Padres Prospect Interview: Todd Donovan on injury

Todd Donovan was waiting for the hand specialist to take a look at him when spoke to him and is expecting surgery on Monday. Although the initial reports have him out 8-to-12 weeks, Donovan had not received word on how long he would be out. It has been an emotional rollercoaster for the speedy outfielder and although he remains upbeat, the injuries that continue to mount for the San Diego Padres prospect would send most into depression.

"They haven't said a word," Donovan said on how long he would be out.

Todd Donovan, once a member of the Padres 40-man roster, is no stranger to the injury bug. This past offseason was the first injury-free session he has had and he came back with a renewed vigor.

It was in a 2002 charity game in Tempe, Arizona. Todd Donovan broke a bone in his left hand making a spectacular diving catch off the bat of Andy Thompson of the Anaheim Angels with one out and no one on in the bottom of the eighth inning.

It was the third time Donovan was sidelined by an injury to his left hand. He suffered a non-displaced fracture of his left thumb making a diving catch in Lake Elsinore which sidelined him for a month. He played only two games before sustaining a displaced fracture of the same left thumb while making a head-first slide into first base.

Now he faces surgery on Monday for an injury to his hand again, this one coming on a bunt. Running up the line towards first he gave his all with a slide into the bag and jammed his thumb.

Several influential people in the Padres organization, including Director of Player Development Tye Waller were in attendance.

And what had Donovan worried now is the perception of his future.

"It's tough. I was there and then they forgot about me and put me on the backburner. I forced their hand to open their eyes again and I think I was doing it and boom I was out again," Donovan replied with a voice that trailed off.

"I just wish I could hear something from them. I just want to know what they were feeling. All the other times I was left in the dark. I was at the lower levels so it didn't really mean much. I wasn't close to the big leagues so I don't think it was a big deal. That is the only thing I am kind of nervous about."

Donovan was hitting .299 for the year in Mobile. He had a 13 game hitting streak, the top streak of any Padre minor leaguer to date. He also got on base in 28 straight games, a feat he has now performed twice within the Padres system. Last time the streak went over 40 games.

Donovan also stepped up as a leadoff hitter when Freddy Guzman left for Portland. He had deferred stealing bases to Guzman and had five over the last five games and 20 for the year.

He was in the midst of a five game hitting streak where he was 8-for-20 with four walks when the injury occurred.

Donovan will attend the weekend's games in San Diego and head home after surgery next week to start the rehab process. His hope is to make it back sometime this season and then be sent to the Arizona Fall League by the team to get those extra games in that he will miss.

Given his play this year, the Arizona Fall League seems like a natural step and if the Padres don't say anything and send him out there, that would be one indication that they are happy with his game.

Denis Savage can be reached at

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