Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Optimistic Baldelli takes BP
Posted May 13, 2008 by Marc Lancaster
Updated May 13, 2008 at 06:06 PM
Earlier this afternoon, Rocco Baldelli stepped into the batter’s box at Tropicana Field and took some cuts—more than 50 of them. He was swinging against Aki Iwamura’s interpreter, “Bori” Uchibori, who among his many other skills is considered a pretty good BP pitcher.
Baldelli said he feels good and has been hitting and throwing for the last week after being sidelined from workouts for a while because of an infection in his right leg.
“I couldn’t do anything for a couple weeks,” he said. “It was literally nothing – I just was resting it and letting it heal up with antibiotics.”
He’s better now, though, and looks good aside from a beard that might as well have been swiped from an NHL player with one too many playoff series under his belt.
Better yet, Baldelli seems to be making some progress in pinning down exactly what ails him beyond the general diagnosis of a “mitochondrial disorder” that has served as the catch-all reason he has been sidelined since spring training. He said it was premature to share details, but he continues to see various doctors in an effort to get a handle on what he’s dealing with and find a way to treat it.
“I did a lot of tests when I had the last muscle biopsy done,” said Baldelli. “They found some things out, but it’s not worth me discussing because they have to do confirmation tests on all the tests they’ve already done. They’re running all the secondary tests now, so that’s what I’m waiting on.”
In the meantime, he maintains that he will be back on the field for the Rays at some point. There is no timetable, but it sounds like he’ll gradually ramp up the intensity of his baseball activities and see what works and what doesn’t, then address whatever problems he encounters along the way with help from the Rays’ medical staff and the outside experts he has consulted with.
“Oh, yeah – I’m still trying to come back and play,” said Baldelli. “I’m hoping that some of the medications that I’m taking are going to help me get on the field for an extended period of time without having the problems that I had. That’s kind of the next step, is just trying new things and experimenting. It’s like trial and error, and hopefully one of them works.”