When I initially heard that Indians prospect Jared Goedert was going to have to open the season on the disabled list to open the seasons, I was probably more disappointed than most. After suffering through a labrum injury that significantly set his career back in 2008, he finally looked as though he had rediscovered his swing in 2010, and 2011 offered him a chance for his first MLB promotion.
Then he had to be sent to the disabled list due to an oblique injury.
Obliques are tough to deal with and can be one of those injuries that linger if they aren't given plenty of time to heal. The very fact that they are used in such a violent way every time a hitter swings makes them highly susceptible to re-injury. For Goedert, who at 26 isn't getting any younger, but has shown refined skills in the upper levels of the Minors, the injury could keep him from being at full strength at a time when he desperately needs to be.
While Goedert was away, Indians top prospect Lonnie Chisenhall has been hitting well in AAA, posting a .827 OPS. His only real weakness being that as a left handed hitter he's struggled to hit lefties at that level, post a .189/.262/.324 triple slash in 37 at-bats.
Of course, the simple truth is that it's unlikely Goedert will ever overtake Chisenhall. He's simply not as talented a player on either side of the ball, but with his window to win the job slammed shut by the triple hammer of his own injury, Jack Hannahan's solid play, and the presence of Chisenhall. At this point his most likely route to the Majors would be as an injury replacement or as a right handed bat off the bench and backup corner infielder.
Unfortunate because in reality, he's a talented player with the raw tools and refined skills to be a serviceable Major Leaguer for someone.