A curse at second base.
That is what USF baseball appears to have been stricken with after Mike Macaluso and now Nick Cardieri sustained injuries that have made them spectators the rest of the season.
“It’s a real oddity to have two second basemen with season-ending injuries,” USF coach Eddie Cardieri said.
Cardieri, who is a freshman and the coach’s son, underwent Tommy John surgery Thursday to replace the torn ligament in his right elbow.
The procedure consists of taking a tendon from a healthy arm and using it to replace a torn ligament in the other arm.
The surgery got its name from the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher who was the first person to undergo the surgery in 1974.
Cardieri underwent the surgery after experiencing pain since the summer and is expected to return next season. The surgery was performed by world-renown surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who specializes in sports injuries and has worked on Michael Jordan and John Smoltz to name a few.
“The prognosis is good,” Eddie Cardieri said. “The surgery went well, he will be ready to go by next season.
“The rehab is a rather lengthy rehab, but he should be able to hit by the time fall starts, and he will be on the throwing program all fall and be ready to go by next spring.”
Cardieri, who had a .095 batting average but only one error in nine appearances, started to get playing time after Macaluso was forced to the bench with a cracked rib after playing in eight games, mostly as a defensive replacement.
Last year, Macaluso had a .295 batting average and three home runs.
The second base position may appear to be running thin, but USF’s starting second baseman, senior Mike Choquette, is healthy and has a backup in freshman Lamont Jordan.
“I think those two guys can do the job,” Eddie Cardieri said. “If we have any more injuries, it will be a problem.”
Chris Wagenheim covers USF baseball and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org