Renteria hopes injury woes are behind him
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – San Francisco shortstop Edgar Renteria played all last season with a bone spur in his right elbow, about the size of a piece of pea gravel.
Such a seemingly minor problem to derail an entire season.
Renteria hit a career-low .250 with 19 doubles, five home runs and 48 RBIs in 124 games before the Giants turned to hot-hitting Juan Uribe as they fought for a playoff berth down the stretch. It was the fewest homers for Renteria since 1998 and resulted in a season that he called simply “embarrassing.”
“I can play like Edgar Renteria again,” he said after arriving in the Giants’ camp Friday.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy had no trouble naming Renteria the starting shortstop this season, so Uribe will continue is his role as a super infield sub – as he was last season until taking over for Renteria the final three weeks.
“You look at what Edgar has accomplished in his career,” Bochy said. “He certainly deserves a chance to go out and show what he can do when he is healthy. That’s why we signed Edgar, because of his experience and because he is a winner.
“Let him play. It’s easy to judge somebody on a short term basis, but when you have a guy who has had a distinguished career like Edgar, he deserves the starting job.”
The 33-year-old Renteria signed a two-year, $18.5 million deal in December 2008.
“I feel embarrassed last year because I was not doing my thing on the field. They signed me improve the team,” Renteria said. “I feel real shy and embarrassed for the fans and the organization. I’ll be ready all year.”
Renteria said he felt the injury in the final week of spring training, and an MRI indicated that surgery was necessary. He opted to play instead.
“We knew it was going to be like that all year,” Renteria said. “I just had to play like that. I’d do it again, because that’s what I live for, playing baseball. I always feel that nothing can stop me from playing the game.”
Renteria said his throwing was not affected because he could use his shoulder, but hitting was painful. He had trouble extending his right arm, which limited his range of motion and the ability to attack an outside pitch.
“Hitting is not easy,” Renteria said.
Renteria received a second opinion for specialist Dr. Lewis Yocum after the season, and said Yocum was astounded that Renteria could play with such a large spur.
“The doctor said he didn’t know how I played like that. I thought it was funny, because I had been playing like that all season. After the surgery, when they showed me the bone spur, I realized I was pretty hurt,” Renteria said.
“He’s excited about coming to camp healthy and having that elbow issue taken care of and swinging the bat with it not causing any pain. He has a different look about him,” Bochy said.
NOTES: Bochy confirmed that C Buster Posey is a long shot to make the major league team out of spring training as Bengie Molina’s backup. “He is probably going to be going to (Triple-A) Fresno and continue to work on his game. He’s at that point where he needs his three, four at-bats on a consistent basis,” Bochy said. The Giants’ No. 1 draft pick in 2008, Posey hit a combined .325 with 18 homers and 80 RBIs at Class-A San Jose and Fresno last season. … Guillermo Mota threw his first bullpen session Friday after completing a physical. … INF Kevin Frandsen was among the latest group of position players to arrive early. They begin formal workouts on Tuesday.