Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Down on the Farm: Gustavo Cabrera Injury

The Giants have to be feeling snakebitten in their international FA dealings after it was announced that prized prospect Gustavo Cabrera underwent surgery to repair severe damage to his right wrist suffered in an accident of some sort in his home in the Dominican Republic that involved falling and lacerating his wrist on broken glass from either a table or a window.  He was initially evaluated in the DR but then immediately flow to Arizona and then on to San Francisco for the surgery.  Reports state that the injuries included at least 1 severed tendon that was reattached.  There is no mention of nerve damage.

To me, the presence or absence of nerve damage is key here.  A reattached tendon can be fully rehabilitated.  Nerve damage can be too, but it takes a lot longer and is much less of a sure thing to return to 100%.  Farm Director Fred Stanley, who also announced his retirement from the position, commented that the plan all along was for Gustavo to be assigned to the Arizona League which does not start until the middle of June which is 8 months away.  Stanley indicated that he expects Cabrera to be fully recovered by then.  Let's all hope he is correct in that assessment.  One report I read indicated that the surgery took place several days ago and he has already started the initial rehab.  Bobby Evans' comments reported by Baggs did not sound as optimistic as Stanley's but Baggs did report that Gustavo has begun moving his fingers, which I find encouraging.

Just for review, Gustavo Cabrera was signed to a FA contract of $1.3 M in 2012.  At the time, he was rated as the #5 international prospect and the one with the best "tools."  He got off to a slow start in the DSL in 2013, but caught fire in the last month hitting .340 for the month of August and .314 post All-Star break.  His overall line for the season was a respectable .247/.379/.360, 7 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 21 SB, 30 BB, 54 K in 186 AB.  The DSL tends to be a pitching-friendly environment.

I love Gustavo Cabrera as a prospect.  Love the tools and the progress he showed in his on-field performance in his pro debut.  I've been seriously considering a ranking of #2 overall in my 2014 Giants Top 50 Prospects list.  This development dampens the enthusiasm just a bit as you hate to rank someone until you know whether they will fully recover from an injury like this.


  1. http://www.csnbayarea.com/giants/hot-stove-notes-giants-vogelsong-will-explore-alternatives-etc

    The quote in this account is that Gustavo Cabrera “pretty near severed everything you can sever in his arm”. I don't know what that means for his nerves, but that just don't sound like a good thing. Is there a way to do this and not suffer severe nerve damage? You are the first I've seen to bring it up, and this makes a ton of sense, what you say here.

    But even this account Evans says that Gustavo is out at least a year, but maybe could return by 2015, it sounds to me from my reading, and at 100% they say. Still, severed nearly everything you can sever, I don't see how you can return 100% from that, but I never too any physio, so I don't know.

    1. Well, it's a little hard to imagine in laceration as severe as it's being portrayed sparing all nerves, but I've seen stranger things. I really do think the nerve issue is the key and I have not seen any specific information regarding that.

  2. I take Evans' words as figurative speech. If it were that bad, I don't think they would put a timetable on his return.
    Yet, the injury is severe enough to take "able to move his fingers" as good news.

  3. well, how did he do at the 2014 fall instructional league? I just got confirmation from the Giants, that he participated there, and will be at Spring Training this year.