Steve Clevenger goes down swinging
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org April 13, 2013 9:22PM
Chicago Cubs' Steve Clevenger, center, is assisted from the field by the training staff after he was injured during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in Chicago, Saturday, April 13, 2013. The Giants won 3-2. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Updated: May 15, 2013 7:11AM
Steve Clevenger was being treated for a left oblique injury after he swung and missed for the last out Saturday.
Clevenger fell to the ground in severe pain after striking out, and he had to be helped off the field. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for an MRI exam.
‘‘I’ve seen it many times, but not quite that severe and someone in that much pain,’’ manager Dale Sveum said. ‘‘Hopefully it’s not bad, but in that much pain, something obviously happened in there.’’
The Cubs are trying to avoid putting another pitcher on the disabled list by giving Scott Feldman extra time off before his next start.
Feldman, who has been experiencing tightness in his back since his last start Thursday, will be skipped in the rotation with a day off Monday. The Cubs open a three-game series against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday at Wrigley Field.
Travis Wood will start Tuesday, Carlos Villanueva on Wednesday and Jeff Samardzija on Thursday. Feldman was in line to start Thursday against his former team. Now he’ll pitch Saturday, after Edwin Jackson opens the series against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday.
Dioner Navarro didn’t have a pinch-hit home run in his first nine major-league seasons. But he hit his second in as many days Saturday, this time batting right-handed against Madison Bumgarner. He homered Friday batting left-handed off Sergio Romo.
‘‘I know I have a chance to pinch-hit every day, so I get myself mentally ready,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s not easy. I went out looking for a fastball and was fortunate to get it and hit it. I just try to keep myself positive and mentally prepared.’’
Anthony Rizzo is in a 2-for-17 slump, and he’s batting .158, though he leads the team with three home runs and nine RBI.
‘‘I have to just put the ball in play and not try to do too much,’’ he said.
‘‘Most times when these things happen, it’s a combination of things,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘You get caught up in guessing too much and trying to figure the pitcher out and worrying about mechanics.’’