|© 2004 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.|
Notes: Awaiting the results05/24/2004 2:13 PM ET
By Charlie Nobles / Special to MLB.com
MIAMI -- Richie Sexson's No. 11 jersey hung from his clubhouse locker Monday morning, but the Diamondbacks slugger was on an airplane flying to Phoenix to be examined by a doctor. Arizona is predictably on edge about the results.
Sexson, with nine home runs this season, had to be put on the 15-day disabled list for the second time Sunday after reinjuring his left shoulder on a check swing against the Marlins. He originally hurt the shoulder -- called a subluxation -- April 28 in a game against the Cubs.
Manager Bob Brenly saw Sexson at the team hotel before he left for the airport.
"I just told him to keep his fingers crossed and hope for the best," Brenly said. "I said we'd see him in San Francisco."
Diamondbacks trainer Paul Lessard has recommended surgery for Sexson, but Brenly is hopeful the surgery can be postponed until the season's end, even though he understands it is the type of injury that won't heal on its own.
"I've been told it's more likely (now) that it'll continue to pop out," Brenly said. "But the idea is to strengthen the other muscles in the area to compensate for the tear in the labrum. In some cases it's worked very well. In other cases, it hasn't provided the type of relief you're looking for.
"At that point, you start thinking about surgery," he added.
The manager will await the results from medical tests Sexson will take. Then he said the Diamondbacks braintrust will determine what its next move is.
Brenly noted that this injury has been particularly difficult for Sexson since he's never been seriously injured.
"He's been an iron man, not used to coming out of an inning of a game. This is all uncharted territory for him," he said.
Fossum seeks improved control: Lefty Casey Fossum, who will pitch Tuesday, was encouraged about his control after a side session on Sunday with pitching coach Chuck Kniffin. Fossum has walked six batters in nine innings over two starts.
"My last start, I felt I was wild high in the strike zone," Fossum said. "It's just a matter of keeping the ball down more, and that's what I've been working on."
Kniffin also is looking for Fossum's arm strength -- he's capable of reaching 95 mph on his fastball -- to improve as he continues his comeback from arm surgery.
"He just needs to get some innings under his belt," Kniffin said. "He's got good stuff and it'll only get better as his arm gets stronger."
Kniffin is encouraged that Fossum, who emphasizes a hard-breaking curveball, has adapted well to learning a changeup.
Fossum, who came to the Diamondbacks as part of the trade with the Red Sox for Curt Schilling, is trying not to think of their high expectations for him.
"I felt I had to show them they made the right choice," Fossum said, "and I kind of hurt myself in Spring Training with that. It's the same situation now. I don't want to hurt myself and press too much to get the results. If I keep working hard, it will happen."
Kata a late scratch: Second baseman Matt Kata was pulled from Monday's lineup after experiencing soreness and bruising on the middle finger of his right hand.
Kata suffered the injury as he was fielding a ball during batting practice before Sunday's game. He played in the game, even as the finger began to swell. He is considered day-to-day.
Kata was replaced in the lineup by Scott Hairston, considered one of the Diamondbacks' best young prospects.
Revenge time near: The Diamondbacks' next stop is San Francisco on Tuesday, where they have some revenge in mind from last season.
The Giants seriously impacted the Diamondbacks' chances for a division title by winning 10 of the teams' first 12 meetings and 14 of 19 overall. It wasn't a pretty sight for Brenly, who remembers Barry Bonds having some distinguished hitting company in the one-sided series.
"Barry obviously does his damage against everybody," Brenly said, "but it was the other guys in the lineup who killed us. Marquis Grissom, we didn't pitch well and he punished us. It seemed like we continued to pitch right into his strength. We knew what we had to do. We just couldn't get the pitches where we needed to get them."
Brenly also is mindful that the perpetually windy conditions provide something of a home-field advantage for the Giants at SBC Park.
"There are some nuances that you don't really discover until it's time to leave town," Brenly said. "The wind blows pretty steadily from right field to left. Every year you see visiting teams come in there and misplay balls, especially right-center field and right field."
More walks for Bonds? Brenly isn't reticent to say Bonds had better prepare for more intentional walks if the games are close.
"It's just the thing to do," he said. "Unless you catch him on one of those rare occasions where he's not swinging the bat well, there is no upside to pitching to him with the game on the line. Because if you miss your spot by an inch, he'll put put it in the bay. There's just no reason to give him that opportunity."
Brenly said that's Bonds' penalty for being so good. The manager does have some sympathy for San Francisco fans who root for him to hit home runs only to see him walk, but he said it's not his job to please the hometown fans.
"I think if they had their way, we'd just send a batting practice pitcher out there and let him see how far he can hit it five times a night. Well, that's not the way this game works," he said.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Diamondbacks Homepage | MLB.com