The San Francisco Giants placed Aubrey Huff on the disabled list Wednesday after the veteran utility player suffered an anxiety attack.
The Giants initially said Huff has a family emergency when he left the team in New York this weekend. Manager Bruce Bochy said Wednesday that Huff, who is undergoing treatment, could rejoin the team as soon as this weekend.
“He had an episode of anxiety,” Bochy told the Associated Press before the Giants’ 4-2 loss at Cincinnati. “He got some treatment, he’ll continue to get treatment. At this time, we though the best thing was to make this move and put him on the 15-day disabled list.”
A key cog during San Francisco’s run to the 2010 World Series title, Huff was known for his colorful personality and equally colorful red rally thong. Huff has struggled recently at the plate where he is 1 for 15 in his last six games while playing left field, first base and — for the first time in his career — second base in Saturday’s 5-4 loss to the Mets. In the defeat, Huff failed to cover second on a potential double-play that helped New York rally for the win. Bochy initially believed Huff’s on-field struggles could be the cause of stress.
“You guys see Huffy like we do,” Giants pitcher Barry Zito told the San Francisco Chronicle. “He keeps everyone loose in the clubhouse and he reminds us all the time to have fun. I’m not sure what to make of this.”
The 35-year-old has is in the midst of a divorce from his wife, Baubi, with whom he has two young sons, as reported by the Chronicle. Baubi Huff filed for divorce on Jan. 31 after six years of marriage.
Within the last few years, Milwaukee Brewers ace Zack Greinke and 2010 National League MVP Joey Votto have missed time due to anxiety. In May 2009, Votto went on the DL as he dealt with anxiety attacks brought on by lingering grief over his father’s death the previous summer, he told ESPN.com. In 2006, Greinke nearly walked away from baseball altogether due to social anxiety disorder.
Former MLB outfielder Jimmy Piersall battled bipolar disorder during his career in the 1950s and ‘60s. The 1957 movie “Fear Strikes Out” was based on his story.