We heard earlier this afternoon that Prince Fielder could be headed for season-ending neck surgery. The worst-case scenario has been realized.
According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels just confirmed that Fielder is tentatively scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday to fuse the C-5 and C-6 disks in his neck. He’ll receive a second opinion later this week, but all indications are that he’ll have the surgery. The normal timeline for recovery is about 3-4 months, which essentially ends his season.
Today’s news is another brutal blow for the Rangers, who can’t seem to catch a break on the injury front. They currently have 13 players on the disabled list, including Derek Holland, Martin Perez, Matt Harrison, Tanner Scheppers, and Jurickson Profar.
Big things were expected from Fielder after he came over from the Tigers in the Ian Kinsler deal over the winter, but he was batting just .247/.360/.360 with three home runs and 16 RBI over 42 games prior to being shut down on Saturday. Long regarded for his durability, his consecutive games played streak was snapped at 547 games. The 30-year-old is still owed approximately $156 million through 2020, though the Tigers are covering $30 million of the total from 2016-2020. Still, that contract is starting to look pretty brutal.
Welp, this is certainly not what the Rangers were hoping for. Prince Fielder, already sidelined by a herniated disk, is considering season-ending surgery:
Though Fielder received a nerve-root injection over the weekend, the shot doesn’t remove the chunk of disc from the nerve that is pinched and is causing weakness in Fielder’s left arm. Only surgery can fix that. As of the opener of the four-game series, the Rangers are hoping that Fielder won’t become their 17th player to hit the disabled list this season.
Fielder is back in Dallas visiting a spine specialist, going over his options. Meanwhile, the Rangers are squaring off in a four-game series against the Tigers in Detroit today and through the weekend.
And Ian Kinsler is hitting .317.
UPDATE: So much for that. Fielder was just scratched from the lineup again.
Prince Fielder’s consecutive games played streak ended up 547 over the weekend when he missed back-to-back games with a herniated disk in his neck, but the Rangers first baseman is back in the lineup tonight against the Mariners.
T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Fielder “received a nerve-blocking injection to help the problem” and he’ll actually play designated hitter rather than first base in his first game back to lessen the risk of aggravating the injury.
Fielder has had a huge power drought in his first season in Texas, managing just three homers and a .360 slugging percentage through 42 games. He’s also hitting just .247 and despite more walks (25) than strikeouts (24) his .360 on-base percentage is well below his career norms.