Tuesday, February 10, 2004


Yahoo! Sports - MLB - Royals: Nail removal fixes Affeldt's blister problem

For the last 2 years, Royals lefty pitcher Jeremy Affeldt has shown flashes of brilliance. When he's truly "on," his stuff is absolutely unhittable. The problem is that over the last 2 years, Affeldt has had chronic blister problems on the middle finger of his pitching hand. He had tried everything to try to toughen the skin around the nail, but the blister kept returning. The blister last year forced Affeldt to bullpen duty, though he and the Royals both would love to make him the "ace" of the starting rotation.

So, it seems that drastic times call for drastic measures. This offseason, Affeldt had a procedure that killed part of his fingernail. He essentially had to dip his finger in acid, thus killing the nail and preventing it from ever growing back. In this article, he is quoted:
"I've got half a nail for the rest of my life… So it'll be one of those things where I'm losing body parts but, hey, whatever it takes to be out on the mound."

Last year, Affeldt struggled at times. I feel he was gripping the ball differently to avoid the blister. If he can comfortably grip the ball and throw like he knows how to throw, then we can expect to see him emerge as one of the best pitchers in the AL this season.

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