Dodger Camp Beginning to Get Interesting With Three Injuries

We’ve been bemoaning the lack of news from camp thus far, so I suppose this falls under the category of “be careful what you wish for”, because we have news about three separate injuries to young players of varying severity and importance.

Most troubling has to be Alfredo Silverio, who was in a one-car accident in the Dominican Republic on January 23. Tony Jackson provides terrifying details:

In short, the kid is lucky. From talking to various people (still haven’t been able to talk to Silverio), this is what I have been able to cull: the accident happened on a stretch of road called Curva de la Muerte, which translates to Curve of Death. Apparently, he was going about 60 mph and lost control, the car going off the road and flipping several times. He temporarily lost consciousness, and the car was demolished.

Jackson adds that in addition to a concussion, Silverio sustained injuries to his back, shoulder, elbow and neck; he’ll be sent to a concussion specialist next week and will almost certainly see the start to his season delayed. We’ve seen concussions ruin careers before – see Corey Koskie & Mike Matheny, among others – and Don Mattingly says there “there isn’t even a timeline right now,” which is clearly concerning. That said, I’m trying to stay cautiously optimistic if only because Silverio was able to fly from the Dominican to Arizona, and one of the last things concussion victims are supposed to do is fly. If the Dodgers were comfortable allowing him to do so, that should be seen as a good sign. Silverio, Baseball Prospectus‘ #7 Dodger prospect, was expected to start in the Triple-A Albuquerque outfield, so the potential for missed time does help explain a bit more why the Dodgers felt the need to supplement outfield depth by claiming Matt Angle from Baltimore recently.

But the fun doesn’t stop there, because 23-year-old 1B/OF Angelo Songco (unranked by BP) is going to have a tough season as well, per Jackson:

Anyway, another highly regarded prospect, outfielder-first baseman Angelo Songco, is expected to miss the next two to three months after having a rod inserted into his lower right leg. Songco was hit by a pitch late last season at high Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, where he hit .313 with 48 doubles, 29 homers, 114 RBI and a .367 on-base percentage, causing a stress fracture he was able to play through for the rest of the season. But when he started feeling intensified pain in the leg a few weeks ago, he was sent for an X-ray that showed it had turned into a full-blown fracture.

Songco was to move up to Double-A Chattanooga this year and was likely to play more first than outfield, so his absence may open up more time for sorta-prospect Austin Gallagher.

Finally, Dee Gordon took a bad hop grounder to the mouth during batting practice and had to leave the complex for stitches (which you can see here). Gordon returned afterwards and took some swings, so it doesn’t appear to be that serious, and we see players take pops in the mouth from bad hops all the time. Still, we’re constantly worried about Gordon’s ability to hold up over the course of the season, and this serves to remind us that the depth behind him is less than optimal. Mattingly has already said that he prefers to keep Juan Uribe at third base this year rather than shifting him around, and while Jerry Hairston is an adequate fill-in on Gordon’s days off, a 36-year-old who played nine innings at the position last year isn’t really an ideal long-term replacement. Stay limber, Justin Sellers.