When the Minnesota Twins hosted their annual ‘Twins Fest’–a weekend where fans can go to the Metrodome and meet some of their favorite players–they didn’t think they would need to worry about any players getting injured. Turns out they were wrong. Twins’ Pitcher Anthony Swarkzak broke two ribs while ‘wrestling around’ with teammates. Nice timing, Anthony.
While his fellow pitchers will be reporting to Fort Meyers next Tuesday, Swarzak will be rehabbing his two cracked ribs. It’s unfortunate timing for a pitcher at crossroads in his career. Swarzak made his way to the majors as a starting pitcher in 2009. After intermittent success he was demoted to the bullpen where he made 39 appearances in 2012, posting a 5.03 ERA. A roster spot is not guaranteed for the 27-year old relief pitcher, and missing the first month of Spring Training is probably not going to help his cause.
Twins GM Terry Ryan probably wasn’t very happy with the news, as he’s already short-handed on pitching going into the spring. Ryan briefly commented on the situation, saying “He was wrestling around. It was some horseplay. He was out with a couple friends and the team and cracked a couple ribs fooling around.” It seems like Ryan won’t hold the incident against Swarzak; it also seems Ryan has the diction of a grandfather.
And while this is one of the more stupid ways an athlete has gotten injured this year, the sad part, is that the Twins are so low on pitching, losing a 3-6 long-reliever is actually a blow. At a minimum, it will make it tougher for Ron Gardenhire to piece together Spring Training games.
I suppose I’ve ‘horsed around’ with friends in the past but I can’t remember anyone ever breaking a rib. Who body-slammed Swarzak? Some AAA hopeful? We can only hope that Swarzak, for his sake, was doing something really awesome like base-jumping, the half-pipe or jumping his motorcycle through flames, because as it stands, this injury is lamer than Carl Pavano falling over while shoveling.