I know he's a second-half player -- but come on. Here's a little analysis that might provide insight.
INJURY REPORT ..RAFAEL FURCAL
Rafael Furcal (SS, LAD)
The past four seasons, Furcal has averaged roughly 14 home runs per year. That's a nice little bit of power to go along with his 35 to 45 stolen bases. So what's up with the zero home runs in 191 at-bats so far this season? He suffered a sprained left ankle late in spring training and began the season on the disabled list. Both Furcal and the Dodgers speculate that's the reason why is not driving the ball so far this season. Because Furcal does not have the upper body strength to drive it out of the ballpark, he must use his legs to drive toward the pitcher and generate his power by using his entire body. This season, he must be getting on top of the ball, because he's hit more than twice as many ground balls as flyballs (2.09 GB/FB Ratio). The next question his owners must be asking is if he can he make up his lack of home runs in the last four months of the season. In the past four seasons, Furcal has hit seven home runs in a month and six in another, so he is capable of generating some power and he could make up lost ground. Several questions remain, of course. How long until his ankle is strong enough so he can revert back to his normal hitting stroke of last season and generate more power? According to one veteran Dodgers observer, Furcal's ankle may not bounce back until the second half of the season. While we have focused on his lack of power, his stolen base totals have suffered, as well. He only has six steals so far, and he is definitely off the pace of last season. It's important to note that Furcal's ankle is still bothering him - he hinted as much after a rundown play over the weekend. He tweaked the ankle during a game Saturday night. So it is obvious Furcal will struggle with a sore and weakened ankle for awhile. Rick Wilton,Baseball Injury R