March 2012

Blanks likely DL candidate for Padres

MESA, Ariz. –- Padres outfielder Kyle Blanks will likely start the regular season on the disabled list if he doesn’t quickly recover from an impingement in his left shoulder, manager Bud Black said on Monday.

Blanks has been out for the past five days with soreness in the shoulder and his immediate return is not on the horizon.

“He got a cortisone shot a couple of days ago and he’s feeling much better,” Black said in his office at the Peoria Sports Complex only hours before the Padres played the Cubs at Hohokam Park. “We’ll see how it resolves itself in the next couple of days. Then there will be a clearer indication of what’s happening.”

Blanks’ injury comes at a time when Carlos Quentin is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Quentin will miss at least the first month of the season, leaving left field wide open for now with the season opener slated against the Dodgers at Petco Park on April 5.

“It’s kind of a bummer for Kyle just because of the Quentin situation,” Black said. “That provided an opening for him to get a lot of at bats and maybe make the club. That window is sort of closing.”

Blanks split his 2011 season between the Minors and San Diego, playing in 55 games for the Padres. His 2010 season was cut short after undergoing Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow. Last year, he batted .229 with seven homers and 26 RBIs. Blanks is batting .208 (5-for-24) this spring with a homer and two RBIs in nine games.

Boomskie Lite-r

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Baker reveals left knee surgery

GOODYEAR, Ariz. –- Reds manager Dusty Baker revealed on Wednesday morning that he underwent arthroscopic surgery to clean out his left knee this past Jan. 4. Baker said that he has an arthritic bone-on-bone situation and that knee replacement could be next.

“That is what I’m trying to avoid, right now,” Baker said prior to a split-squad doubleheader against the Padres and later the Dodgers at Goodyear Ballpark.

Baker had been icing the knee as reporters came into his office for the regular morning media session. He said it was a recurrence of an old injury he had as a player decades ago.

“Surgery once every 35 years, I’ll take it,” Baker said.

Baker, a Sacramento, Calif., native who still spends the offseason there, said that the knee locked up on him on Dec. 26 when some frayed meniscus caught in the joint. He and his wife were supposed to travel to Vancouver the next day.

“My wife said, ‘You’re not going to Vancouver, you’re going to see the doctor.’ I told her, ‘I don’t want to go to the doctor,’” Baker recalled. “But I did and when the doctor looked at it he said he wanted me right in for the surgery.”

Johnny B. Baker Jr., 62, played 19 years for the Braves, Dodgers, Giants and A’s. He’s a prostate cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with the disease that kills 50,000 U.S. men a year back in 2002 when he managed the Giants. This is his fifth season managing the Reds after stints in the same job with the Giants and Cubs.

Baker also said that Wednesday was a tough day for him because his father, Johnny B. Sr., would’ve been 87. His dad passed away in late 2009.

“He loved to plant and raise roses and I love to do it,” Baker said. “I’m sorry if I might have been a little cross today, but it’s a tough day.”

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