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10/05/05 8:44 PM ET
Padres to address injury protocol
Club officials want to ensure coaches get information
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- In the wake of what the ballclub is now saying was a lack of communication with Jake Peavy about his rib injury on Tuesday, the Padres top officials said that there would be an evaluation of procedures so a similar occurrence is not repeated. Peavy came out of the 8-5, Game 1 loss to the Cardinals in the National League Division Series after allowing Reggie Sanderss fifth-inning grand slam. An MRI ultimately revealed that the starter had a broken rib on his right side. Manager Bruce Bochy and general manager Kevin Towers reiterated on Wednesday what they had said a day earlier: They weren't aware Peavy was pitching with an injury that began to germinate a week ago while the Padres celebrated winning their fourth division title in the 37-year history of the franchise. "How he aggravated, or did it, doesn't make a difference -- except from the standpoint of something systemic that may need to be changed in our system," Sandy Alderson, the team's chief executive, said during Wednesday's off-day workout at Busch Stadium. "From the standpoint of systems, we'll take a look at it and see if changes need to be made on how [medical] information is transmitted to the pitching coach, the manager and the general manager." And although there was some talk on Wednesday that Peavy might take a painkilling shot in his side to pitch in a possible deciding Game 5 next Monday night in St. Louis, Alderson and Towers said that eventuality was doubtful. Bochy added that he wouldn't endanger Peavy's long-term health by pitching him again this postseason. The injury usually takes four-to-six weeks to heal, numerous people working for the ballclub said on Tuesday. "If we think he's going to alter his mechanics and do something different and he's going to injure his arm, there's no way we're going to throw him out there," said Bochy, about a pitcher who's had a history of shoulder problems. "It's just like [Tuesday]. There's no way if we thought he had a cracked rib that he would've pitched. We're not going to risk this guy's career to win a ballgame at this point." What became crystal clear on Wednesday is that pitching coach Darren Balsley and head trainer Todd Hutcheson knew well before the game that Peavy had been bumped during last Wednesday night's celebration at PETCO Park after the Padres clinched the NL West title against the Giants. Hutcheson treated what was diagnosed as bruised ribs, and Balsley monitored Peavy's progression throughout the week as the 24-year-old right-hander threw his normal bullpen and took some batting practice. There were no ill symptoms, although Peavy said he never throws full tilt in his between-start sessions. "It was a non-issue," Bochy said on Wednesday, "or else they would've let me know." The Padres medical staff thought so little of it that the injury wasn't included on the daily injury reports that are sent to the manager, Towers said. "I still think they did not feel, or Jake didn't let them know, that the injury was significant enough for them to go to Bochy about it," Towers said. "Evidently, there was a lack of communication between pitching coach and manager. Balsley, if anything, is a mother hen over those guys. He always errs on the side of being too conservative. I don't think it was purposely done. In retrospect, it should have been done differently.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.