Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez may need to undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right middle finger, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Gonzalez will meet with a hand specialist in Cleveland in Cleveland on Thursday. If the specialist recommends it, Gonzalez could undergo surgery towards the end of the month or shortly after the season concludes.
Renck describes the process:
The surgery, however, is not a simple procedure. Gonzalez would have the ligament replaced and a pin inserted to stabilize the finger for six-to-eight weeks. When the pin is removed, aggressive therapy would follow for roughly two months to help him regain most of his flexibility, Rockies trainer Keith Dugger said. It would leave him ready to swing a bat in early January, barring any setbacks.
Gonzalez sustained the injury on July 9 in the ninth inning against the Diamondbacks, but continued to play into August before needing a spell on the disabled list. He returned on September 3 but hasn’t taken an official plate appearance as the Rockies have been easing him back in, using him as a pinch-runner and defensive substitute.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.