When I saw Dallas McPherson at spring training a few weeks back, all I could think about was about damn time. I have followed McPherson's career since he was a top prospect in the Angels organization and it was great to see Dallas healthy and in a major league uniform competing for a starting job. After so many injuries and set backs, I truly thought that this was going to be the season where McPherson broke through on the big league stage.
And who could blame me? McPherson revitalized his career last season in AAA by hitting 42 home runs, 22 doubles with a .397 OBP. It's been four long years since McPherson showed that kind of power (40 HR in 2004) and you know what, it's about damn time. I honestly thought it was only a matter of time before McPherson made his mark with the Marlins. Power like that cannot be held back...
...Or so I thought. Because even after 42 home runs in AAA last season, the Marlins determined that after a poor spring training (.239, 1 HR), McPherson was not ready to be a starter in the majors. As a result, the Marlins released McPherson.
I can hardly think to imagine what McPherson is going through right now. After working so hard get back and rehab from hip and back problems, this is truly a cruel fate.
I admit, I wanted the happy ending. I wanted to see McPherson starting at the hot corner this season for the Marlins. I wanted to see McPherson finally live up to the promise and potential that he showed with the Angels in 2004. I wanted to see McPherson put up big numbers this season as sports writers eagerly wrote as many columns on McPherson's comeback as possible.
Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. Not with the Marlins anyway.
Hopefully McPherson can latch on someplace and play in the big leagues in 2009. This guy deserves it. He deserves the opportunity to show the world that his power is for real. 42 home runs in AAA is no fluke. The great part about baseball is that a second chance is just a phone call away and opportunity never seems out of the realm of possibility.
But for now, opportunities will be few and far between at the major league level. Teams are just now finalizing their major league rosters, which means McPherson will likely return to AAA for whatever team signs him.
And you know what folks, that sucks. Free Dallas!