CLEARWATER, Fla. - As everyone at Phillies camp holds their breath waiting to see if Bryce Harper will don red pinstripes, there is news on another outfielder.
Not so good news.
Oft-injured Roman Quinn is hurting again, this time with a right oblique strain. An MRI is planned.
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Though manager Gabe Kapler called the strain mild and said the team did not have any long-term concerns about the player's condition, Quinn was clearly disappointed by this latest setback.
"I've lost the words," he said. "I put my body in position to work at a high level. The same thing just keeps happening.
"Frustrating is not even the word. I do pretty much everything that I possibly can to play this game and go out there and play. I keep having setback after setback after setback. It's frustrating, man. It's really frustrating."
Quinn, who turns 26 in May, was the Phillies' second-round pick in the 2011 draft. He is a gifted athlete blessed with blazing speed, a strong throwing arm and the ability to switch-hit and play the infield if needed.
Quinn's path to the majors was slowed by a series of injuries, including a torn Achilles tendon, a torn left quadriceps, a concussion, a strained elbow ligament, a torn ligament in his right middle finger, a previous oblique strain and a broken toe that affected him in the majors last season.
Quinn suffered this latest injury while taking batting practice on Tuesday. The MRI will tell the severity of the injury but it is reasonable to speculate that he will be down for at least a couple of weeks and might not have enough time to get ready for opening day.
This is a big year for Quinn because he is out of minor-league options. He came into camp with a chance to compete with Odubel Herrera for the center field job. Now both players are hurt; Herrera is nursing a hamstring strain.
As Quinn and Herrera mend, the Phillies remain in pursuit of Harper, who remains on the free-agent market as he seeks perhaps the richest contract in the history of baseball. The Phillies have made offers to Harper and are hoping to hear his decision very soon.
In other injury news, reliever Tommy Hunter said the strained flexor muscle in his right arm was the result of getting "too hot, too fast." Hunter is shut down for two weeks. Asked about Hunter's chances of being ready for opening day, Kapler said, "I think it's wait and see."
Hunter opened last season on the injured list with a hamstring strain and came back to pitch in 65 games.