Furcal re-injures ankle in second game back

ajc.com | Braves | YANKEES 8, BRAVES 1

Injuries happen. Continuous injuries, however, are worrisome. If Furcal’s ankles become a problem, he’s going to be in trouble, because without his speed he’s not much of a player.

Vinny Castilla, meanwhile, is in midseason form: he’s hitting .192 with no extra base hits. He even made an error, which is the only thing getting Bobby’s attention. I’m hoping against hope that he’ll be so bad that the Braves will eat his contract.

The Braves apparently have settled on Jesse Garcia, not Ramon Castro, as their utility infielder. Errors again. I curse whoever the fool was decided to create that statistic. Garcia has some tactical value as a guy who can be the defensive replacement for an offensive-oriented shortstop with a weak glove, and he can pinch-run. He’s basically a slightly improved Rafael Belliard. On this Braves team, they could use Castro’s bat a lot more.

6 thoughts on “Furcal re-injures ankle in second game back”

  1. Does anyone think this opens the door for Betemit to open the season with Atlanta? I have to believe an infield of Derosa, Betemit, and Giles is a better option than Castilla, Derosa, and Giles…God forbid Bobby tries to put Garcia into the mix. I am increasingly pessemistic about Furcal’s ability to fulfilll the potential he showed as a rookie. Does anyone see reason for optimism?

  2. The frequent injuries are bad enough, and the fact that he is older than advertised decreases his odds of rebounding further. What has bothered me the most, though, was when he came back for his 2nd full season with new muscles (and maybe it was just me but it seemed to me that his facial features changed slightly…) and a sudden desire to hit long fly balls. He really doesn’t even play like the same player at all. Where is the Pee Wee Herman kid that tormented Bonds? To quote Clemenza after he whacks Paulie: “Won’t see him no more”.

  3. His minor league record shows some extended periods of good stike zone control, but until he rediscovers that, he will be a basically worthless offensive player. He needs to stop bunting early in counts, stop slap-bunting altogether, and stop saying things like “I’m going to concentrate on putting more balls in play”, as he more or less did last week. How about “I’m going to try to be on base as often as possible at the conclusion of my at-bats”?

    I’m far less worried about his ankles than I am about his deteriorating strike zone judgement. In fact, I would have dealt him during the offseason for some actual offense. His perceived value is probably still pretty high among the “speed at the top of the order” suckers, but it is inevitably going to nosedive along with his actual value if he doesn’t fundamentally change his approach.

  4. I agree with both of your assessments. After reading today’s AJC I wonder if he’ll be ready to go on opening day. What do you think JS and Bobby will do if he is not ready? And what do you think they should do? (I tend to believe these two questions are mutually exclusive.)

  5. I would put money on DeRosa at SS and Castilla at 3B if Furcal can’t answer the bell on opening day. You know Castilla is going to have to play his way out of the lineup, especially if Furcal is questionable at all.

  6. Perhaps someone needs to give Furcal a talking-to like Browns owner Bill Veeck gave Eddie Gaedel, the “little person” he sent to bat in 1951. Veeck allegedly told Gaedel that there was a man with a high-powered rifle on the roof of the stadium who would shoot Gaedel if he so much as swung the bat.

    Undaunted, Gaedel said he might try to hit a home run, something he didn’t consider impossible for a player his size (3-foot-7). “After all,” he supposedly said. “How tall is Pee Wee Reese?”

    Veeck’s reply: “Pee Wee Reese is 6-foot-5.”

    As we all know, Gaedel walked on four pitches and left major league baseball with an on-base percentage of 1.000. As little as modern baseball players know about the game’s history, such Jedi mind tricks might work on Furcal.

    Possibly apochryphal baseball stories aside, if Furcal doesn’t make the opening day lineup, it will be DeRosa at short, Giles at second and Castilla at third — with Jesse Garcia as the utility man. If it’s anything different than that (barring additional injuries, of course), as my grandmother used to say, “I’ll kiss your butt on the Vatican steps.”

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