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Not In Play: (Runzler)

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There was something so discouraging about Dan Runzler walking off the field in the last game of 2011. It didn't look like a hangnail by the way Runzler was reacting and holding his side. It looked like his shoulder blade crawled down to his ribs and started playing them like a xylophone. Dude was in pain.

But it was a freak tweak of the oblique, which is more of a big deal while the season is going on because those things take a while to heal. With an ocean of offseason between that game and the start of the 2012 season, though, it wasn't a big deal.

It wasn't a big deal. Phew. But now there's this:

The Chronicle’s John Shea was told today that Runzler is undergoing diagnostic tests on his left shoulder, after he experienced discomfort in a recent bullpen session. The team is expecting to have a better diagnosis and prognosis tomorrow.

Lame. Runzler was a bit of a long shot to make the team, and seeing as he's about to turn 27, he can't be considered a prospect anymore. But he's certainly one of the more interesting arms in the organization, and I still hold onto the idea that it will all click for him one of these years, like it did for Jeff Nelson, my go-to pitcher who suddenly stopped walking nine guys for every nine innings he pitched.

Hopefully it's just a little thing. I was looking forward to Runzler improving this year. And if it isn't a little thing, it'll be harder to make fun of the Affeldt option. Can't have that.