Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Rocco Baldelli out indefinitely

Rocco Baldelli announced today that he will start the season on the DL and is unsure if or when he'll ever return to the field. Baldelli said he was suffering from “some type of metabolic and/or mitochondrial abnormalities” that do not allow him to participate in activities on a regular basis. His body is preventing his muscles from reacting the way they should.

"I think the best way to describe it is literal muscle fatigue and cramping way before my body should be feeling these things,' '' Baldelli said. "I would go out there and I was pretty much incapable of doing basic baseball activities, running and hitting and throwing. These were things I had done my whole life pretty easily and at some point within the last two years, we're nto exactly sure why, these things started to change.''

Baldelli, 26, moved to verge of tears several times in discussing details of his condition for the first time. He said he did consider the condition life-threatening and would do "whatever" he could to get back on the field, but there was no timetable for a return. The Rays will place him on the disabled list to start the season

Rays GM Andy Friedman also said the Rays are unlikely to pick up his $6 Million dollar option, as I suspected. However, Friedman did say the Rays would like to keep Rocco with the Rays organization through out his career.

This finally gives the Rays some clarity to the whole situation. They can keep Rocco on the back burner, but it takes care the question of Will he be ready by this date? Right now, Rocco will continue to rehab and the team will move on as if he wasn't here. Ideally, you would like to see Baldelli make a full recovery, but at this point it doesn't look like that will be a reality. With this news the Rays can move forward with a new plan be it Kenny Lofton, someone internal, or maybe acquire another OF in a trade.