latest in a series of injuries that has plagued Mike Hampton over the past couple seasons.At least it wasn't his arm, right? Dave O'Brien has the
The Braves left-hander injured his right hamstring in the first inning of his first start in the Mexican Winter League last week. He left after one inning, and it's uncertain if he'll pitch again this winter. "We don't know when he'll come back [in winter ball], if at all," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "There's only four weeks left in the season, and hamstring injuries usually take a while."The 35-year old Hampton is anything but a sure bet heading into next season, however this seems to be a much more minor setback. I'm not saying it won't have an effect, but the last setback we talked about with him required another surgery on his elbow. The major difference now for the 35-year old left-hander is that he won't have the winter league to work out the kinks and that will have to come during spring training and probably carry over into the beginning of the season. We've discussed the possibilities without Hampton but here goes again. If healthy, he is almost guaranteed the fourth spot in the rotation, however without him we don't need to automatically panic as we did last season. Chuck James would move up from the fifth spot in the event Hampton isn't ready with Jair Jurrjens, Jo-Jo Reyes, and Jeff Bennett fighting for that last spot. Jurrjens is the immediate favorite with far superior command to both Reyes and Bennett. Depth is a nice thing and something that McDowell definitely didn't have in his rotation last year. I think we'll be fine either way.