© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
02/21/07 9:00 PM ET
Notes: Freak injury interrupts camp
Catcher Greene dislocates shoulder during routine drill
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Todd Greene's bid for a San Diego Padres' roster spot as a backup catcher suffered a severe blow one day before Thursday's first official club workout.
While making throws early Wednesday at Peoria Sports Complex, the 35-year-old Greene suffered what was diagnosed as a dislocated right shoulder.
"It's one of those freakish things you hate to see in this game -- but they happen," manager Bud Black said. "It was a situation where the most benign of drills ends up in an injury like that.
"He had already played catch and had moved to the half-field for footwork [drills]. The second baseman was up between the mound and second base. It was a low-intensity drill to start to get your arm in shape, and it just popped out of the socket."
Team orthopedists were on hand for physicals and treated Greene quickly after he was assisted to the clubhouse area by teammates helping him deal with the visibly excruciating pain.
"His pain tolerance is very high," Black said, "and he was in a lot of pain. I haven't really talked to any of the medical people yet, and I'm not sure what the prognosis is."
General manager Kevin Towers indicated Greene's spot likely would be filled from within for the time being. Luke Carlin, a .266 hitter at Triple-A Portland last year, is the likely candidate. Veteran Pete Laforest, injured almost all of last season, is another possibility.
"I think we'll have a better idea after an MRI [exam is performed on Greene on Thursday]," Towers said. "I would imagine he'll miss at least the rest of Spring Training."
With Josh Bard and Rob Bowen returning, Greene's chances of making the 25-man roster hinged on beating out Bowen for the backup job or the club electing to carry three catchers.
"He knew he'd have to compete for a job," Towers said. "It's been that way his whole career. He was ready for the challenge."
New third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff was happy to see and feel the sunshine as he checked into camp on Wednesday. A resident of the Denver area, he's seen more than his share of snow over the winter months.
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"I wasn't able to hit outside once," Kouzmanoff said, "but I got in my work indoors. I'm really looking forward to this. It's a great opportunity for me, and I'm ready to go."
Known for his intense work ethic as well as for a bat that makes solid, consistent contact, the man who answers to "Kouz" is hoping to nail down the third-base job after coming to San Diego in an offseason deal along with pitcher Andrew Brown for second baseman Josh Barfield.
"I've played with Josh in winter ball, and I know what a great player and person he is," Kouzmanoff said. "Those are big shoes to fill, but I think I can help this team win."
Of Macedonian descent, Kouz has attracted several nicknames along the way, including the Crushin' Russian. "I don't know what it is, but everywhere I've gone I get these things hung on me," he said, grinning.
All he wants to be known as in San Diego is the everyday third baseman, he added.
If not for being held out of a final start by Atlanta for precautionary reasons in 2002, Greg Maddux would be working on an incredible run of 18 consecutive seasons with 200 or more innings pitched.
"I started developing a blister," he said, "and they said, 'Let's get it right for the postseason.' So I didn't go out there." Maddux delivered 199 1/3 innings that season, adding six more and a win in the National League Division Series.
Well-worn Gold Glove:
With the black Rawlings mitt that has delivered three Rawlings Gold Gloves for Mike Cameron -- including one last season -- showing wear and tear, the Padres center fielder is breaking in a couple of new candidates.
"This one's been really good to me," Cameron said, handling his constant companion of the past decade. "But it's got a hole in it, and it's showing its age a little."
Cameron related a conversation he once had with his Seattle teammate Edgar Martinez, one of the premier hitters of his generation.
"Hey, Edgar, anybody can hit .320 with your swing," Cameron said. "Try doing it with my swing."