Dodgers’ Padilla laughs about offseason gun wound
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Vicente Padilla can laugh now about a
gunshot wound that almost ended his career.
Padilla talked about his injury Sunday, saying he was
practicing with a small handgun on Nov. 3 in his native Nicaragua
when the weapon jammed. He said a friend was trying to fix the
problem when the gun accidentally fired.
The bullet went into Padilla’s upper right thigh and came out
through the back of his leg.
Padilla took part in the Dodgers’ first workout of the spring
and didn’t show any effects of the injury. He said he feels 100
percent healthy with no restrictions.
Just over three months after the accident, Padilla had a
sense of humor about the accident. He gave no more specifics on the
weapon, offering, “that’s my story and I’m sticking to it,” and
breaking into a grin.
“When it happened, I thought it was going to be serious
because I was bleeding a lot,” Padilla said through a translator.
“But when I went to the hospital, the doctor told me it wasn’t
Padilla, signed as a free agent late last season, got a
one-year deal with the Dodgers in January. With only three secure
options for the rotation, the Dodgers agreed to a one-year deal
worth more than $5 million.
General manager Ned Colletti recalled a conversation he had
with Padilla’s agent, Adam Katz.
“At one point Adam asked me if we were still interested in
signing (Padilla) and I said, ‘Once hunting season ends, we’ll talk
about it,”’ Colletti said.
Colletti was not so amused with Ronald Belisario’s absence
from the first workout. The right-handed reliever is stuck in
Venezuela with visa problems. He had the same issue last year and
missed two weeks of camp before being a surprise late addition to
the major league roster.
“At this point in his life he needs to worry about it more
than we do,” Colletti said. “We have a lot of people in this room
that can pitch.”
Colletti suggested Belisario, who had a breakout rookie
season in 2009, might find himself in a battle for the final
bullpen spot with reliever such as Eric Gagne, Jon Link and Cory