This hasn’t been a good year for Yasmani Grandal. On the tails of a promising rookie season, where he put up a .297 AVG/8 HR/142 OPS+/.376 wOBA/144 wRC+ line in 60 games. He showed himself to be a capable defensive catcher, as well. Suffice it to say, expectations were high for 2013. They were quickly dashed, as he tested positive for testosterone (revealed to the public in November) and was suspended for 50 games, uncontested. You may remember the Biogenesis story, and the pseudonym Josmany Springs. You may also remember Nick Canepa demanding blood from Grandal.
Upon return from his suspension, Grandal struggled. .216 AVG/1 HR/100 OPS+/.309 wOBA/102 wRC+ line, all of which are poor to completely average. Mostly poor. During this time, it also came out that Grandal could possibly face an additional suspension resulting from the Biogenesis investigation. Quite frankly, it has been a season to forget. That season ended up on Saturday on a freak play involving the Nationals’ Anthony Rendon. Reports on Twitter are that he has significant damage to his ACL and MCL, requiring ACL reconstruction. Reported return timetable is 9-12 months.
The bad news is that Grandal’s season is over. The good news is that there’s plenty of evidence to suggest he should be able to successfully return from the injury. Mariano Rivera is back and having a fantastic season after tearing his ACL last May. And while he’s not a catcher, he is 43-years-old. NFL running back Adrian Peterson tore his ACL on Christmas Eve 2011, and was back in time to start the 2012 NFL season. All he did was become the 7th player in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season. These aren’t the days of Mickey Mantle, where you shred your knee and just deal with it. If you want to read more about this kind of injury, there are good articles at Baseball Prospectus and Dr. Andrew Pearle.
That’s not to say Grandal is going to come back bigger and better than ever, but it’s also not to say he won’t. Fans still feel Grandal has a lot to prove after the suspension, and it’s their right to feel that way. However, I’m hoping one place where this negative can be turned into a positive is in Grandal focusing on rehabilitation and not “proving himself” to his teammates and fans. Leave this season with Josmany Springs. It’s forgettable, undeniably awful. Bury it in the past, and focus on getting healthy and coming back stronger than ever.
I would suggest, however, rehabbing outside of Miami. Get well soon, Yasmani.
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