Stephen Fife is not the type of player to mince his words.
When it comes to talking about the shoulder bursitis that has landed him on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ disabled list, Fife did not hold back.
“It’s extremely frustrating because there’s generally not a cause-and-effect relationship,” he said after pitching six innings for the Albuquerque Isotopes on Sunday night in his second rehab start. “It’s just an overuse injury. I guess the only way they say to completely kill it is not to do the action you’re trying to do every day.
“I’m just going to try to battle through it. This DL stint wasn’t something I wanted to do but it’s something that kind of strategically played out for the big club.”
Bursitis involves inflammation and pain surrounding the bursa, a tiny fluid-filled sac that functions as a gliding surface between joints in the body. As Fife noted, it is not the type of injury that can be easily fixed via any sort of surgery or anti-inflammatory drugs.
The injury has put Fife on the DL twice this season, disrupting what has been a solid campaign (3-3, 2.76 ERA) in Los Angeles.
“I’m definitely frustrated,” Fife said. “I’ve never really dealt with something that’s stuck around. So I’m just trying to find ways, mix new things into my routine to help keep the shoulder strong in all aspects.”
Fife only allowed one unearned run on three hits and one walk while striking out seven Sunday, showing signs he is nearly ready to head back to the Majors, assuming there is still room for him up there.
“He’s shown us this before,” manager Lorenzo Bundy said. “He’s shown this at the big-league level. He’s at a point in his career where he’s opened up some eyes, put up some quality starts in the big leagues. I didn’t hear anything afterwards, it sounds like everything’s OK. We’ll see how he feels (later this week). It seems like if he’s not fully recovered he’s pretty darned close.”
Around the Lab
- Former Isotope Josh Wall pitched against his old club for New Orleans on Sunday night. He tossed a scoreless eighth inning despite hitting his ex-teammate Tony Gwynn Jr., the first hit batter for Wall this season. Wall also had the defensive highlight of the game when Rusty Ryal hit a comebacker. Wall’s momentum had caused him to turn his back completely to home plate. He stuck out his glove and blindly snagged the bouncing ball.
- The Isotopes will embark on their final eight-game road trip of the season Tuesday, traveling to Sacramento and Fresno. After that they will only have two more road series, a five-game set in Oklahoma City from Aug. 16-20 and a season-ending four-game set at Round Rock from Aug. 30-Sept. 2.
- The next series in Albuquerque will kick off with eight games against Tacoma and Salt Lake beginning Aug. 8.