In an update to his story posted last night on the Los Angeles Times web site, beat writer Mike DiGiovanna quotes Dallas McPherson in today’s print edition as saying that surgery is looking more likely for him
"It’s beyond baseball — it’s getting to the point where it affects your daily life," said McPherson, who will be examined by an orthopedic spine specialist Monday in Dallas. "Just getting out of bed, tying my shoes, putting on my pants, is painful."
What a shame.
I’ve always felt that a prospect should succeed or fail on the field based on his abilities. How unfair that his opportunity is taken away by a freak injury.
Maybe the surgery will solve the problem, but the Angels can’t wait any longer. They let Troy Glaus leave as a free agent after the 2004 season. It was the right call, because they had a talented and affordable replacement in McPherson. No one could have foreseen the back injuries that have plagued Dallas since.
So it’s time to move on.
Barring further moves or other unforseen events, if it were my call I’d have Brandon Wood move to third base for 2007. He’ll be at Triple-A Salt Lake as planned, but it’s time to start learning the Hot Corner.
Ever since I first saw Wood play at Provo in 2003, I’ve compared him to Cal Ripken Jr., and the comparison remains. Ripken switched between third base and shortstop during his career, and the same may now happen with Wood.
That doesn’t mean Brandon should be rushed. Wood will be a 22-year old in Triple-A this year, one of the youngest players at that level. He struck out once every 3.5 plate appearances in 2006, compared to 4.6 at High-A in 2005. That’s more an indication of a very young player facing more experienced pitching than a concern about his ability, and he’ll get more of the same in Triple-A where he’ll see many pitchers who have prior major league experience.
The Angels should leave Wood at Triple-A until September. It’ll be either Chone Figgins or Robb Quinlan at 3B in Anaheim this year. With Juan Rivera already injured due to a broken leg, the Angels’ offense will suffer further, but unless something unforeseen happens (e.g. the Orioles’ Miguel Tejada is suddenly available) the Angels will have to make do.
If anything happens to Orlando Cabrera at shortstop, Maicer Izturis is the first candidate, but Erick Aybar is right behind him and should return to Salt Lake to start 2007. Next in line would be Sean Rodriguez, whose bat awoke last year in a season split between High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Arkansas.
I’ll be pulling for Dallas to finally get healthy after this surgery, but the Angels have to go to Plan B.
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