Rafael Furcal‘s 2014 season with the Miami Marlins was hamstrung from the onset with hamstring issues. The 37-year old began the season on the DL after suffering an injury during the spring. Furcal made then his Marlins debut on June 13th, and was done for the season by June 21st with another hamstring injury.
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The bad news for Furcal’s hamstring and career keep on coming, as it’s being reported out of the Dominican Republic that Furcal tore his hamstring.
The Marlins signed Furcal last off-season in the hopes that he could provide a spark in the lead-off role and give the team stability at second base for the Marlins. Unfortunately, in 2014, Furcal only compiled 37 plate appearances for the Marlins, slashing just .171/.216/.229 with a .202 wOBA. The team instead employed Yelich at the lead-off spot, which worked out quite nicely, but had disastrous production at second base. In mid-August Furcal underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove scar tissue.
Furcal did flash some signs of life in his minor league rehab stints, batting .307/.381/.333 in 84 plate appearances, but that was mostly against competition that may never actually sniff the major leagues.
This off-season, the Marlins decided to part ways with Furcal, opting not to offer him a contract at all. The team instead went out and traded for Dee Gordon, hoping he’d fill the same role the team desired out of Furcal last season.
For Furcal, the absolute worst part of this injury is that is could likely signal the end of his career. According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Phillies were said to be keeping an eye on Furcal as a potential stop-gap option at short, since they had just dealt away longtime Phillie Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers at the Winter Meetings.
The news likely signifies the end of a fantastic career for a player that was once one of the most exciting guys to watch in baseball. Rafael Furcal broke into the big leagues in 2000 with the Atlanta Braves, posting a 3.3 WAR in his 542 plate appearances, slashing an impressive .295/.394/.382 line.
Overall in his career, Furcal slashed .281/.346/.402 with 314 career stolen bases. Furcal spent his first six major league seasons manning short with the Braves, the next five seasons with the Dodgers, and his final two with the Cardinals and Marlins.
Here’s to hoping Furcal has a quick recovery from his injury and can make a comeback if he wants. But I do believe he’d be better off hanging up the spikes for good.