After two years spent mostly recovering from a pair of knee surgeries, Sean Doolittle had his bags packed, his car loaded and his apartment cleaned out.
He was finally ready to head from extended spring training in Arizona to Sacramento, sure in his mind that it would be a short stopover before he headed down to Oakland to play first base for the Athletics.
Then, just a day before he was to leave, Doolittle swung through a high fastball and heard a pop in his right wrist.
"The tendon over here popped out and came over the bone," Doolittle said, pointing to the bone on the outside of his wrist. "I was hoping it was just something weird, and then I went to put my glove on and I couldn't do anything. It was this motion" -- rolling his wrist -- "that really bothered it. It was like a shooting pain up through the forearm."
The pain in his wrist was exceeded only by the anguish of another lengthy rehabilitation, with its baby steps and false starts. It was a prospect Doolittle was not...