It’s been over 2 months now since the horrifying line drive off the bat of Erick Aybar struck Brandon McCarthy in the skull, causing a fracture and requiring emergency brain surgery for the tall right hander. Even though he’s recovered from that injury, it’s still a bit sickening to relive that play in my mind. His recovery has been miraculous to say the least, and it continues to improve. A report on the official Oakland Athletics website last week stated that McCarthy had been cleared to resume all baseball activities, citing Susan Slusser’s reports on the situation as well.
Even though McCarthy is now a free agent, he still feels like a part of the A’s family. And he will continue to be part of that family even if he signs elsewhere. There hasn’t been much in the way of activity on his front from the A’s perspective, and it’s tough to say where they stand at the moment.
The fact though that McCarthy is said to be back to where he was before the injury is amazing news. Of course there will always be lingering concerns from any potential suitors about his chronic shoulder problems, but the simple fact that the brain injury is officially in the past will ease some nervous minds.
There are so many pitching starved teams around the league that it’s difficult to figure just who might be willing to make that decisive commitment to McCarthy that’ll lure him their way. It’s been well documented that since he joined the A’s in 2011, and while not completely avoiding his shoulder problems of the past, he did well in demonstrating his ability when they are not interfering with him.
It still won’t seem right if he goes anywhere but Oakland. While it would fit the pattern of recent history for the A’s to either be outbid, or simply fold their cards, I’m still holding out hope that McCarthy will find his way back to the Coliseum, and not via the 1st base dugout.