Glavine goes on DL for first time in 22-year career

Updated: April 18, 2008, 11:54 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Tom Glavine was ready to make his next start. Instead, the Braves pitcher wound up on the disabled list for the first time in his 22-year career.

After team doctors determined that Glavine's ailing right hamstring needed more time to heal, Atlanta placed him on the 15-day disabled list during its 6-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.

"I've only been on the disabled list two hours and I hate it," Glavine said. "I feel like I let people down. My job is to go out there and pitch."

The 42-year-old left-hander had hoped to do just that Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, six days after leaving a start at Washington in the first inning. He went through his normal routine before Friday's game, only to learn just 20 minutes before the first pitch that team doctor Joe Chandler wasn't satisfied with the results of his latest exam.

"I'll defer to Dr. Chandler," Glavine said. "If he's worried, there's a chance I could go out there and do a lot more damage to it."

Glavine went on the DL retroactive to April 14. The Braves recalled Chuck James from Triple-A Richmond to start the second game of the weekend series against the Dodgers.

Last Sunday, Glavine threw only 16 pitches and failed to retire a batter against Washington, matching the shortest start of his 303-win career. Only one other time had he left a game without recording an out.

Now, he's headed to the disabled list.

"I never envisioned a hamstring problem, especially as flexible as I am and as loose as I was before the game," Glavine said. "Hopefully it was just one of those freak things."

The lefty threw a normal bullpen session on Thursday without any problems, but noted that he never throws at full speed on an off day.

"If I had ever thought I was going to miss a start or be on the DL, it certainly wasn't going to be leg related," Glavine said. "You never know."

Atlanta's pitching staff has been hammered by injuries in the first three weeks of the season. Starter Mike Hampton went on the DL with a pectoral injury that he sustained while warming up for what was supposed to be his first start since 2005. Closer Rafael Soriano (tendinitis) and top setup reliever Peter Moylan also are on the DL, with Moylan facing the prospect of reconstructive elbow surgery.

John Smoltz is trying to pitch through soreness in the back of his shoulder, and even James -- Glavine's replacement -- is a bit of a question mark. James sustained a partially torn rotator cuff last year and wasn't ready to go at the start of the season.

"We've been hit hard early on," Glavine said. "Hopefully, we're getting it all out of our system. Once everyone comes back, maybe we'll have no more issues the rest of the season."

Glavine was 0-1 with a 2.38 ERA in the first three starts of his second stint with the Braves. He spent his first 16 years in Atlanta, then played five seasons with the New York Mets before re-signing with his original team this past winter.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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