Down Goes Gordon

Another Alex Gets Hip Surgery

Another Alex Gets Hip Surgery

As a life-long Royals fan, one becomes a realist in a hurry.  Things rarely work out as planned, and just when things start to come together, they all come crashing down like so many hopes and dreams.

That being said, it is a rare thing indeed to go through a grueling 162 game schedule (plus a ridiculous 36 spring games) without your team experiencing at least one major injury.  Players come on and off the disabled list throughout the season, and those that are most damaging are those to your starting pitchers.

Alex Gordon having to undergo arthroscopic hip surgery to repair a cartilage tear is a blow to a young team that he is very much is at the center of.   As of the publishing of this post, I had not heard any timeline on his return.  But judging on what transpired to some other guy who plays third base named Alex Rodriguez, it won’t be short and it won’t be long, but somewhere in the middle.  Rodriguez is to resume baseball activities here shortly, after undergoing a very similar operation late in spring training.

The Yankees have employed a journeyman infielder named Cody Ransom in A-Rod’s absence, with poor results.  The Royals will counter Gordon’s trip to the DL with Mark Teahen, a player who manned the hot corner in 2005 and 2006.  The Royals appear that they can absorb an extended absence of their third baseman longer than the Yankees can, as they may well fall very far behind what could be  a great Rays team and a very good Red Sox squad.  The Royals should find themselves in contention in the mediocre AL Central.

What makes this development one of concern is the fact that right fielder Jose Guillen is also on the DL with a hip injury.  Guillen’s is not going to require surgery, but having what projected as your cleanup  hitter (Guillen) and your 5-6-7 hitter, depending on pitching match-ups (Gordon) out of the lineup is not a good thing.

Projected starting lineup until April 25th (when Guillen is eligible to come off the DL):

  1. Coco Crisp  CF
  2. David DeJesus  LF
  3. Mark Teahen  3B
  4. Billy Butler  1B
  5. Mike Jacobs  DH
  6. Mike Aviles  SS
  7. Alberto Callaspo  2B
  8. Miguel Olivo/John Buck  C
  9. Mitch Maier  RF

Not much pop, but the Boys In Blue weren’t exactly making balls fly out of the park.  Maier has been serviceable in past callups from Omaha, where he was having a great start to the season.  This improves the defense in the outfield, since they can employ 3 above-average defenders across the board.  Teahen vs. Gordon at third base is a wash, and Callaspo is capable at 2nd.

All that said, it will be the pitching that carries this team for the next several weeks until Gordon can return, if he can.  The top 4 starters have been excellent; even Sidney Ponson has turned in a ‘quality start’.  The bullpen needs to avoid the occassional meltdown, as the margin for error has been reduced for sure.

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~ by goetgre on April 16, 2009.

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