This is excellent news for the Reds who hope to build off last season’s success and work towards contending again in 2007. Griffey is a large factor on this team and is crucial that he miss as little time as possible during the upcoming campaign.
The 18-year veteran broke his throwing hand last month in an accident at his home and so far has kept the details of the accident private. Griffey plans to shed some light on what happened once spring training has begun but has grown reluctant to share injury information with the media as he has spent a lot of time on the disabled list since joining his hometown team in 2000.
Griffey’s Hall of Fame potential career has been haunted by seemingly one injury after another since joining the Reds in 2000. Since then he has been on the disabled list a total of eight times with injuries such as torn hamstrings, torn knee tendon, torn ankle tendon, dislocated shoulder, and a dislocated toe. When Griffey is healthy, he has great numbers. In 2005 he was finally able to make it through a full season and hit .301 with 35 homers and 92 RBI to win himself the NL comeback player of the year. So his presence in the lineup is essential.
Last season the Red’s came on strong early in the season and despite many people’s disbelief in the team, continued to play strong through much of the season before fading late last summer. Before the trading deadline the Reds bolstered a very weak bullpen which made a big impact around the league. With no dominant teams stepping forward other than the New York Mets in the National League, the Reds were in strong contention for both the Central Division and Wild Card races. But down the stretch the Reds just couldn’t hold it together and eventually would fall out of contention in both races to finish the season at 80-82.
With so much success last season you can see why they have high hopes for the 2007 season and why Ken Griffey Jr. is such a huge piece of the puzzle to finally make it back to the post season.