Willie Bloomquist will start season on disabled list

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Willie Bloomquist throws during a spring training baseball workout with the Diamondbacks.

Willie Bloomquist throws during a spring training baseball workout with the Diamondbacks.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks' versatile Willie Bloomquist will start the season on the disabled list.

The team says an MRI on Wednesday showed a Grade 2 strain in his right oblique. Manager Kirk Gibson said Bloomquist is expected to be out two to four weeks.

The injury, sustained while swinging the bat in Tuesday night's game against the Los Angeles Angels, was the latest setback for Arizona. The Diamondbacks figured to use Bloomquist considerably at shortstop and as a leadoff hitter after center fielder Adam Eaton went down with an arm injury that will sideline him six to eight weeks. Right fielder Cody Ross also is expected to start the season on the DL with a calf strain.

Bloomquist was on the disabled list last August with a lower back strain. His only appearance after Aug. 9 was a pinch-hit single on Sept. 3.

"Sometimes you get tested, and right now I'm being tested a little bit with everything," he said, "after the long offseason and getting healthy and trying to come in in shape. I felt I did that and it's just one of those things. I took an awkward swing and popped an ab. I can't explain it. There's no rhyme nor reason for it. It's just one of those things."

Bloomquist said that while he wants to get back as quickly as possible, he knows that pushing too much can set back thing even more.

"If you don't let it heal properly, you can kind of keep re-tweaking it," he said. "The last time I did this eight-nine years ago, it felt worse than this one does and that was about four weeks. So I'm hoping it's not quite that long but, you know, one day at a time and we'll be working hard on it to try to get it healthy as quick as it can."

As for the injury bug that's hit the Diamondbacks, Bloomquist said most teams are going to have injuries during the season.

"Maybe we'll get them all out of the way early," he said, "and be healthy the majority of the year and down the stretch."

Gibson said Bloomquist was understandably disappointed but the injury is "part of being a baseball player."

"You go out and put your body through a lot of movements that are really abrupt and make them quickly and that can happen," Gibson said. "I had one of those and it was a lot longer, it was worse than that, so I guess we're fortunate it's not as bad as it could be."