This seems like a fine rule of thumb at this point.
Ever since the mention that Gavin Floyd’s initial diagnosis of an elbow flexor strain might contain an ulnar tear lurking underneath, the creeping doom of a season-ending procedure has been in place and progressing steadily. However, the qualification Thursday night that Floyd had torn the flexor muscle, resulting in an unstable UCL, briefly threw me off the scent of the inevitable remedy.
Probably pretty hard to pull a 180 while this far down the TJ path, Gavin.
If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Tommy John offers a–while still very difficult–more straight-forward path to recovery than what John Danks and certainly Jake Peavy have gone through recently.
The downside is that everyone seems to be rushing to the idea that this is very likely the end of Gavin Floyd’s White Sox career. Even for those that think Floyd has reached a point of total uselessness, this is a man who was a stalwart for the last White Sox team to make the playoffs and was the central figure in the amazing mid-May turnaround that launched the 2010 team back into the playoff race. The 2011 Brent Lillibridge game in Yankee Stadium? Gavin Floyd struck out 10 in eight innings to put the Sox and their miserable offense in position for a white-knuckle save.
When a guy takes the ball every five days for over six years, he’s part of a lot more moments than you realize. Floyd walked in as the Sox transitioned away from the rotation that won them a World Series and shepherded it to this point. At times, there was success.
However, not all the reasons for why Floyd might be gone forever fit together. He was likely not coming back after this season because his performance had ceased to be very enticing for market rate. He will now not be an enticing free agent because he won’t be ready to contribute until the middle of next season. However, guys coming off Tommy John surgery who can’t be on the Opening Day roster typically don’t break the bank in free agency.
For example, Scott Baker was throwing way better than Floyd when he went down for TJ surgery and still had to settle for a one-year, $5.5 million deal this offseason, and is not exactly offering a success story for teams to follow. Whether the Sox have want or need to stash a couple million to have Floyd on hand for the second half can’t really be determined at this time, but it’s not like it’s a completely unfeasible measure.
I’d still bet against it, but would encourage all who cheer the idea of Floyd being gone to check out Colin from South Side Sox‘s simple little tale of correlation between the beginning of Floyd’s elbow issues last season and the explosion of his walk rate. Which is another reason this injury stinks, because the last few months of Floyd setting fire to his reputation, value and esteem in the eyes of the Sox fan base and media, probably came while he was pitching through pain and .
Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan