When Yasmani Grandal struck out in his final at-bat of Game 3 of the National League Division Series he expressed a noticeable grimace that revealed how much his left shoulder was still bothering him.
The Los Angeles Dodgers’ catcher had been dealing with soreness in the shoulder since the end of August but was doing his best to play through the pain.
Unfortunately, the injury got the best of Grandal as he had just six hits in his final 94-at-bats. Additionally, in 10 postseason at-bats, Grandal struck out six times.
His status heading into Game 5 was in limbo, though Grandal managed to start and played the majority of the game.
As planned, Grandal underwent surgery on his troublesome left shoulder earlier this week. While there will be a period of inactivity as Grandal recovers, he was fortunate to only need the AC joint in his left shoulder repaired, as opposed to repairing a torn labrum.
Dodgers team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache compared the recovery time for the two procedures, via Cary Osborne of Dodgers Insider:
ElAttrache said players with that surgery usually don’t start swinging a bat for five months. In the AC joint surgery, there is no repair to heal. Bad tissue is trimmed out during the surgery and the swelling and inflammation goes down in six weeks and the full range of motion usually returns in 12 weeks.
Grandal was certainly one of the keystones of the Dodgers offense in the first half of the season. At the All-Star break, he led all catchers with a .401 on-base percentage, .927 on-base plus slugging percentage, and was second with 14 home runs.
The first half success propelled the switch-hitting catcher to his first All-Star Game. However, as the shoulder problem continued to linger, Grandal slumped. He finished the season batting .234/.353/.403.