I guess it was a good thing that general manager Ned Colletti made sure the Dodgers came into camp with six veteran starting pitchers. One of those starters, Jon Garland, left his start on Wednesday after just 1 2/3 innings, suffering an apparent oblique injury. With two outs in the second inning, Garland grimaced after throwing one pitch to Josh Wilson of the Mariners, and Garland left the field holding his side. He was taken out of the game immediately, and confirmed to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times that is was an oblique injury:
"It honestly felt like it was cramping up," Garland said. "Standing here doing nothing, it feels fine. If I were to pick up a baseball and throw it, I guess it wouldn't feel good."
Garland said the Dodgers were preparing a doctor visit for him and thought an MRI would be ordered as well. Garland is the second Dodgers' starter to suffer an injury this spring. Vicente Padilla, the sixth starter who expected to make the club as a reliever, had surgery last month to repair a nerve in his right forearm, and is hoping to be pitching for the Dodgers by May 1.
If Garland is unavailable for opening day, other candidates for the Dodgers' fifth starter are John Ely and non-roster invitee Tim Redding. The Dodgers don't need a fifth starter until April 10, so they can carry an extra bench player should they so choose for the first eight games of the season.
In other Mariners' Wilson news, Jack Wilson homered off Dodgers' pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo, making his spring debut today. Kuo, who gave up one home run in 60 innings last season, retired the other three batters he faced, striking out one.
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