Washington – Reliever Takashi Saito had hoped to throw a bullpen session before the Braves left Washington on Sunday. But that was nixed after he felt pain in his pitching shoulder simply playing catch on Saturday.
Saito, 40, has tendinitis in his throwing shoulder. An MRI last week revealed no structural damage, but with only six games left in the season, his chances of returning to the mound this season – and maybe for his career – are growing dimmer.
He’s already received a cortisone shot.
“I’m starting to think I should just stop saying it hurts,” Saito said Sunday through his interpreter. “I’m thinking about taking the word ‘pain’ out of my mind. I’ll throw from the side or underneath if I have to.”
The Braves aren’t going to rush him back either, with rookie Craig Kimbrel pitching as well as he is in Saito’s absence. Entering Sunday, Kimbrel had pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings in four relief appearances since Saito had to leave a game Sept. 17 in New York. Kimbrel was 3-0 with an 0.53 ERA, striking out 32 batters in 17 innings over four major leagues stints this season.