Minor League Notes: Injuries Abound

Several prospects around the Mariners organization have found their way on the disabled list with nagging injuries over the past week. Inland Empire infielder Ismael Castro hurt his knee in the 66ers win last Sunday, and received the worst news of the bunch. Keep up to date with Castro and the latest around the M's farm system right here at InsidethePark.com.

The Mariners farm system collectively avoided the injury bug quite well through the first three weeks of April. During the fourth week, however, it wasn't as fortunate.

High-A affiliate Inland Empire was the hardest hit, as hot-hitting infielder Ismael Castro and defensive-minded shortstop Michael Garciaparra each went down.

Garciaparra, who has made vast improvements in the field after a 50-error season last year at Wisconsin, was placed on the 7-day disabled list with a wrist injury.

The news for Castro, who was on fire at the plate with seven doubles and two homers in his first 16 games, wasn't as minor or short term. He injured his knee while running through the first base bag late in the 66ers 5-4 win over Lancaster on April 25. After walking around on crutches several days, Castro found out the test results from his MRI on Friday and the news wasn't pretty; a damaged ACL, MCL, and a meniscus tear in the knee. The injuries will keep him out all season.

The snake-bitten Castro was forced to miss the end of last year as well when he broke his hand in August after a great second half of the season.

Infielders Jesus Guzman and Hyung Cho have been called up from extended spring training in the place of Garciaparra and Castro, each fairing well thus far.

Up in Wisconsin, the Mid-A affiliate Timber Rattlers received bad news just yesterday when it was learned that outfielder Sam Bradford broke his wrist in team's win over Ft. Wayne on Thursday and would have to go on the DL. Bradford went 2-for-2 in the game and appeared to be getting back on track, raising his average to .143 after starting the year 5-47.

Outfielder Josh Ellison, somewhat of a surprise not to make the Timber Rattlers out of spring training, was called up from extended spring training to replace him on the roster.

On the good side, Triple-A Tacoma outfielder Jamal Strong returned to the field on May 30 after missing 12 games with a strained hamstring. In two games since his return, Strong has went 2-9 and currently has his average at .447. With outfielder Hiram Bocachica sidelined at the same time as Strong, the Rainiers had been using Luis Ugueto and Justin Leone, both primarily infielders before this season, at center and left field respectively.

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