According to Fay
Dr. Kremcheck evaluated Alex Gonzalez today and the prognosis seems good. According to Walt Jocketty, the team now expects Gonzalez to be 100% when spring training starts. I'll be honest, I'd basically written off Sea Bass for this year, so if he can be productive, that goes a long way towards improving our team.
Of course, "cautiously optimistic" is the word of the day. Sea Bass missed all of last year with a compression fracture in his knee, and he missed quite a lot of time in 2007 as well (though a lot of that was due to bereavement leave to be with his son who had an undisclosed illness. Anyone know any more about that?). We don't know what his mobility will be like, but I feel confident saying his glove and range is an upgrade over Hairston or Keppinger at short. If he can give us something with his bat as well, then I'm feeling much better about this team.
Perhaps the most important ramification is what this does to our bench. Jocketty had identifying improving our bench strength as one of the areas which most concerned him. Now our bench will have both Keppinger and Hairston, and I can't help but feel good about that.
Here's hoping that Doc Kremcheck's poking stick is on the money, and that we can get good defense and, say, a 90 OPS+ from Sea Bass this year.