Saturday, February 26, 2011; 2:11 PM
Cla Meredith yesterday received a second MRI on his surgically repaired right elbow, an enhanced version of the test called an arthrogram in which doctors inject dye into the joint. Meredith, a side-winding, right-handed reliever in camp on a minor league contract, is waiting to hear back results from the test. Early during spring training, Meredith cut short his first bullpen session with discomfort in his elbow, on which Meredith underwent surgery in October to remove bone chips. Meredith took an initial MRI that revealed no issues. He rested and received medication and aimed to throw again for the first time yesterday. When Meredith tried to play catch from 40 feet, he felt the same sharp pain in his elbow that he experienced in his first, truncated bullpen session. Doctors decided he needed the second test. "When the medicine didn't work, we knew there was a problem," Meredith said. The necessity of an arthrogram is a potentially calamitous sign for Meredith. For many pitchers, including Stephen Strasburg last year, it is the test that confirms the need for Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery. No conclusions should be jumped to in regard to Meredith, but it has certainly been an upsetting spring for him. "The most frustrating part is, I didn't work as hard as I did this offseason to come and deal with stuff like this," Meredith said. "That's probably the most deflating part of all. It's kind of a mental gut-check. I don't even know what good news would be right now." Last season, Meredith pitched only 15 major league innings with the Orioles, compiling a 5.40 ERA. His unique motion and past success made him a player the Nationals were eager to watch. In 2006, he went 5-1 with a 1.07 ERA in 50 2/3 innings.