Friday, April 13, 2007

Bobby Crosby's Health Woes May Be Fundamental

Despite all the big talk about the Athletics Bobby Crosby at last being 100 percent healthy, he certainly is missing an awful lot of time.

Crosby's latest hiatus came Wednesday with the idea of giving him back-to-back days of rest when stacked against Thursday's travel day.

With a batting average so tepid it has yet to crack the Medoza Line, Crosby's continued need for rest has left him with only about half the plate appearances of the regulars. Crosby seems barely a shadow of the player who once was envisioned a No. 3 hole catalyst critical to the team's win column.

On the surface, Crosby's decline is attributable to a stress fracture of the lumbar vertebrae -- fancy words for a broken back -- aggravated by his history of lower back strains, a sprained ankle and stressed rib cage, all perhaps related to one degree or another.

But more fundamental to Crosby's struggles may be his lengthy 6-foot-3 frame, historically problematic for relatively tall people with difficulties of the spine, as its a circumstance absolutely incurable by the surgeon's scalpel.

As a shortstop Crosby is playing a position perhaps best suited to a smaller, quicker man. For every successful 6-foot-3 Alex Rodriguez at shortstop, there's always two or three 5-foot-7 David Ecksteins who make darting, dodging, dipping and scooping look far easier than it comes to Bobby Crosby.

If Crosby fails to put his health problems behind him in the next two or three weeks, expect his struggles to continue throughout the year, with more injured time in store, and more questions about his long-term future as a regular.