Monday, March 14, 2011
Scott Erickson, 1999 Bowman #26
Then the bottom fell out. For the last four years of his Oriole career (2000-2003), Erickson totaled 44 starts and 253.1 innings. He missed the entirety of 2001 and 2003 with injuries, and was terrible on the occasions that he did make it to the mound in the other two seasons: 10-20, 6.39 ERA, 1.71 WHIP. After being a workhorse for the first decade of his big league career, his body seemed to betray him. It's sad, but that's often how I remember Scott Erickson: the broken-down veteran who couldn't get out of his own way.
With a couple of weeks left before Opening Day, I'm thinking about injuries more than I'd like. Four probable members of the 25-man roster have barely played an inning of exhibition baseball due to nagging issues. 35-year-old first baseman Derrek Lee had thumb surgery in the offseason and is still experiencing soreness in his wrist from the recent return to activity. 33-year-old second baseman Brian Roberts has been shut down twice with a stiff neck and (surprise!) back spasms. 35-year-old reliever Koji Uehara had some elbow pain and has been out of commission for more than a week. 33-year-old starter Justin Duchscherer is on the shelf for the second time already this spring due to discomfort in his surgically repaired hip. Are you sensing a pattern here?
It's a long season, and several important Orioles are starting it with aches and pains. Toss a little salt over your shoulder, cross your heart, and hope that these guys aren't on the Scott Erickson path.