The new year keeps giving Texas Rangers fans a reason to look forward to the season. Many of the players who were injured last season are healing and expected to return healthy for the 2015 season. Here is the latest injury updates.
Jurickson Profar missed the entire 2014 season due to a torn teres major muscle in his right shoulder. Back in December the 21-year old was presented the option for surgery. However, Profar stated he did not want to undergo surgery and potentially miss another season. On Tuesday he was cleared to begin a throwing program after his latest MRI came back clean. Profar is expected to begin throwing sometime around January 19. Even though he will be at Spring Training, I think it’s almost a given that even if he makes it through camp healthy he’ll start the season on the farm trying to rebuild his skills.
After signing a 7-year contract worth $130M last winter Shin-Soo Choo began Spring Training with soreness in his left elbow. I remember Choo saying he had dealt with this before and it wasn’t anything to really worry about. Then on April 21 playing a night game at Oakland Athletics he hurt his ankle tagging first base. I remember this vividly because I was there. It looked like any other play even when the A’s replayed it over and over. But, Choo was clearly hurt.
We would later find out that he had sprained his ankle and with 34 games left Choo was shut down for the season. On August 29 he underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove a small bone spur from his left elbow. And, on September 17 Choo had another arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage and remove a small bone spur from his left ankle. He is expected to be a hundred percent healthy at the start of Spring Training.
Rangers fans had high expectations for Choo, as he is known for getting on base. His OBP in 2013 was .423, and after playing in 123 games he hit 13 home runs and 40 RBI. But, his .340 OBP last season is a career-low and I suspect we’ll get to see the Shin-Soo Choo the Texas Rangers paid for this season.
While we’re on the topic of high expectations, let’s discuss Prince Fielder. After appearing in only 42 games due to neck pain, Fielder underwent season-ending surgery on May 27 for a cervical fusion of the C5-C6 discs in his neck. With Fielder’s season ending early his average was .247 and hit a disappointing three homers. I remember how excited I became at the thought of Prince Fielder hitting moonshots to the right field porch, of course only after I stopped whining about dealing Ian Kinsler for him. Well, Fielder began swinging a bat in September he is expected to be fully recovered before he reports to Surprise, Arizona in February.
Mitch Moreland was placed on the DL on June 8 with Os Trigonum Syndrome in his left ankle and on June 23 he had ligament reconstruction and bone realignment surgery. Before being placed on the DL Moreland played through the pain appearing in 52 games, one of which he pitched a 1-2-3 inning on May 6 at Colorado Rockies. That was crazy.
As of December 2 Moreland is expected to be? You guessed it, one hundred percent healthy by Spring Training.
Lastly, left-handed pitcher Martin Perez is still recovering from TJ Surgery he had in May. We should expect to see Perez sometime in July. As of the November 11 update, he was expected to begin a throwing program the week of November 17.
So, what does this all mean for the Texas Rangers and their fans?
It means things are FINALLY starting to look up for the team.
It means come Opening Day the Texas Rangers roster will look a lot better than it did last season, barring any setbacks during Spring Training.
*KNOCK ON WOOD. NO JINX. NO JINX. KNOCK ON WOOD.*
ONLY 52 DAYS UNTIL TEXAS RANGERS PLAY FIRST SPRING TRAINING GAME!