Mahoney headed to Baltimore to have injured wrist checked

O's minor league player of the year Joe Mahoney was really looking forward to the challenge of playing winter ball in Venezuela.

He arrived there last weekend, just a few days after getting married and joined the Margarita Island team. But before the first game he played in was even over, he was injured.

On the second pitch of his fourth at bat, Mahoney came up with a sprained right wrist. He was replaced immediately.

"It happened on a swing. I swung through a pitch and felt, not really a pop, but a like a click. It became swollen, there is still some swelling on it.

"I don't think this should be any long-term issue, but we'll learn more this week."

Mahoney has returned to his new home in Worcester, Massachusetts and this week will fly to Baltimore for further examination.

"They did an MRI, but I wouldn't be surprised if they get one here in the States. They did a sort of MRI that didn't show anything. They may want more extensive tests or to look at it more thoroughly.

"They are flying me down sometime this week to see the team doctor and check in on it. I start to feel better every day. Like any other sprain, I think you just have to ride it out and give it some rest."

Now, Mahoney's chance to play any more winter ball has probably ended.

"Yeah, that's what it looks like. If I get back the end of November, that's kind of when I would start to prepare for spring anyway, so I'll probably stay home and start getting ready for the year."

Mahoney was really looking forward to playing in Venezuela, where he saw passionate crowds of 25,000 this past week attend games.

"I was ready. It was a completely different world down there. The baseball is at a ridiculously high level, lot of big names and good players. I was looking forward to challenging myself."

Coming tomorrow: Mahoney talks more about what winter ball in Venezuela was like. He also reacts to being left off Baseball America's top 20 prospects lists.

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