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Ainsworth's shoulder, Mora's flu, Julio's forearm

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The Sun is reporting that Kurt Ainsworth's shoulder has tears and defects that could cause him to miss the 2005 season, and, as Ainsworth has noted, may lead to him retiring at 26.

Once a candidate for the fifth spot in the Orioles' rotation, Ainsworth has been found to have a torn labrum and a partial tear of the rotator cuff. Dr. Charles Silberstein, the team's orthopedic specialist, also found a divot in the glenoid fossa, or shoulder socket.

No matter how good or bad he could have been, it's a shame to see Ainsworth's career take this turn. If he needs surgery, which they're holding off on for now, it will cost him 2005 at least. The team is resting him for 10 days right now and he'll starting throwing after that. He won't be cleared to pitch for at least six weeks.

Unfortunately, I think the chances are getting higher and higher that we've seen the last of Kurt Ainsworth.

photo courtesy AP Melvin Mora is still sick with flu-like symptoms, which has gone on for two weeks and infected Jay Gibbons and Javy Lopez in the meantime. He's still not breathing well but says he's getting better, which is good news. We can't afford a mystery illness that plagues our best hitter the entire season.

That brings me to projecting what Mora will do this year, which seems difficult. He was a monster last season, but can you expect that again? He's 33 years old. I think it's wise to not look for .340/.419/.562 again. Something like .300/.375/.500 seems both more realistic and like it might be underrating him a little, and better safe than looking crazy later. His spike in production the last two years has been phenomenal, and to think we got him in a deal for Mike Bordick the one year Bordick could hit, and then got Bordick back anyway. Silly Mets! What will you do next, trade Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano? Oh.

Jorge Julio might be back on Saturday, which would mean traveling to play Boston, or they may hold him out one more day so he can pitch in Fort Lauderdale against the Mets and not have to hit the road. He's throwing from the mound again, and Ray Miller says he's looking good - not that Ray would tell us anything different, probably. I'll be honest: I'll believe Julio looks good when I see it.