Diamondbacks Injury Updates - October

One of the reasons the Arizona Diamondbacks have disappointed in 2010 is the bevy of injuries that have plagued them - not just at the major league level, but also to some of their top prospects in the minors. We have the latest on Justin Upton, Brandon Webb, Daniel Hudson, Jarrod Parker, A.J. Pollock, and others.

--Right fielder Justin Upton revealed Tuesday that he been playing the last four seasons with a slight labrum tear in his left shoulder. Upton, who has started only two games since August 30 because of shoulder soreness, said the injury has not gotten worse in since it occurred in spring training of 2006. Famed surgeon Dr. James Andrews believes that surgery is not necessary, echoing the diagnosis of Diamondbacks team orthopedist Michael Lee after Upton received an MRI two weeks ago.

"It's something to worry about, but not that big of a deal," downplayed Upton  "I'll just get it as strong as possible, and I shouldn't have any problems with it.  I just wanted to make sure that it wasn't a bigger issue to where we get to June of next year and I'm having to having surgery or having to sit out again."

Upton said he has altered his swing since the injury to keep two hands on the bat. The injury occurred when he followed through with only his left hand on the bat, creating extra stress on the shoulder. The 23-year-old right fielder is hitting .273 with 17 home runs, 69 RBI, and 17 stolen bases, and those are likely to be his final numbers.

"I don't want to say I am [done for the season], but ... it's probably the smart thing to do, unless it feels miraculously great by the weekend," he said. "I'd love to get a few at-bats or pinch-hit or something. Right now, my focus is on getting as healthy as I can and being able to go home with peace of mind knowing that I will be coming back next year stronger."

--Right-hander Brandon Webb, sidelined for nearly two seasons with a shoulder injury, will start Wednesday in an Instructional League game at the Diamondbacks' minor league complex in Tucson. Webb had hoped to pitch in the major leagues this year, but he was denied that opportunity Monday in a meeting with general manager Kevin Towers and interim manager Kirk Gibson. The Diamondbacks would have had to designate a player for assignment in order to put Webb on the major league roster because he is in the 60-day disabled list.

"Everybody pretty much agreed that this is a good opportunity for me and a better situation than doing it in the big leagues," Webb said diplomatically. ""Obviously, I wanted to pitch in the big leagues, but this is the second-best thing."

Webb, who will be a free agent after this season, hasn't pitched in the majors since the 2009 season opener, and he underwent shoulder surgery in August 2009. He threw 35 pitches in a bullpen session Saturday.

--Right-hander Daniel Hudson will not pitch the rest of the season because of a strained tendon in his right middle finger, the Diamondbacks announced Tuesday.

"It's just one of those things. It could be a blessing in disguise," said Hudson, who is 7-1 with a 1.69 ERA in 11 starts for Arizona since being acquired July 30.  "It could be my body telling me I've hit my limit."

All of Hudson's outings with the D-backs were quality starts, and nine went at least seven innings. He gave up as many as three runs once. He has thrown 118 2/3 innings this season between Class AAA Charlotte, the White Sox and the Diamondbacks.

-- Third baseman Mark Reynolds jammed his right thumb during a seventh-inning at-bat on Friday, September 24 and has not appeared in a game since.  Reynolds has only four hits - all singles - in his last 54 at-bats while attempting to play with a sore thumb, which was aggravated Friday. 

Reynolds entered the final week of the season hitting .199 with 32 home runs and 84 RBI. He could become the first player in major league history to have more than 30 homers while hitting under .200. He would also become he first player to have a batting average lower than his strikeout total, as he has whiffed over 200 times for the third consecutive season (204, 223, and 206).

"It's just going to be more of a motivation going into the offseason and how much more I'm going to push myself to be a better player," Reynolds said of the dubious marks. ""I know I can do better than I've done. I've shown that in the past."

-- Jarrod Parker was understandably frustrated when told that he would not be participating in the Arizona Fall League as previously thought.  Instead, he is throwing simulated innings in the Instructional League, allowing the Diamondbacks full control of his workload and mechanics.  He tossed two simulated innings on September 20 and two more last night, and reportedly feels good.  Parker is rehabbing from the Tommy John surgery he had last October.

-- Outfielder A.J. Pollock is playing in the Instructional League after missing all of the 2010 regular season.  Pollock fractured a part of his right elbow on a freak spring training play.  He will also participate in the Arizona Fall League.

--Shortstop Chris Owings is attending Instructs as well.  Owings' season ended when he developed plantar fascilitis (foot inflammation) in June.

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