Many Angel fans have wanted to see that which they are about to get, namely Juan Rivera as the full-time left-fielder.
The Angels are hoping, obviously, that Rivera will, in a full-time role, post numbers similar to his solid 2006 season.
Certainly our concerns should be alleviated, though, by the freak nature of that injury, right?
But what of the 21 days he spent on the DL, due to a strained rib cage muscle, during that same 2006 season?
What about the 2002 fractured right patella, another “freak injury,” that put him on the DL for 71 days while with the Yankees? Ominously, that injury occurred immediately after Rivera had earned the job as the Yankees’ starting right fielder.
Thanks to the new “injury tool” at Fantasy Pitch FX, we can conveniently see that Juan Rivera has spent 176 days on the DL in the last three seasons, or 76 days more than Garret Anderson has amassed during the entirety of his 14-year career.
When considering Rivera’s eight-year career, he has spent 247 days on the disabled list. Ouch…literally.
Essentially, then, we are looking at a player entering his age 31 season, and a new three-year contract, with 247 career days on the disabled list, much of that time spent healing fractures in both legs.
As cynics, we tend to believe that injury-prone players stay that way, and that broken leg bones never completely heal, at least from an athletic perspective.
Hopefully, though, we’re wrong, and Rivera will put all of his injury demons behind him in 2009 to (finally) reach his oft-heralded potential.
He had better, too, because we’re not big fans of the Angels’ insurance policy.