SAN FRANCISCO – Marco Scutaro will have a pin inserted in his damaged left pinky finger in a bid to keep it from being permanently bent.
But bent or straight, the Giants’ veteran second baseman will keep his fingers crossed for a healthier season next year.
Scutaro said he will have the procedure on Friday and the pin will remain in his finger for roughly six weeks. He has “mallet finger” because of tendon damage stemming from a pitch that struck him in a June game at Pittsburgh.
Because he holds the pinky below the knob of the bat, Scutaro thought he could play through the injury – just as he played through chronic back soreness all season. But he found that he had to alter the way he held the bat, and that caused the ring finger on his left hand to flare up. He’s had MRI exams that showed inflammation, and noted improvement just in a week of rest with minimally swinging the bat.
“Just imagine banging your finger 80 times a day,” Scutaro said. “That’s how many swings you take, plus the game.”
Scutaro said his pinky probably will remain permanently bent to some degree, but the condition would get worse over time if left untreated.
“I think it will be good for next year,” he said.
It’s hard to know how much of a bounce-back year the Giants can expect from Scutaro, who will be 38 next month and still has two years to go on his contract that will pay him $18 million over three seasons.
He was asked if he felt proud he was able to finish with close to a .300 average and he stayed off the disabled list in a season when he battled so many physical ailments.
“Yes and no,” he said. “I’m thinking overall I don’t think we should be proud of the kind of year we had. On the other hand, key players got injured. It was a big mess for us. Angel (Pagan) missed 70 or 80 games. (Ryan Vogelsong) was hurt. Things happen and I always like to think that things happen for a reason. It makes us as a team work harder in the offseason and have a better year.”
Scutaro lamented that the pitching and offense never came together, and he hinted that wasn’t the only issue.
“Hopefully everybody stays healthy next year and we can play as a group for six months,” he said. “This is something you don’t control. You work hard all offseason and in spring training, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get hurt.”