Tuesday, March 25, 2008

There's no such thing as "minor" surgery

As nauseating as it was to hear the details about Scott Rolen's broken, ripped and torn up finger, we're having an even harder time keeping down our morning coffee with the news that he had surgery on the digit yesterday.

The estimates for Rolen's return are around three weeks, which sounds promising. But the notion that someone has opened up the finger and screwed into the bone with the intention of going back in to pull the screw back out in a couple weeks, and then everything is going to be just hunky-dory afterwards seems a bit overly optimistic to us.

We'd assume that Rolen won't be taking ground balls for three weeks, and won't face live pitching for at least as long. So what's his game going to look like when he gets back? How strong and accurate are those cross-diamond throws going to be? How is the hurt finger going to affect his swing?

We've got plenty of worry about how this is going to affect Rolen's offense. The injured finger is on Rolen's top hand on the bat, which is where power is generated. Rolen keeps both hands on the bat in his follow through, so there will be a lot of energy and torque exerted in that area. In the Cathal Kelly Star article, J.P. notes that how Rolen performs subsequently will depend on "pain tolerance". While we think that Rolen is a big burly manly man, we also see it as likely that he'll ease up or twitch through his swing, and his mechanics will go all pear-shaped for at least the first few weeks back.

We had really hoped and prayed that this year wouldn't feature another long series of bizarre and absurd injuries. It looks like those prayers aren't yet being answered.


t.u.g. said...

Ya, these injuries are getting discouraging. Now Gregg Zaun's right hamstring is bugging him.

Darren Priest said...

I bet Rolen's pain tolerance is pretty dang high, but agree you assessment is accurate and he won't be the Rolen we hoped he would be (ie the Todd McFarlane "sculpture" above my desk) any time soon.