Infielder Kevin Frandsen has ruptured his achilles and could miss the entire season.
Frandsen was testing his leg after being sidelined since March 16 with tendinitis. Manager Bruce Bochy, who accompanied the Giants here for their 6-5 exhibition loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, was told that Frandsen had singled and was rounding second base on his way to third when he hurt himself.
Frandsen’s expected to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging examination Tuesday to confirm the severity of the injury. Bochy said that Frandsen will be sidelined for five to six months if he’s hurt as badly as is believed.
Frandsen already had what was described as a “sour achillies” and was trying to come back from the injury. Bochy was quoted as saying that Frandsen would be out at least for 5-6 months, the Giants won’t know the severity of his injury until they get the results back on his MRI. With Durham’s hot spring it was doubtful that Frandsen would have started the year as a starter, but it’s a role he could have captured for himself somewhere down the line in 2007. The 25-year-old Frandsen — he’ll turn 26 in May — was one of the few young players that could have potentially made an impact on the Giants club this year. Missing a year could throw a wrench into his development, considering he’ll be 27 by next season if he’s back and healthy.
The Frandsen injury makes the following true:
1. Ray Durham will definitely start at 2B — if he’s healthy enough — and most likely won’t be traded until the trading deadline if we’re lucky. A Durham trade at the deadline will only happen if Ray can stay healthy enough to convince a team that he’ll at least be able to get on the field and if he’s hit well enough to that point.
2. Eugenio Velez just made the team. Velez was probably still going to make the team but with Frandsen going down, Velez is a lock. He can play 2B and he’s even had some time at 3B this spring. Both of those are positions that Frandsen would have been playing, so Velez will get slotted into his role — utility guy — and might even force his way into a few starts at some point.
3. Jose Castillo is probably staying for good as well. The newest Giant can play 2B/3B/SS and will most likely see time at all three positions now that Frandsen is gone and Omar is still recovering. Castillo isn’t a good player by any standard but the Giants sorely lacked IF depth and Castillo gives them a warm body to stick in the field. At least he’s not Neifi.
Losing Frandsen for the season, potentially, is something that stings a little. I had my reservations about Frandsen — like whether or not he’ll hit the ball on the ground 52.7% of the time this year like he did last — but he was a young-ish player that had a small amount of talent that the Giants sorely needed to evaluate this year. He’s probably not going to turn into the next Robby Thompson but finding out what he could and couldn’t do this year was something that the Giants needed to find out. Also, like it or not but he was practically the face of the “Gamers” campaign — I can’t stand the radio ads, or the overall concept, but I can imagine many people liked Frandsen because he got his jersey dirty, wore eye black, and played hard — and to lose him hurts that campaign.
The deck could very well be stacked against Frandsen making it as a regular in the MLB — I can’t think of many guys who make their debuts as regulars in their late 20′s and then go onto great success — but I hope Kevin’s recovery is swift and complete. See you in 2009.