The Diamondbacks have ordered an Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill in
an attempt to expedite Chad Tracy's recovery from offseason
micro-fracture surgery on his right knee, although they fear Tracy will not be
ready for the start of the regular season.
The Phoenix Suns used the same treadmill to help forward Amare Stoudemire recover from his micro-fracture surgery on Oct. 18, 2005.
Stoudemire returned to the Suns for a game on March 27, 2006, but
after that game, he was shut down for the rest of the season because of knee
stiffness. Tracy's procedure occured Sept. 20, at which time the
Diamondbacks expected a five-to-eight month recovery period.
Tracy was cleared to begin light running Feb. 24, but he was limited
to about four long strides to conclude an agility drill that morning.
He later took batting practice.
"I know now I'll be ramping up the intensity every time out. I
haven't pushed it really hard, but I feel good. No pain," said Tracy, adding
he will step up his program when the treadmill arrives Feb. 26.
The Alter-G treadmill uses a zippered pouch to regulate air pressure
below the waist, enabling an athlete to lessen the pounding on his
joints while still maintaining a high cardiovascular rate.
The technology was originally developed at NASA and was designed to
combat weightlessness, so astronauts could maintain fitness on long
--OF Trot Nixon signed a minor league contract that would be worth
the major league minimum $385,000 if he makes the team out of spring
training. The package could be worth about $750,000 based on the number of
days he spends in the majors. If he makes the team, he also agreed to
accept a minor league assignment if he clears waivers later in the
season. He was told he primarily would be a left-handed insurance bat for
1B/3B Chad Tracy (knee) if Tracy is delayed out of spring training.
--LHP Randy Johnson threw three bullpen sessions over the first nine
days of spring training and is tentatively scheduled to face hitters
Feb. 28 in a batting practice setting. The Diamondbacks' other pitchers
have faced hitters twice already. Johnson threw 26 pitches in his most
recent session Feb. 24, and his schedule remains flexible, depending on
how his back recovers after each outing. "He's going in the right
direction; He has had no setbacks," manager Bob Melvin said.
--RHP Juan Cruz was five days late to spring training because of a
court date in his native Dominican Republic. The government made an
eminent domain claim on a piece of his property to expand a roadway, which
meant a garage on his property had to be torn down. The government,
after first saying it had no liability, agreed in court to split the cost
of rebuilding the garage on another spot. Cruz's father, Rafael, also
won a judgment after the construction caused his church to be torn down.
--RHP Tony Pena missed the first nine days of spring training
because of visa issues, and the Diamondbacks were in the dark as to his
expected arrival date. Pena is working out under the watchful eyes of Junior
Noboa and minor league pitching coach Wellington Cepeda at the
Diamondbacks' complex in the Dominican Republic, but the Diamondbacks were
hoping he would arrive by the start of exhibition games Feb. 28.
--C Miguel Montero has not participated in batting practice or
catchers' throwing drills early in spring while he heals from a fractured
right index finger suffered in Venezuelan winter ball. The Diamondbacks
are exercising caution, but expect him to have no problems getting
ready for the regular season.
BY THE NUMBERS: 259 -- At bats RF Justin Upton had above Class A
before having his contract purchased by the Diamondbacks on Aug. 2. Upton
is the unchallenged starter in right field this spring.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I still have to work to try to make the ballclub,
but the biggest thing for me is that I have a job and have a chance to be
in spring training. A lot of things can happen that way." -- OF Trot
Nixon, who signed a minor league contract Feb. 22 as an insurance policy
against the health of 1B/3B Chad Tracy (knee).
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