Hampton, who signed one of the richest contracts in baseball
history but hasn't pitched for the Atlanta Braves since 2005
because of injuries, hurt his right hamstring during the first
inning of his very first start in the Mexican Winter League.
The former 20-game winner will need up to a month to recover,
which ends his stint south of the border. The Braves now must wait
until February to get a realistic assessment of Hampton's chances
of returning to the mound.
"There's still some questions, and we don't have all of them
answered," general manager Frank Wren said Tuesday. "We'll have
to wait until spring training for those answers."
The Braves are encouraged by Hampton's recovery from two
straight elbow surgeries, having watched him throw in the Arizona
Fall League. But, unlike last season, they aren't penciling him in
as a member of the rotation.
If the 35-year-old Hampton is healthy, great. If not, the Braves