Thursday, March 5, 2009

A-Rod Injury Update

Earlier today, it was being reported that A-Rod was headed for surgery and would be on the shelf for 10 weeks. Thankfully, it's not entirely true. Alex has a torn labrum, which is the same injury that recently plagued both Mike Lowell and Chase Utley. It's an injury that requires surgery, just not immediately. Alex can play through the injury, which is good news for the Yankees and their fans.

The Yankees are basically faced with 2 choices when it comes to Alex and his injury. Option 1 would be to treat the injury with rest, treatment and exercise. That will allow Alex to continue playing. Eventually, he'll need surgery, and that would require him to miss about 4 months of time. Hopefully that time comes in November. The other option is of course to have him have his surgery now and return in early July. The Yankees are going with option 1, which I think is the right move.

Let's face it, losing A-Rod would be a huge blow to the offense. You can't easily replace a guy that'll hit you 40 homers and knock in 120 runs. Alex Rodriguez at 75% is better than most guys at 100%. It's to my understanding that the condition can't get any worse. I heard that on the radio so take that for what it's worth. If Alex were to have surgery now, he'd be back in July, which means he misses 1/2 the season. I think the Yankees know that without A-Rod for 80 games, they're pretty much done considering they have to contend with both Boston and Tampa Bay. I think that's the main reason why they'll put surgery off as long as they can. If you ask me, if the surgery has to happen in the season, the drop dead date for it would be at the end of April. If he had the surgery at the end of April, he'd likely be back for the September stretch run. If surgery has to happen after April, the Yankees are pretty much effed.

If Alex can play through it, I think he has to. There really aren't any options for replacing him. Cody Ransom is the logical candidate and that really only works if A-Rod is gone temporarily. The only other options are to trade for a guy or sign a free agent. I've heard 3 names mentioned that I wouldn't mind. Mark Grudzielanek is currently a free agent and wouldn't cost the team much. The Dodgers appear to have an extra infielder in Mark Loretta or Blake DeWitt. I can't imagine the price tag is high for either of them either. But again, none are close to A-Rod in terms of talent. There are other options, but none in my opinion are worth going after. If the deal is right, maybe. I can just see a team try to bend the Yankees over on this one.

If the Yankees were to lose A-Rod, they better hope that Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada stay healthy. Losing any 2 of those guys for an extended period of time would be a huge blow to the offense. Can you imagine a lineup that is steady rocking Ransom, Molina, and or Gardner/Cabrera at the bottom of the order. They might as well let the pitchers hit.

If Alex is lost for an extended period of time, the team better hope the pitching lives up to its expectations. The Yankees have arguably one of the best pitching staffs in baseball and they no longer have to outslug teams to win games. That's the only silver lining I see right now if A-Rod goes down.

The season hasn't even started yet and already our best player is saddled with an injury. I really hope the Yankees are making the right call by trying to let him play through this. It's a roll of the dice and I hope it turns up 7 or 11. Crapping out could prove to be extremely detrimental to their chances at winning #27 in 2009.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,