"I had arthroscopic surgery to repair a small tear in the labrum of my hip.. bothered me during the season so glad I made it to the offseason." -Johnny Giavotella
Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that the surgery will keep Giavotella out of action for 10-12, but he should be back in plenty of time for Spring Training.
Personally, I don't think I am alone in having had no idea that Giavotella was playing through an injury during the closing weeks of the season. However, it could account for at least part of his late season struggles. After all hip injuries can play a critical role in affecting a player's swing. When the goal is as difficult to square up a round ball with a round bat, even small affects can cause enormous results.
Giavotella of course struggled at the plate for most of his time in Kansas City. I am not suggesting here that this was solely because of a hip injury, although adjusting to Major League pitchers is already an extremely difficult task even when the player is totally healthy, let alone when he is suffering from an ailing hip injury.
Truth is Giavotella probably just sealed Chris Getz' fate. Everyone knows how gritty a player has to be to play through pain. Jason Kendall would be proud of Giavotella's late season accomplishment. If Chris Getz' can't lay claim for being the gritty player what does he have left?
For those of us that have ever watched Giavotella over an extended amount of time, this doesn't come as a shock. For a guy that plays the game as hard as he does injuries are going to happen. Also, if there is a guy that is going to not only fight through an injury, but also make sure that the general public doesn't find out, it would be Giavotella.
The guy is an absolute gamer. I am sure he was well aware of the opportunity that presented itself this summer for him. I respect that he was unwilling to take a seat in order to fix an ailing injury. It goes without being said that Yost would have loved the opportunity to sit him more in favor of getting Getz a few more at bats.
I don't want to overemphasize or read to much into this injury, but when it comes to Giavotella it just reinforces my strong opinion of Giavotella's intangibles. Obviously I can't know how much of a factor it played into his success (or lack there of) at the big league level, but I do believe the second base job is as of now his to lose.