Mar 3, 2014; Surprise, AZ, USA; Cleveland Indians designated hitter Jason Giambi prior to a spring training game against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Giambi’s Broken Rib Latest in Indians Injuries

Jason Giambi Likely to Miss Season Opener

Bumps and bruises are sure to happen throughout the course of spring training. Muscles get pulled, various appendages get sprained, and, in the worst case scenario, bones get broken. Well, for Jason Giambi, the worst case scenario has become a reality. It was revealed on Wednesday that Giambi will miss significant time as he recovers from a broken rib.

If you recall, the original injury to Giambi’s rib occurred on Friday. In the third inning of their game against the Cubs, Edwin Jackson plunked Giambi in the right side. Initial tests and x-rays showed no signs of a break and Giambi was ordered to rest. After several days attempting to rehab the injured area, pain and discomfort persisted. It wasn’t until an MRI that the non-displaced fracture was discovered.

This comes as a major blow to Giambi. At 43-years-old, he doesn’t have a lot of time left. That means the number of Opening Day ceremonies he has the opportunity to partake in are reaching an inevitable end point. Thanks to this broken rib, it is likely that Giambi will be forced to sit out games beyond the 2014 opener.

For the Indians, the injury to Giambi hurts them less than most injuries probably could. Giambi is on the Indians roster less for his abilities and more for his veteran presence in the clubhouse. Luckily, Giambi can still fill that role even with a broken rib. In the meantime, they Tribe and Terry Francona will have the chance to try out different players in the limited DH/pinch hitter role until Giambi makes a full recovery.

Of course, Giambi isn’t the only Indian currently dealing with bumps and bruises. In addition, David Murphy is still working on getting back into the swing of things after battling left elbow soreness. After missing a handful of games, he made his first start in a week. The issue was reported to be minor and something he has dealt with in previous seasons. Per Murphy, the elbow soreness is a non-issue.

Also dealing with a minor physical ailment is center fielder Nyjer Morgan. On Wednesday, Morgan was forced to exit in the eighth inning after suffering a calf strain. Like Murphy, Morgan is saying that the injury is nothing serious. However, for a player whose skill set is predicated around speed, any injury to a lower extremity can’t help but be looked at with a bit of concern.

However, Terry Francona and the Indians see just how sever such an injury could be to a player like Nyjer Morgan. Following Wednesday’s game, he had the following to say on the matter:

“We need to protect him from himself,” manager Terry Francona said. “He’s kind of on a mission here to kind of, if not show us, show the world that he’s back and ready to play. And he plays so hard that he’s going to have to pass some tests on the medical side. That’s not to hinder him. That’s to protect him.”

On the bright side, the Indians have made it this far without anything calamitous happening. With little more than two weeks to go, we can only hope that continues to be the case and they make it to opening day with their core lineup in tact.

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Tags: Cleveland Indians David Murphy Jason Giambi Nyjer Morgan

  • a_foreign_film

    as you point out, giambi can provide whatever hollow baseball cliches (“veteran presence”, “clubhouse leadership”) we need him to from the DL. this is undoubtedly a blessing for the indians – giambi’s still around doing, whatever it is that he does, and we can replace him on the roster with someone that can actually play in the field and hopefully hits slightly better than to the tune of -0.6 WAR. if whoever replaces him hits well while giambi is injured, we have a justification to never put giambi back on the roster, and he can be phased into whatever nebulous “special consultant” type role the tribe has for him.

  • Gary

    Giambi can’t play the field or hit. So, how is this bad? Time to retire, gramps
    Let him do what he would probably be good at, coaching.