2008 NEWS

2008 News > 4/18/08


By David O'Brien, AJC.com

Tom Glavine's strained right hamstring has landed the Braves pitcher on the disabled list for the first time in his 22-year major-league career.

"If I could give myself a novocaine shot in the hamstring and go out and pitch, I'd do it," said Glavine, 42, who had been scheduled to start Saturday's nationally televised game against the Dodgers. "But it's not that kind of thing."

Left-hander Chuck James has been recalled from Class AAA Richmond to start in place of Glavine, whose DL assignment was retroactive to Monday. He'll be eligible to come off April 29, and he was certain he would be ready.

But on Friday, he said he felt like he had let down everyone in the clubhouse. Glavine has pitched with aches, strains and even a broken rib during his 303-win career, but he never had problems with his legs until now.

"The streak has come to an end," he said late Friday. "I've been on the DL, what, two hours? I hate it. I feel like I've let down everyone."

He was injured in the first inning Sunday at Washington, and left without recording an out. Glavine tested the leg during a bullpen session Wednesday at Florida and said it felt good enough for him to pitch Saturday.

But when Glavine got to the ballpark Friday, head trainer Jeff Porter noticed bleeding in lower part of the hamstring, above the knee. Braves doctor Joe Chandler examined him just after 7 p.m. and told Glavine, whom Chandler has known for Glavine's entire career, that he shouldn't risk a more severe injury by pitching on it.

Glavine said he respected Chandler's opinion too much not to listen to him. But the Braves really didn't give him a choice to disagree anyway.

"He's a warrior; he was going to try it," manager Bobby Cox said. "We were the ones who stopped it."

The announcement wasn't made until the fifth inning of Friday night's game.

The Braves already have starter Mike Hampton and relievers Rafael Soriano and Peter Moylan on the DL, and used reliever Jeff Bennett for a spot-start Friday.

With the weary bullpen totaling 20 innings in five games before Friday, the Braves decided they couldn't afford to keep Glavine on the active roster and scramble to fill in until he was ready to pitch.

Cox explained that to him, and Glavine said he understand completely.

Glavine has no decisions in three starts in his first season back with the Braves after five with the Mets. He allowed one earned run in 11 1/3 innings in his first two starts before being charged with two runs and three hits without an out Sunday.