As noted in this space, Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro exited Tuesday's game after taking a pitch off the left hand. Now, Scutaro is trying to avoid what would likely be a lengthy stay on the disabled list.
Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area reports that Scutaro is not looking to take the easy way out. Baggarly writes:
Scutaro has what orthopedists call “mallet finger,” a deformity caused by tendon damage that leaves the patient unable to straighten the fingertip. The Giants' veteran second baseman saw a hand specialist on Wednesday, one day after he was hit by a pitch on the finger in the seventh inning at PNC Park.
Scutaro was told that surgery was not required and the specialist did not rule out playing once the pain and swelling subsides in a couple days. But the usual treatment options -- complete immobilization in a splint, or the insertion of a pin -- would not work if Scutaro tries to play.
If Scutaro doesn't keep the finger straight for at least four to six weeks, it would stay that way permanently.
So, in essence, go on the DL and miss upwards of a month or keep playing and eventually retire with no fewer than one gnarled finger. It's not exactly the Ronnie Lott "football decision," but it certainly speaks to Scutaro's desire to stay on the field.
As Baggarly notes, the team is certainly going to have a say in all of this, but for now Scutaro is still on the active roster.
On the season, the 37-year-old Scutaro is batting a productive .332/.388/.444 (141 OPS+) with 16 doubles in 58 games.