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Say It IZn't So

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The last thing the Dodgers needed was another catastrophic injury. With Eric Gagne's elbow, Milton Bradley's finger and knee, JD Drew's wrist, and Odalis Perez's back, what more could go wrong?That question was answered yesterday when it was reported that shortstop Cesar Izturis will undergo Tommy John surgery in his right elbow, and is likely out until July 2006. This is a rather stunning development because usually pitchers are the only ones to endure such a dramatic procedure.

This LAist writer has always been a big Cesar Izturis fan. He is easily the best defensive shortstop in baseball. And while he struggled at the plate early in his career, he was so young and athletic that it seemed like only a matter of time before he'd come around. He did last year in a big way. And he started this season playing as well as any shortstop in baseball, hitting around .340 at one point.

But Izturis' play declined dramatically in the second half of the season. He would go whole series without getting a hit, and his batting average dipped all the way down into the .250 range. Curiously, his defense also seemed to suffer. We were wondering if it was due to a hamstring injury, but considering whole parts of a bone in his elbow wasn't getting any blood flow, we think it was remarkable he played through so much pain.

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Most are assuming that Oscar Robles will take over at shortstop next season. While that is an adequate solution, we hope there are better options available. In the meantime, we wish Izturis a healthy and speedy recovery.