Just hours after being named in the starting rotation, pitcher Tommy Hunter left his Cactus League start on Thursday with a strained groin. He underwent an MRI and the results came by Friday, which revealed that the right groin strain was indeed more serious than what was once thought. It looks as though he could miss up to six weeks with a Grade II strain.
What does this mean for Hunter? Well, he’ll start the season on the disabled list. While he doesn’t want to, it’s likely going to be necessary. However, he is going to receive a blood-platelet injection over the weekend to help accelerate the recovery process.
“I can’t do anything about it,” Hunter said. “I can’t help the team on the disabled list. I want to be there Opening Day and I’m not going to. I just have to get healthy and get back out there. It’s tough.”
Regardless, though, back in Spring Training in 2009, he had a groin strain and ended up missing 10 weeks although he claims it isn’t as bad this time around. This year will make the third consecutive year that Hunter starts the MLB season on the DL. The actual movement of placing Hunter on the disabled list isn’t going to happen until closer to April 1, which is less than a week away.
What does this mean for the Rangers and their starting rotation? More than likely, the Rangers will turn to left-handed Michael Kirkman or right-handed Dave Bush as Hunter’s replacement in the rotation. A couple other possibilities include Alexi Ogando despite having been moved to the bullpen and even possibly Brett Tomko. Each one has their advantages in the rotations as well as their disadvantages.
Who do you guys think Hunter’s replacement should be?