SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants center fielder Dave Roberts has
decided to have surgery on his troublesome left elbow, possibly
keeping him out for four weeks.
Roberts said he could get the elbow cleaned out as soon as
Friday or perhaps Monday. He made the decision after being examined
by Angels orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum on Thursday in Los Angeles.
"The appointment went well," Roberts said.
San Francisco placed Roberts on the 15-day disabled list before
opening a four-game series against the Rockies in Colorado and also
designated outfielder Todd Linden for assignment. To fill the
roster spots, the Giants recalled outfielders Fred Lewis and Dan
Ortmeier from Triple-A Fresno.
The team had hoped Roberts could avoid needing a scope until
after the season. Yocum worked on Roberts' shoulder during his
college days at UCLA, but the outfielder was still deciding who
would perform the operation.
The procedure removing floating bone chips and bone spurs --
nearly identical to what slugger Barry Bonds underwent after last
season -- has a recovery time of about four weeks. Though Giants
infielder Rich Aurilia healed quickly when he had surgery to remove
bone chips in his right elbow in 2002 during his first stint with
the Giants. He was out from May 20-June 3 that year and later
helped the team reach the World Series.
The 34-year-old Roberts homered in the Giants' 5-3 loss to the
New York Mets on Wednesday, but noted afterward that he was heavily
medicated and was fresh after not having played in the three
previous games. He said he doesn't intend to stay on such harsh
medication for a long period of time.
Roberts didn't travel with the club after the game to Colorado,
but hoped to meet up with the team at some point during its road
trip that also includes three games in Houston before next
weekend's interleague series against the Athletics in Oakland.
Roberts had an MRI exam earlier this week that revealed the bone
chips. He cannot fully bend his elbow, which affects him at the
plate and his outfield play -- so the injury is not just about
whether he can tolerate the pain.
From the Giants perspective, losing Roberts is huge considering
Linden's recent struggles at the plate and Roberts' speed in the
leadoff spot that makes him such a threat on the basepaths.
San Francisco has up to 10 days to trade Linden or place him on
waivers or he would be sent outright to Fresno. One of the Giants'
most productive players during spring training, Linden was batting
just .182 with no homers and three RBIs in 30 games. He misplayed a
ball in right field Wednesday, but that didn't weigh into the
"We felt like we needed to get some more production and the two
guys that we have called up are playing well down there," manager
Bruce Bochy said at Coors Field. "Todd's a talented player but he
was a little lost up there at the plate. I don't know what's going
to end up happening with him here."
Linden said he understood the Giants' sense of urgency,
"It's just an unfortunate situation," he said before boarding
a plane back to San Francisco, noting he believes something will
work out for him soon. "I don't have anything bad to say about
them. It's business. It's baseball."
Roberts is batting .216 with two homers and six RBIs in 27 games
and 23 starts in his first season with San Francisco. Randy Winn
will be the primary center fielder with Roberts out, the spot he
played last season.
"It's tough to lose a guy who plays the way Dave does," Bochy
said. "It's going to be good to see a couple of these kids get an