11:24pm: Gattis’ surgery took place earlier today, tweets MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart.
9:08pm: Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis recently underwent surgery to repair a hernia and will be sidelined for four to six weeks, reports Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. As a result, Gattis will miss “most of his Spring Training, at a minimum,” per Drellich, though the overall injury is not considered to be severe in nature.
Gattis, 29, has an arbitration hearing set for Feb. 16, and Drellich notes that the new revelation in his health could have some form of an impact on the case. Of course, his current injury status doesn’t change the power production that Gattis delivered in his first year with Houston, when he batted .246/.285/.463 with 27 homers and 88 RBIs in 604 plate appearances. He submitted a $3.8MM salary figure for the upcoming season, while the team countered at $3MM. As a file-and-trial team, the Astros have a policy of not negotiating one-year deals once salary figures are exchanged, so an arbitration panel will decide which of the two figures Gattis should earn in a week’s time.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the exact date of his surgery isn’t known. And, even if Gattis missed six full weeks beginning today, he’d still have about 10 Spring Training contests to get up to speed. Any type of setback in his recovery, though, would seem to raise the possibility that he’d begin the season on the shelf. That’s a worst-case scenario for Gattis with regard to this injury, of course, and there’s certainly the chance that he could recover in time for the team’s April 4 opener at Yankee Stadium.
Even in the event that Gattis needs to miss a portion of the regular season, the injury doesn’t seem to increase the likelihood of Houston making any sort of notable acquisition. Either Colby Rasmus or Preston Tucker, for instance, could pick up some extra DH time, with Jake Marisnick temporarily taking on a greater role in the outfield and providing the club with a defensive boost.