Fernando Martinez: Arthritis. That Can’t be Good.

The official update yesterday from the Mets, via twitter, on Fernando Martinez’s knee read: “MRI showed mild arthritis in F-Mart’s knee-no new injury…will continue to work to strengthen the knee.”

Good news: no new injury.

Bad news: Martinez has a condition that’s not going away.  He’ll have to manage the arthritis for the rest of his baseball career and beyond.  There is no cure.

Likely, it was brought on by the cartilage problems he’s had in the last year since arthritis is essentially the absence of cartilage where the bones grind against each other.

About.com points out that patients with knee arthritis “report good months and bad months, or symptoms that fluctuate with the weather.”

Martinez hasn’t played a full season in any of his five years as a professional.  The arthritis won’t make it any easier on him to make it through a year.  The repetitive motions baseball demands, combined with the extra work players go through as they learn the learn the game and develop will put continuous pressure on the knee.

On the field, arthritis should hurt Martinez’s speed.  This will only hasten a permanent move to a corner outfield spot and remove centerfield from his bag of tricks.  He was never a burner, but he should lose his speed more quickly than the average player, hurting both his short and long term value.

I will certainly take the arthritis diagnosis into account when it comes to ranking Fernando Martinez this year and it will damage his ranking.

Wikipedia has some good further reading on arthritis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knee_arthritis

There are 7 comments

    1. Toby Hyde

      What other sense is there?
      Words have meaning. They didn’t say a strain of a whosawhatsit. They used arthritis. That implies a degradation of the cartilage with bones rubbing.

      1. big baby

        if they’re usually the term casually.

        like the general after-effects of a knee surgery.

        maybe i’m wrong, i’d just want some clarification that he actually has arthritis in his knee and it’s a permanent affliction for him.

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  1. Art Shamsky

    I have to agree with big baby. You are correct Toby that words have meaning, but the word arthritis without any qualification simply means inflamation in a joint. The type of prognosis you give in your post is certanly possible but it is hardly a given based on a single word in a tweet.

  2. Bren

    Martinez may never have played a full season, and maybe he is just hopelessly injury prone, but who in their right mind would expect a kid who should have been a High School junior and senior to be able to compete physically with professionals for ten months at a time? He’s never been overmatched at any level performance-wise, but he’s always looked like a child out on the field to me. I know kids play a lot of Baseball on amateur levels these days, but I don’t think it compares to the life or a full season minor leaguer…

    Anyway, obviously it’s a shame. Take a look at Aderlin Rodriguez and it makes you wonder where Martinez might be had he been developed in a manner that wasn’t trying to get him to the majors by prom night? I won’t draw a direct comparison with Flores even though he’s been injured more in the last two months than he ever has been, but it’s all the more reason to make sure that he forces a jump to AA himself before he turns 20…

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