sabathia1.jpgCleveland Indians ace C.C. Sabathia was struck on the lower left arm by a line drive in the first inning of his final spring start against the Blue Jays on Wednesday. Sabathia, who was scheduled to pitch the Indians’ season opener next week in Chicago, couldn’t shield himself from a bullet off the bat of Reed Johnson. From the AP:

“Indians coaches and trainers sprinted from the dugout to the mound to assist Sabathia, who shook his hand and shouted a loud profanity. He was immediately taken to the clubhouse to assess his condition.”

The club is awaiting X-rays, although the initial diagnosis by team doctors was that Sabathia sustained a bruised left forearm.

Wednesday’s injury is the most recent in a string of early season debilitations for Sabathia. In April of 2003, he left his second start of the season with a hyperextension of his throwing elbow. In April of ’04, he was scratched from a start because of irritation in his throwing shoulder. Sabathia began the ’05 season on the disabled list after straining an oblique muscle during Spring Training. Last year, he left his Opening Day start after only 2 1/3 innings with an abdominal injury. He was sidelined for an entire month.

Now, I like C.C. Sabathia. I really do. I like big burly pitchers with good stuff. I like the tilted hat. I like the attitude.

What I don’t like is this developing injury pattern. How many more springs can it be until until someone includes Sabathia’s name with the likes of Prior and Wood? Just as is the case with the Cubs, any injury to their No. 1 starter would be another blow to the Indians, who will already begin the season without their other left-hander Cliff Lee.


***Updated at 4:05 pm Eastern

From the AP:

Sabathia has been “taken to a hospital for X-rays,

which did not reveal any broken bones, the team said.

He will be examined again Thursday, but his availability

for the April 2 season opener remains in doubt.”

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