A 17-year-old Giants outfielder's 2014 season is in jeopardy after he suffered a gruesome right wrist injury off the field in the Dominican Republic.
Multiple sources confirmed that Gustavo Cabrera, who signed with the Giants last year on July 2 for $1.3 million, suffered severe lacerations in his wrist that required surgery. Pictures of the injury obtained by Baseball America show the graphic nature of the damage, as Cabrera appeared to nearly lose his right hand.
Cabrera could not be reached for comment, and what exactly caused such a grisly injury is uncertain. According to sources, Cabrera slipped and fell in his home in La Romana on Oct. 22. While bracing his fall, Cabrera cut his wrist on glass—one source said it was on a glass table, although another thought it was a window—causing severe bleeding and tendon damage.
Cabrera, who bats and throws righthanded, went to a hospital in La Romana to stop the bleeding. He flew to Arizona the next morning, then had surgery the following day in San Francisco. He started his rehab program last week and has only recently started moving his fingers.
Cabrera spent the 2013 season in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League and was expected to make his U.S. debut next year in the Rookie-level Arizona League when the season begins in June. It appears unlikely that Cabrera will be ready to play by then and there is no clear timetable for his return. Sources are hopeful he could make it back to game action by the end of the 2014 season, but one Giants official called Cabrera's situation "a year-long rehab process and then some."
Coming into the 2012-13 international signing period, Cabrera ranked as the No. 5 international prospect for July 2 after playing in the Dominican Prospect League and training with Cristian Batista, who is known as "El Niche."
Several scouts said Cabrera had the best tools among July 2-eligible players in Latin America last year, with plus-plus speed, good range in center field, good bat speed and raw power. However, Cabrera was also raw at the plate relative to other players his age.
This past season in the DSL he batted .247/.379/.360 with two home runs, 30 walks, 54 strikeouts and 21 stolen bases in 54 games.
Cabrera's injury is the latest blow for San Francisco's 2012 international signing class. In September, Major League Baseball suspended Dominican third baseman Nathanael Javier for 50 games after he tested positive for Stanozolol, an anabolic steroid commonly sold as Winstrol. Javier, 17, signed for $475,000 last year on July 2, making him the organization's second most expensive international signing of 2012 behind Cabrera.