November 22, 2014

Dodgers Sign SS Berroa…Bad News for Furcal?

So the Dodgers signed under-performing utility infielder Angel Berroa. You may remember Berroa, the 2003 AL Rookie of the Year who signed a four-year $11 million deal only to go in the tank after that and eventually be designated to KC’s AAA affiliate in Omaha where he’s been languishing pretty much ever since. So now what? Furcal is supposedly set to return on June 17, but it makes you wonder if the Dodgers are more concerned about his recovery then they’re letting on. The signing also makes Hu expendable. Torre reportedly would like Hu to get more experience down in AAA, which does seem to make sense, but I’m not sure Berroa is really going to be much of a substitute.

Torre to Treat Furcal’s Rehab “Methodically”

back strain
Rafael Furcal is still an outsider at Dodger stadium these days. During a recent visit to the dugout at Chavez Ravine, manager Joe Torre greeted Furcal with the following welcome: “sorry, but there are no visitors allowed.”

Torre and the Dodgers are pretty tight lipped about what Furcal’s rehab will consist of or when he might return to the lineup. Furcal was spotted taking some swings on Sunday and has been throwing the ball periodcally as well. Torre and Furcal have both commented previously that a brief trip to the minor leagues to enable some in-game rehab was also probably in order, but not much more has been shared at this time.

Furcal has been sidelined since early May with a lower back strain. He has undergone an MRI and also seen a spine specialist to ensure the diagnosis is accurate and the treatment addresses his injury. This type of injury is nothing new for Rafael, who ended up riding the pine for the last 12 games of last season with similar back problems.

Before heading to the DL, Furcal led the Major Leagues with 49 hits and his batting average (.366) was second best. Furcal’s replacements (Maza and Hu) have been mediocre in their offense, and haven’t managed to get on base since May 23rd.