UPDATE: Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that an MRI on Pearce’s abdominal showed no tears. He’s considered day-to-day.
10:36 a.m. ET: Steve Pearce was forced to exit last night’s game against the Twins with a right abdominal strain and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that he was scheduled to undergo an MRI this morning.
Pearce initially felt the discomfort Thursday and it lingered into his first at-bat last night. While he’s confident that it’s nothing serious, he didn’t want make things worse and put himself at risk for missing the rest of the season.
“I’m not all that concerned,” Pearce said after the game. “It’s not affecting me during anything else. I’m not in pain doing [anything], even when I swing. I just feel something there, and so I just want to get ahead of it. Hopefully, I can get back and get back pretty soon.”
The injury comes at an unfortunate time for Pearce, who has been the Orioles’ most productive hitter recently. After hitting a bit of a rough patch, he’s hitting .326 (15-for-46) with five home runs and five doubles over his last 12 games. The 31-year-old owns a surprising .289/.354/.532 batting line with 16 home runs and 37 RBI over 85 games this season.
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.