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 serious.''
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 Wade.