Hairston Injury 'Looked Harmless'

Managing Editor
Posted Jul 27, 2005


It was the first inning of a very typical Pacific Coast League game Friday night. Sidewinders left fielder Scott Hairston was in the box when Sacramento River Cats pitcher Mike Zeigler threw a fastball that sailed up and in and hit Hairston in the shoulder blade. "It looked harmless," Sidewinders Manager Chip Hale said, "Scott went down to first and then a couple hitters later when he got to third base he couldn't even lift his arm."

Scott Hairston left the game and the Sidewinders didn't think much of it at the time.

"We all figured it was a contusion, he's had some tests done, and we're all a little worried."

Hairston hasn't returned to the lineup, and now the Sidewinders aren't expecting him to for at least another week. 

"Hopefully it's nothing major," Hale said Tuesday afternoon on his way to the park.  The Sidewinders had just returned home from Sacramento and Hale was getting ready to make out his lineup card for Tuesday's game, a lineup card that would not have Hairston on it.

"It's just a shame, and it's tough for us.  Koyie Hill just got called up, and then Matt Kata got traded, and now Scott goes down, that's our two, three and five hitters all out of the lineup in about a week.  Of all these guys here, Scott's the only with the most Major League experience, and he was swinging the bat real well.  He'd hit a couple of home runs to right field in the past couple of games, and that was real exciting, because if he starts going the other way that's when he really gets into a groove."

The Diamondbacks are going to be extremely cautious with Hairston, one of their top outfield prospects and Hale agrees with that prognosis.

"With any player these days, they [the organization] put so much money into them, so there's no reason to push him.  He's not able to do any baseball related activities right now, so we're hoping it will just be another week or so before he's ready to rock.  But it's tough on Scott, because he's such a competitor, he wants to be playing, and it's tough on us, because we're really running short handed right now and that's our number three hitter out of the lineup.

Hairston was hitting .311 with 16 homers and 40 RBI in 209 at bats with Tucson this season.  The Sidewinders will use a variety of players in left field while Hairston is out, including Andy Green, Conor Jackson, and Josh Kroeger.

"We won't really know anything for a couple more days," Hale said.



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