It’s a good thing we went out and signed all those relievers, apparently, because Rob Biertempfel is reporting that Joel Hanrahan will miss the start of the regular season with a sore elbow. This renders this whole post more or less useless. Welcome back to the bullpen, Kevin Hart! (or Dan McCutchen!)
UPDATE: From Jen Langosch, it’s a flexor-pronator strain in his pitching elbow and while he’s going to see Dr. James Andrews next week, there’s been no indication of structural damage so far. So long as that doesn’t change, we can hold out hope that Hammer will avoid serious injury.
INFORMATION-LADEN UPDATE: I googled “flexor-pronator strain” to try and figure out who’s had this injury recently. It bugged Brad Lidge last year to the point that he eventually needed surgery, but JJ Putz had a similar problem in spring 2007 and turned in an excellent season for the M’s, though his injury problems have gotten worse since 2007 ended. Felix Hernandez also suffered a strain in 2007 and only missed a couple starts. Ben Sheets and Billy Wagner both had torn flexors that required surgery, but as mentioned above there’s no indication that Hanrahan has a tear or needs surgery yet. We’ll learn more in the next week as the doctors look at him.