Meek Down, Gorkys Gets The Call

As expected, the Pirates sent down Evan Meek to call up a bat for this weekend’s series in Detroit. Surprisingly, the hitter they called up was not Matt Hague or Jake Fox, who could provide some pop off the bench or in the DH role, but Gorkys Hernandez. Gorkys was acquired with Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke from the Braves in the Nate McLouth deal and is know for his defense and baserunning ability. Hernandez is hitting .266/.343./355 this season and has a .279/.347/.383 line in 548 at bats over two seasons in Indianapolis.

Spring Training 2012: Friday 3/23 Pirate City Recap

Day Two started at Pirate City. Minor league players were everywhere to be seen on the five and a half fields. Happily, I was able to meet Tim Williams, who runs the excellent Pirates Prospects. Tim informed me that Gerrit Cole would not be pitching, but luckily there was still (as always) plenty to see. A quick photo essay:

Coaches watch batting practice.

Club President Frank Coonelly gives a tour. Steve Blass gave a similar tour earlier.

Tony Sanchez walks through the bullpen.

Sanchez about to step in the cage.

Starling Marte (#6) waits for his turn while Kris Watts hits.

Kyle McPherson throws to Sanchez.

“The Legend” Garrett Jones had a fan on site. The crowd was sparse when we arrived but filled in a lot by the time we broke for lunch.

Autograph hounds float around too. Here, they descend on Tony Sanchez.

The pictures turned out more Tony Sanchez-centric than I intended. Not pictured but seen running various drills: Stetson Allie, Gorkys Hernandez, Mel Rojas, Jr., and Brian Friday.

Lunch was at the nearby Mixon Fruit Farm where my Dad and I ate with fellow Pirate fan Matt Brown. I had a tasty Cuban sandwich followed by this number for dessert.

That is a swirl of orange ice cream made with fresh squeezed orange juice. It tasted just like a cream-sickle only better.

Mixon’s came highly recommended and now I know why. This will definitely become a regular part of our trips to Spring Training.

Coming up: Part II: McKechnie Field and the Tigers.

Gorkys’ Broken Finger

AA outfield prospect Gorkys Hernandez broke his right ring finger on Wednesday. Word from farm director Kyle Stark (via Rob Biertempfel):  “Dislocation. Surgery. (Out) 8-12 weeks.” Having recently broken this same finger myself I can empathize greatly with Gorkys and hope he fully recovers. Gorkys’ injury is clearly more severe than my own but for comparison, this has been my path to recovery:

Night of the injury. It would turn a lot darker purple over the next day.

My break was non-dislocated and I required no surgery. But the healing has been slow. My fracture was close to the very tip of my finger, under the nail. It was caused by the ball slamming into the end of the finger while attempting to catch it instead of smashing it against a bat. I thought it was just badly jammed. After about a week the swelling went down, which is when I noticed that it no longer pointed the same direction as it had. That was when I decided to see a doctor. The hand specialist I was referred to didn’t have an open appointment for a week, so it was two weeks after the initial injury before I got x-rays and was properly diagnosed. I spent the next two weeks in a splint to cushion against any incidental contact. Fortunately I’m not a touch typist. Yesterday was nine weeks since the break. The bone is healed now but the joint is still off-kilter and has some pain when I leverage too much weight against it. The range of motion hasn’t returned yet as I am not able to close that finger completely. On my last checkup the doctor said I’ll always know that I broke that finger, with some random pain cropping up from time to time. I played some tennis last week which went pretty well, except for one shot that I hit weakly with a loose grip. That shot gave me a spike of pain and I was done. I can’t imagine going to a batting cage right now for even some slow pitch. Physical Therapy for the joint starts on Monday and I have another checkup in three weeks.

Today. Swelling and color are normal. Finger bends left at the first joint.

That’s my experience with this. I hope it gave you some insight to what Gorkys will be dealing with over the next two-three months. I’m sure he’s receiving better and more directed care. As a professional athlete his only job right now is to heal so he can get back on the field. He’s also younger and will probably heal relatively faster though the severity of the injury will mitigate that to some degree.


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