The middle finger of Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez’ right hand has not been normal since he injured it swinging a bat in early July. Since then, there has been rest, tape, altered bat grips, and multiple other means of trying to address the issue.
Most recently, Gonzalez was shut down to the point of not even being allowed to pick up a bat in an effort to heal the injured collateral ligament. After a few weeks of rest, Gonzalez tried to return, but only in a defensive role to avoid further aggravating his finger.
And yet the pain persists.
According to the Denver Post, Gonzalez is consulting with hand specialists, and the possibility of surgery looms. Chronic instability could threaten his stature as a hitter, especially if he continues to try to compensate by altering his swing.
Gonzalez understandably is leaning toward surgery, given the finger’s failure to heal despite the downtime. The biggest challenge following a surgery like this is regaining the range of motion in the finger after extended immobilization. The surgical repair helps restore the stability but range of motion has to be adequate to grip the bat normally. Once that hurdle is overcome, it is just a matter of reintegrating baseball activities.
The time frame is such that Gonzalez should recover before spring training begins. For now, it seems unlikely he will be swinging the bat again this season. It’s time for fantasy owners to part ways and hope for a fresh start with Gonzalez next year.