Francisco Rodriguez has taken Cactus League play to a whole new level.
The veteran Milwaukee Brewers reliever stepped barefoot on a cactus earlier this week and may not be able to make his scheduled spring training debut Thursday, manager Ron Roenicke told reporters Wednesday morning.
Roenicke said the mishap occurred either Monday night or during the team's off-day Tuesday. Rodriguez was having the remainder of the cactus' spines removed from his foot Wednesday morning.
"He took a lot out, but there's some more in there," Roenicke told reporters. "I don't think it's that big of a setback, but I imagine he's pretty sore today. I don't know if you guys have stepped on one, but you know how little some of the [spines] are? And they're in there for a while."
Rodriguez signed a one-year deal with the Brewers in February, then arrived late to spring camp after acquiring a work visa and leaving the unsettled situation in his native Venezuela.
Now, the right-hander is dealing with another setback.
"With Frankie, he may come in today and say, 'I'm pitching,'" Roenicke told reporters. "I don't know. It'll be tough to keep him back, the way he is. Like I said, he may end up pitching [on Thursday as scheduled]. It could happen. I just have to talk to him and see how he's doing."
Rodriguez's prickly situation may be the most recent, but it's far from the only bizarre baseball injury to have occurred. Some others:
• Former AL Rookie of the Year Marty Cordova fell asleep in a tanning bed and had to miss one game in 2002 due to burns.
• Sammy Sosa landed on the disabled list in 2004 after a violent sneeze while talking to reporters at his locker led to back spasms.
• Joel Zumaya had to miss part of the 2006 AL Championship Series due to a sore wrist later deemed to have been suffered from playing the video game "Guitar Hero."
• Reliever Josh Outman strained his oblique after violently vomiting due to a bout of food poisoning in 2002.
• Brewers general manager Doug Melvin spent several hours in an Arizona hospital last March after he was stung by a scorpion.