Alvarez has been scratched from his first spring training start on Sunday because of an infection in his right shin. In typical spring training MLB fashion, the injury is one we have never heard of before and will likely never happen again.

Alvarez left training camp early Wednesday morning after reporters noticed him walking with a limp. Marlins manager Mike Redmond later said that the 23-year-old righthander had to be hospitalized after treatment from the team was not effective enough. What started the problem? An ingrown hair, of course.

“I think it started as an ingrown hair and got infected,” Redmond told the Miami Herald. “We were treating it, the infection. It just wasn’t getting better. We wanted to be proactive and make sure it was getting taken care of. We got in there, got it cleaned out.

“It shouldn’t affect him. He obviously won’t make the start on Sunday, but he’s pitched quite a bit. It shouldn’t affect him and his ability to bounce back. He still has plenty of time to get his pitches in and get him ramped up for Opening Day.”

Don’t you hate it when that happens? Ingrown hairs are the worst. The Marlins are lucky this didn’t happen during the regular season, otherwise the pitcher who threw a no-hitter with a walk-off wild pitch last season may not have been able to help the team on its way to not making the playoffs. They dodged a bullet there.

If incredibly bizarre injuries are your thing, we have plenty to read about here.

H/T Hardball Talk

Braves P Mike Minor had to get urethra surgery – ouch

Mike-Minor-BravesRegular readers of LBS will tell you that one of our favorite pastimes is poking fun at baseball players for their weird — and oftentimes wimpy — injuries. We’ve seen everything from bad mattresses to infected bug bites, but the recent procedure Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Minor had to undergo is no laughing matter. You try getting surgery on your main vein.

Minor’s spring training debut has been delayed for at least a week as he continues to recover from a procedure he had on his urinary tract at the end of December. He had difficulty urinating for almost two years and saw a number of specialists, but no one could figure out the issue. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the cringe-worthy details.

It worsened to the point where he had to go to the emergency room, and a specialist at Vanderbilt said he had scar tissue built up inside his urethra that would have to be removed via the cystoscopy. He was told there was a 50 percent chance that it could return at some point, and that it was impossible to predict when.

When he resumed throwing he had shoulder soreness that led the Braves to rest him in the first week of training camp. Minor said the shoulder was sore from his trying to rush back after not doing any throwing in January. He normally begins his offseason throwing program just after Christmas.”

Minor believes he could still be ready for the start of the season, which is the good news. The bad news is the doctor saying there’s a 50 percent chance the scar tissue could come back. Imagine spending two years in pain while peeing and then being told you may not be out of the woods? Here’s hoping Minor gets on the right side of that 50 percent. Our thoughts are with you.

H/T Deadspin

Matt Harrison may miss Opening Day because of soft mattress

Matt-Harrison-RangersTexas Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison burst onto the scene as a starter three years ago, compiling a 3.34 ERA and winning 32 games between the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Last year, Harrison made just two starts before needing two surgeries to repair a herniated disk in his back. He’s now in danger of not being ready for Opening Day because of a setback caused by a mattress.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Harrison was scheduled to see a spine specialist on Monday because of a recent setback with his back. He was experiencing some back stiffness that he believes was caused by a soft mattress in his rental home.

“In my opinion, no, I don’t think [the opening day rotation] is going to happen,” Harrison said over the weekend. “Hopefully, before middle April I’ll be ready. But this little setback has put them on high alert. I hate it, but I understand it. I had two starts last April and none after that; I’d rather have less starts in April and 30 after that.”

Harrison said he has switched beds in the house and the pain has subsided, so maybe it really was all about the mattress. Still, the Rangers are going to be understandably cautious with their 28-year-old lefthander after what happened last year.

As Tiger Woods could tell you, there’s no mattress like the one at your own home. It’s unfortunate Harrison had to learn that the hard way.

H/T Big League Stew

Mariners P Hisashi Iwakuma injures finger by catching it on net

Hisashi-IwakumaPitchers and catchers reported for spring training across Major League Baseball this week. You know what that means? Weird injuries are back, folks.

The first victim of the offseason was Seattle Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma. The News Tribune’s Bob Dutton reported on Wednesday that Iwakuma is expected to be sidelined for 4-6 weeks after being diagnosed with a strained middle finger on his throwing hand. However, the injury didn’t happen while he was throwing. Instead, Iwakuma got it caught in a net.

The 32-year-old explained how the injury happened through a translator.

“We were doing some baseball drills, working out with ex-teammates,” he said . “I jumped for a ball, and unconsciously grabbed the netting (on a protective movable screen).

“My right (middle) finger got caught in the net, and I pulled it. I knew it was injured. I didn’t think it was a major thing. I rested my finger for about a week and started playing catch again, long toss as always. I thought it was good, but the pain didn’t go away.”

Almost exactly a year ago, we saw another baseball player suffer an injury at the hands of some spring training equipment. As we’ve said before, baseball players always seem to suffer the most bizarre injuries. The trend is already continuing in 2014.

H/T Big League Stew