|Johnson, Schilling, Schmidt, Burnett have injury worries|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 19 June 2007 14:15|
Dodgers pitcher Jason Schmidt, a big-money free agent signing, will have shoulder surgery Wednesday in Los Angeles. And the Toronto Blue Jays put A.J. Burnett, one of their big acquisitions before the 2006 season, on the disabled list because of shoulder pain.
Johnson visited with Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles on Monday, seven days after Johnson went on the 15-day disabled list with a tight glute.
``He does have a bulge in there, a herniation,'' manager Bob Melvin said before the Diamondbacks played Tampa Bay on Tuesday night. ``Obviously not the news we want to hear, yet he thinks he is healthy enough to go ahead and prepare for his next start. When that is, we're obviously not sure.''
The 43-year-old left-hander had back surgery last October. The Diamondbacks acquired him in a trade with the New York Yankees in January, and he opened the season on the disabled list.
Johnson is 4-2 with a 3.52 ERA in nine starts, and he has 70 strikeouts and 11 walks in 53 2-3 innings.
Schilling nearly pitched a no-hitter at Oakland on June 7, giving up a two-out single to Shannon Stewart in the ninth inning. But the 40-year-old right-hander hasn't looked the same in his last two outings, surrendering 11 earned runs and 19 hits in 9 1-3 innings. He was hit hard Monday night by the Atlanta Braves, who said Schilling lacked his usual velocity in a 9-4 loss.
Taking no chances, the first-place Red Sox sent Schilling back to Boston to get checked out by the team's medical director, Dr. Thomas J. Gill.
``The ball didn't come out of his hand too well,'' manager Terry Francona said. ``He didn't complain of pain or anything. The ball just wasn't coming out.''
Schilling, 14th on the career strikeout list with 3,086, failed to fan anyone Monday night - the first time that's happened in one of his starts since 1993. The right-hander is 6-4 with a 4.20 ERA.
``It's embarrassing,'' Schilling said. ``I never gave us a chance. You want to walk around the room and apologize to everybody - your manager, your teammates, fans. There's no excuse for a game like that.''
Schmidt was scheduled to be operated on by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who examined the pitcher Monday. The Dodgers said it's uncertain when Schmidt will be able to return to the mound.
Schmidt, who signed a $47 million, three-year contract, went on the disabled list in April with bursitis in his shoulder after going 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA in three starts.
Following a 45-game absence, Schmidt returned June 5 and threw six shutout innings in San Diego, consistently reaching 89 mph and topping out at 91 mph. But the 34-year-old right-hander didn't perform nearly as well in his last two starts, and his velocity was down. He is 1-4 with a 6.31 ERA.
Burnett, 5-6 with a 4.00 ERA in 14 starts this season, left his last start in San Francisco on June 12 because of pain in his shoulder. He felt pain again during a throwing session Sunday but was still able to play catch with pitching coach Brad Arnsberg before Tuesday's game against Los Angeles.
The move was retroactive to June 13. The Blue Jays hope Burnett will be ready to start at Minnesota on June 28, the day he's eligible to return.
General manager J.P. Ricciardi said Burnett could have made his scheduled start against Colorado on Saturday, but the team decided to ``err on the said of caution.''
The 30-year-old Burnett signed a $55 million, five-year contract with Toronto before the 2006 season, then went 10-8 with a 3.98 ERA in 21 starts. He started the 2006 season on the DL because of scar tissue in his right elbow from a previous operation and made just two starts before going back on the DL for two months, returning June 22.