Spring training always brings about a sense of hope among baseball fans. Every MLB squad is still undefeated, and every fan finds some reason to tally their team’s chances for the upcoming season.
For the 2008 San Francisco Giants, hope does not abound. The only thing worth getting excited for is a sterling starting rotation that matches up with the some of the best staffs in the league. The starters will need to be exceptional to give the team a chance to win behind the inevitably stagnant Giant offense that might score four runs a game in the most optimistic of estimates.
But that rotation, already under pressure to keep the team from only it’s second100-loss season in history, took a hit when expected No. 3 starter Noah Lowry underwent surgery today to fix exertion compartmental syndrome in his forearm. In layman’s terms, the southpaw is suffering from pain in his throwing wrist from a compressed nerve.
Some reports say Lowry could be out through April while the Giants website says it will only sideline him for two to three weeks. However, sfgiants.com also says there is no precedence for baseball players suffering from this injury.
There is no telling how long it will take him to come back and how effective he’ll be when he does take to the mound. If it’s anything like his spring training appearances, the Giants would be better off with Jonathan Sanchez rounding out the rotation.
Lowry already missed a month last season and still led the team in wins, which he has done in two of the last three years. The Giants do need him back and hopefully, he can show the consistency he showed before a sting of bad starts at the end of August. When the injury was developing, it made his ERA balloon from a fantastic 3.28 to a still-respectable 3.92.
Kevin Correia looked great in a short September stint in the starting rotation last year, and continues to impress this spring and a team can do worse than Sanchez as a fifth starter. But with nearly all the aging, veteran players dealing with nagging injuries, the last thing the Giants need is for their young pitchers to develop arm problems.
Let’s hope Lincecum and Cain can avoid these dangers, and that Lowry can bounce back, because without their young arms, the Giants will be in for a long and grueling summer.
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