KC Royals Rafael Furcal Retires Due to Hamstring Injury
By David Hill
Rafael Furcal had an excellent career. Despite seeing the last few years derailed by an assortment of injuries, Furcal collected 1817 hits and 314 stolen bases. He was a three time All-Star, a Rookie of the Year and a key piece on the Cardinals 2011 World Series championship squad. Even though he was well past his prime, when the KC Royals signed Furcal to a minor league contract, it seemed like a solid move to bring in a veteran presence for the younger players.
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Beginning his time in the KC Royals system in Wilmington, Furcal was there for a bit under a week before being promoted to Northwest Arkansas. There, in his three gmes, Furcal got three hits and two walks in his 14 plate appearances, and was set to be promoted to Omaha. However, those who were hoping to see Furcal as a Storm Chaser are set for disappointment, as he announced his retirement yesterday.
While it may be fun to speculate that Furcal does not like corn, tornadoes, cows and corn once again, it turns out that his troublesome hamstring is once again acting up. As his hamstring issues had been a problem over the past few seasons, Furcal decided that it was time to abort the comeback.
For as solid a career as Rafael Furcal had, one has to wonder what it would have been like if he had been able to stay healthy. Furcal only played 150 games once after turning 30, and appeared in over 100 games only twice in that same span. Those injuries sapped Furcal of that speed which was a major part of his game, as he was unable to come close to being that prolific base stealing threat that he had been in his younger days.
Perhaps Furcal can still have a role in the KC Royals organization as a minor league instructor or as an infield or base running coach. He was, after all, one of the better shortstops in the National League during his prime, as solid in the field as he was when running the bases. Furcal would definitely be the type of player who younger middle infielders could emulate.
Rafael Furcal had a very good career, even though injuries kept him from being everything that he could have been. Hopefully, the KC Royals will find a way to keep him around, either as a minor league coach or roving instructor.