Quentin has small tear in shoulder
Outfielder won't swing bat for 10 days to rest non-throwing arm
TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Opening Day lineup, which seemed so set coming into camp, became a little unsettled on Tuesday.
That was when the team revealed the results of a Monday MRI on right fielder Carlos Quentin's left shoulder.
Quentin has a small tear in the labrum of his non-throwing shoulder, and as a result, will not be swinging a bat for approximately 10 days.
The 24-year-old started feeling discomfort after taking what he described as an "awkward" swing on March 16.
"I'm not freaking out right now. I'm feeling positive," said Quentin in the clubhouse on Tuesday morning. "It's 9 a.m., and I'm in here putting on my gear and not in the hospital for some procedure, so that's a good sign."
"It's a non-surgical type of thing," said manager Bob Melvin. "Ten days from the original date [it happened], that's kind of what we're looking at."
Melvin stressed that Quentin would still participate in all normal drills with the exception of swinging the lumber.
"He will continue to do all his throwing and his running," said the manager. "The only thing he can't do is hit."
Quentin was out on the field for the morning workouts, throwing and fielding grounders. He did not catch the ball on return throws to protect him from the natural reaction to lunge or reach with his glove if a throw was off the mark.
One encouraging sign that Melvin pointed out was a similar type of injury to a member of last year's team.
"There are a lot of players that play with a small tear like that, especially in their non-throwing shoulder," said Melvin. "You look at a guy like Craig Counsell, whose tear was more severe than this one, and it was on his throwing shoulder. He's been playing with no problems. A lot of times it's how the individual handles it, and Carlos is a hard worker who has pretty good pain tolerance."
"Obviously, we don't want to run him out there if it's still painful every time," continued the manager. "But once this quiets down, there are enough guys out there playing with it that hopefully it's not a problem."
While the injury certainly puts Quentin's status for Opening Day in question, Melvin hasn't ruled him out just yet.
"We'll start him with some batting practice, and then see if we can get him in some game situations," said Melvin. "Once it calms down, it becomes how quickly we can get him in a cage and start swinging. We'll see where we are at somewhere around the 26th and see if we can get him ready to start the season."
Though Melvin wasn't ready to commit 100 percent, it appeared that the contingency plan would be to slide Eric Byrnes to right field and start Scott Hairston in left, as projected fourth outfielder Jeff DaVanon will start the season on the disabled list.
"We still have a lot of competition in camp," said Melvin. "But if you're forecasting, I wouldn't argue that fact."
Jason Grey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.