Anxiety disorder puts Aubrey Huff on disabled list

The San Francisco Giants have placed first baseman/outfielder Aubrey Huff on the 15-day disabled list with an anxiety disorder.

"He's gotten some treatment and will continue to get treatment," manager Bruce Bochy told the San Francisco Chronicle before Wednesday's 4-2 loss to the Reds.

Huff, who is expected to rejoin the team this weekend in San Francisco, has had his ups and downs. In 2010, he was part of a rollicking clubhouse in San Francisco, becoming known for his red rally thong as well as his bat as he helped the Giants to a World Series championship.

"He keeps everyone loose in the clubhouse and he reminds us all the time to have fun," teammate Barry Zito told the Chronicle. " I'm not sure what to make of this."

Nor is Bochy, who said he spoke with Huff on Wednesday, but could not say whether the anxiety was baseball-related or about personal matters. "I don't know if he knows. It could be both," Bochy said.

Huff's wife Baubi filed for divorce this Jan. 12. The couple has two young sons. Huff's father was murdered in Texas when he was six years old.
Huff, 35, was plugged in at second base for the first time in his major league career last Saturday by Bochy. He committed a damaging error late in a loss to the Mets, then reportedly left the team for his home in Tampa.

Huff was seventh in MVP voting in 2010 when he hit .290 with 26 homers and 86 RBI and drove in eight more runs in the postseason. But his 2010 season was sandwiched by off years in 2009 (.241, 15 homers) and 2011 (.246, 12 homers), after he re-signed a two-year, $22 million deal to remain with San Francisco.

It took time for Huff to get into shape in 2011. Despite a three-homer, six-RBI game in early June, his OPS fell 215 points to .676, last among MLB first basemen.

In 12 games this season Huff was 6-for-33 with one home run.

Huff is hardly the first major leaguer to suffer from anxiety. Jimmy Piersall's story was made into a 1957 film, Fear Strikes Out. More recently, 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke and 2010 NL MVP Joey Votto have been sidelined due to anxiety.

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