MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Finegan’s progress slowed by injury
Brian Finegan called it a little freak accident.
The Kinston Indians shortstop in the Class A advanced Carolina League was hit by a pitch in a game May 29.
"That is something that has been done many times," Finegan said.
"It was a 1-1 slider that hit the big toe on my left foot. I was in pain, but you know me, I like to play and don't want to come out of any game. This was one I should have come out of."
The former Hawaii Rainbows shortstop swung at the next pitch and grounded to third. He took one step toward first on his left foot, landed on his right and that was as far as he went.
"I hopped back to the dugout before I was thrown out at first. It was a good show," said Finegan, in his third pro season after being selected in the 15th round of the 2004 draft by the Cleveland Indians.
He had X-rays the next day.
"I knew I was hurt but didn't know to what extent. The pitch broke the first metatarsal, the bone leading into the big toe," Finegan said.
Surgery was advised, so the Indians sent Finegan to Cleveland for a second opinion and he had surgery there on June 5. The operation took 3 hours, twice as long as expected since a number of bone fragments had to be cleaned out of the area.
He has a 3-inch plate on top of the foot held in place by six screws.
Yesterday, he was waiting for his flight back to Kinston.
"I have to get my car, drive it to Cleveland and store it there before I fly home to Fresno," Finegan said.
"The injury comes at a bad time. I was doing pretty well and had a chance to be promoted to Double A."
Aug. 1 is when he hopes to begin getting back into baseball shape.
"I would like to be ready for the playoffs (in early September) and I'm definitely going to instructional league," Finegan said.
Two of his Kinston teammates, left-hander Reid Santos (Castle, Saddleback) and infielder Rodney Choy Foo (Kailua), are from Hawaii.
"I have a little Hawaii in me," said Finegan, who played two seasons with the 'Bows. "At least when they start speaking pidgin, I can understand them. Rodney has been swinging the bat real well and has power.
"He may get to play more now because they didn't bring anyone up when I went on the disabled list. Reid is really focused. He knew his role and has been going out and doing a great job. He got us out of a lot of jams."
Santos, a starter in all 27 appearances a year ago, is being used in the set-up role this year.