The San Diego Padres recently sent Jedd Gyorko to the 15-Day Disabled List with plantar fasciitis. While some fans believe the move to the DL was made simply because of Gyorko’s low batting average, the injury has affected some of baseball’s top athletes over the past seasons.
Gyorko is hitting a dismal .162 with five home runs and 24 RBIs this season. With his low production after what was a stellar rookie season, fans have been wondering if, in fact, the move to the disabled list was just a move to get him out of the lineup. But that simply is not the case.
Plantar fasciitis is caused by small tears of the connective tissue on the bottom of the foot. It’s main origin comes from being overactive. The main way to get rid of it? Rest.
The move to the 15-Day DL should give Gyorko some much needed time off of his foot and allow him to come back ready to swing the bat.
But let’s look closely at the injury in Gyorko’s left foot and how it affects one’s swing.
One good thing is that Gyorko is a right-handed hitter, meaning he loads up, or puts his weight, on his back foot – his right one. But as you load up and swing through the ball, the power comes through your entire lower body if you’re hitting the ball right.
This injury is common among some of baseball’s top hitters, most notably the L.A. Angels’ Albert Pujols and Tampa Bay Rays’ Evan Longoria.
When Pujols hit the DL with the same injury last season, he told USA TODAY Sports this concerning the injury: “You almost want to pee your bed rather than go to the bathroom.”
Angles manager Mike Scioscia added, “There’s no doubt when yo don’t have a solid base, it affects you.”
Pujols went on the DL in August of 2013 and said that he would sit out the rest of the season in hopes of being ready for 2014. While the injury takes longer to heal the older you are, Gyorko should be able to bounce back quicker. Gyorko is 25 as compared to Pujols, who was 33 last season when he went to the DL.
While Pujols has been dealing with the injury for a decade, he was still able to have successful seasons, including winning two World Series titles, three NL MVP awards and being a nine-time NL All-Star. While Gyorko’s power may not be on the same level as Pujols’s numbers, it has to give Gyorko some encouragement to know that hitters can overcome this type of injury.