So far, the doctors are just as busy as the players at spring training.
Frank Viola has developed a sore left elbow and an examination has revealed signs of small bone spurs."The only thing that concerned me is that I've never had problems at all, especially this early," the New York Mets' 20-game winner said Monday.
Anti-inflammatory medication was prescribed for Viola, and the Mets said he would work out Tuesday at Port St. Lucie, Fla.
"If we felt that a pitcher was seriously hurt, we wouldn't let him throw," Mets vice president Al Harazin said.
Mark Gubicza, however, has modified his prediction that he'll be set to pitch for Kansas City Royals by opening day.
"I'll be ready, but I don't know what for," said Gubicza, who underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery last Aug. 2. "If it's going north with the club, that's fine. If it's staying down here for extended spring training, that's fine. But I know I'll be ready to pitch at some level."
Joe Magrane isn't sure when he'll be able to pitch again. He was back in St. Louis on Monday to have his sore left elbow checked.
"You're always concerned when one of your big people is hurt," Cardinals general manager Dal Maxvill said. "We've had some bad luck in past springs. Joe has been healthy through his career, so hopefully this is nothing serious. But until (the doctor) has a chance to look at him, we'll have our fingers crossed."
The Seattle Mariners are closely watching Mike Schooler, their all-time save leader. He missed the final six weeks last season because of shoulder problems.
"I just started letting it go, that's the main thing," Schooler said after throwing 45 pitches, none of them too hard. "I've been tentative the last couple of weeks, but today it feels like it's supposed to. I can let go and really stretch it."
Cincinnati, though, got an encouraging report about catcher Joe Oliver. He is responding so well to physical therapy for an inflammed shoulder muscle that the Reds could cut his recovery time. Oliver's activity has been limited since the start of camp, when the Reds said his recovery could take two weeks.
The Boston Red Sox got their first look at free agent Danny Darwin, and manager Joe Morgan liked what he saw from the National League ERA champion.
"He was impressive," manager Joe Morgan said. "He must have thrown 40 straight strikes."
The Chicago White Sox are getting ready to study their newest pitcher, 43-year-old Charlie Hough.
"The Sox certainly didn't go into the winter looking to sign me or somebody like me," Hough said. "I was the perfect type of player for them for one year. They've got a lot of young guys coming up."
The Texas Rangers, meanwhile, will wait for Nolan Ryan. The team opened camp Monday with 24 pitchers reporting, but Ryan was absent. In keeping with his strict workout program, Ryan, 44, won't arrive until March 1.