Considering all the time we’ve spent dreaming up scenarios for his replacement, I haven’t had much time to actually reflect on Alex Rodriguez‘s second hip injury and upcoming surgery. My first reaction, of course, was disappointment. A-Rod is one of my favorite players of all time and I always get a lot of joy out of watching him play. My second thought was that sinking feeling of “Well that the hell do they do now?!” which has definitely lingered. But as we discussed the day’s goings on in our diurnal email chain yesterday, Mike E had some insight: maybe A-Rod’s injury is a blessing in disguise.
First off–and this may still be a bit of speculation, but I still think it’s worth mentioning–it shows that something was wrong (aside from the hand injury) last year. A hip injury could definitely help to explain why Rodriguez produced a career low .158 Iso. Bad hips = bad rotation = low power. After coming back from the first hip injury in 2009, he produced a much more A-Rod like .245 Iso. Hopefully this second surgery can lead to a similar resurgence for Rodriguez. The talent and ability are always going to be there with Alex, but if the health isn’t, those things matter much, much less.
Rodriguez’s injury obviously created a hole at third, which is quite obviously a problem. However, I wonder if this problem is, in the end, a solution. Back in July, I wrote about making A-Rod a full time DH. Perhaps this injury expedites that process and allows the Yankees to focus on finding a third baseman that fits their roster for the long term, or certainly longer than just through the middle of 2013. In that vein, it’s certainly a blessing that this happened now rather than in the middle of the season. A-Rod getting hurt is certainly the proverbial wrench in the plans, but it’s better to have the machine interrupted now, when there’s plenty of time to fix things.