Prince Fielder out for Season?
Prince Fielder has a herniated disk in his neck which may require surgery. In any event, his chances of playing again this season don’t look particularly good.
Fielder has clearly been hurting all season, because his power numbers have completely evaporated despite playing in the second best hitters’ park in baseball. My own feeling is that Prince should err on the side of fixing whatever is physically wrong with him, particularly when it involves a spinal cord injury.
Fielder was arguably due for an injury around this time in his career given his age (30 this year) and his weight. Both Baseball Reference and the Texas Rangers’ website list Fielder’s weight at 275 lbs, which is actually a decrease from the 290 lbs he’s carried for much of his major league career. Fielder is only 5’11”, so he’s definitely carrying a lot of extra weight even at 275.
If Fielder undergoes surgery, he would be well advised to spend as much of his rehab time as possible riding the exercise bike and in the swimming pool trying to drop the unnecessary poundage. If he could get his weight down to the 245 to 260 lbs range, it would sure increase the likelihood of him retaining value as he heads into the latter years of his contract, which has six more seasons and $144 million to run after 2014.