Not sure how we didn’t hear about this earlier, but it turns out that Alex Rodriguez‘s hip injury occurred before the playoffs and he was on pain medication throughout, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Apparently the pain even got so bad that he had to spend the night in the Emergency Room.
That certainly sheds light on why he struggled so much and why Joe Girardi was willing to take a risk not only pinch hit for him in big spots, but to bench him quite a bit as well.
A-Rod was actually hot coming off the DH for a broken hand, but then on Sept. 18 things changed and he hit just .198/.293/.209 in 22 games including the playoffs after that. So that gives us an indication of when he might have gotten hurt.
Another thing that I missed was that Joel Sherman of the NY Post reported this morning that it is his left hip that he hurt and not the right hip that he had surgically repaired in 2009.
It’s hard to say if that last part makes this news better or worse. I suppose it’s better because we can reasonably expect that he’ll recover knowing that it’s not just going to break down again. At the same time though, it could be worse in that his entire body is just breaking down. A-Rod was a picture of health for most of his career, but he’s been plagued by injuries both big and small over the last four years. That hardly gives us reason to be hopeful about the remaining five years on his deal either way.
Finally, the surgery plans have been laid out by the Yankees. He will undergo arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn labrum, bone impingement, and the correction of a cyst. The surgery will take place four-to-six weeks from now and will require a four-to-six month rehab. That means that the absolute best case scenario would have him ready by May, but more likely he’ll be a late-June/mid-July return.
Once he finally does get back on the field there will be serious questions as to whether or not he is done as a third baseman. He already took a big step back last season as he served as the DH 38 times. He also had a relatively poor season in the field with a negative-3.9 UZR which is his worst mark in years. After his second hip surgery can we realistically expect him to even play 80 games a year at third? Even if he’s physically capable of it is it worth it to risk further injuries? This surgery likely signals the end of A-Rod’s days in the field. Full time DH here we come.