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McCarthy Undergoes Brain Surgery

September 6, 2012

Watching Erick Aybar line a pitch off of Brandon McCarthy‘s skull was awful. Watching McCarthy walk off the field under his own power gave us all hope that it was not so serious and he had avoided some sort of serious injury. While the news still seems positive (or as positive as it can be given the circumstances) it seems serious injury has not been avoided as McCarthy underwent two hour long brain surgery to repair a skull fracture and treat an epidural hemorrhage. I am not a doctor but that certainly sounds like serious stuff.

The hope of course is for him to have a speedy recovery and be strong healthwise. I think baseball is secondary for everyone at this point. However this is a baseball blog and not a medical one, so for the baseball perspective this means there is an empty slot in the A’s rotation. The expectation is that this rotation slot is filled by Dan Straily. I have to also assume McCarthy is done for the year. If so he finishes with 18 starts in an injury marred season, though when he was on the hill he was great posting a 3.24 ERA, 3.77 FIP worth 1.8 WAR with 5.9 K/9, 2.0 HR/9 and 0.8 HR/9. A season after setting an A’s record for K/BB ratio, he posted a solid 3.04 number.

McCarthy is a free-agent and this injury conceivably hurts his value, one can argue not only the physical malady and recovery is a huge issue but perhaps even more so the psychological effects of standing on a mound 60 feet six inches away from another line drive up the middle. I speculate that this situation might make McCarthy, already open-minded to sticking around Oakland and from the sounds of it a clubhouse leader, more likely to stay? This is of course premature, but it would be nice to see McCarthy stick around with the A’s and I wonder the implications this sort of injury has on one’s contract offers.

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