Fantasy Notes: Fukudome
Apparently, when we reported last week that Japanese outfielder Kosuke Fukudome’s injury could affect his ability to become a free agent next year, we jumped the gun. Thanks as always to Tim McLeod for passing along a news item that sheds more light on the situation. It turns out that a special exception that was incorporated from this season allows a player who was on the active roster for more than 145 days the previous season to add up to 60 registered days to their service time in the event of an injury. So Fukudome, currently 29 days shy of the requisite amount of service time, will be eligible to become a free agent at season’s end. However, contrary to what Chunichi stated earlier, Fukudome will require surgery on his ailing elbow, and that’s apparently what he was doing in the U.S. An examination in Los Angeles on Friday discovered bone fragments in his right elbow. Fukudome is expected to undergo endoscopic surgery some time over the next week and change, a procedure that will sideline the 30-year-old for the remainder of the season. He will need about two months to recover from the operation, meaning he’ll be fine by the time next season rolls around.
While things didn’t work out so well for teammate Mark Prior this year, Kerry Wood has been impressive in his first week back in the Show in over a year. History has taught us not to get too excited when it comes to Wood, but so far, his transition to the bullpen is going quite well. In three appearances covering 3 2/3 innings, he has yet to give up a run while surrendering just three hits. Wood has fanned four and walked two. Like I said, it’s very early days, and the fact that he needs more time to warm up than other relievers suggests this is still a work in progress, but the results so far are encouraging. It will be interesting to see if Wood can work his way into a more vital bullpen role by season’s end.