McKenry to have season-ending knee surgery
DENVER -- Rockies catcher Michael McKenry squeezed out everything his body had on his final hit of 2015, a game-breaking, three-run double in Sunday's 5-0 victory over the Padres. Little did he know he sprinted the bases on a right knee with detached lower cartilage, torn upper cartilage and, if that weren't enough, a cyst that had ruptured.
The Rockies announced Wednesday that McKenry would undergo season-ending surgery performed by Rockies medical director Dr. Thomas J. Noonan on Monday. McKenry has dealt with pain for about eight weeks, and the knee worsened after the All-Star break.
It will be McKenry's second meniscus-related surgery in three seasons. With the Pirates in 2013, he suffered a torn left meniscus -- the night he did it he stayed in and had four hits. After the last surgery, which occurred because the meniscus was torn in half, he needed 10-12 sutures and was out of the Majors until June 2014.
This time, McKenry said, Noonan believed it would take two to three sutures, and he can be aggressive with rehab and be ready to go next Spring Training.
"The biggest thing is just the blessing of knowing what's actually going on," said McKenry, 30. "Playing and having no stability is hard. I was going to do it as long as I could until I could figure what's actually going on."
McKenry ended 2015 with a .205 batting average, four home runs, seven doubles and the first three triples of his Major League career while working as backup to Nick Hundley.
McKenry said he actually didn't feel pain in the knee when he hit Sunday's double off Padres pitcher Ian Kennedy to break open what had been a one-run game.
"The biggest thing is I didn't know the extent, so I wasn't playing timid," he said. "When I was running, I didn't really feel it much. Where I felt it was hitting and when I had to move real hard to my right when I was catching."
Manager Walt Weiss said the final hit being a key, hustle play -- he took third on the throw home -- was fitting.
"He's a tough kid, in every aspect," Weiss said. "His greatest concern is the team every day. We're going to miss him."
• The Rockies replaced McKenry, who was placed on the 60-day disabled list, by selecting the contract of catcher Dustin Garneau from Triple-A Albuquerque. Garneau, 28, a 19th-round Draft pick in 2009, hit .274 with 15 home runs and 62 RBIs in 91 Triple-A games.
Garneau had toiled for 518 Minor League games before earning his first callup -- mainly by implementing a quieter hitting approach, with no leg kick but more hand action, that was suggested by coaches at the end of Spring Training. Albuquerque manager Glenallen Hill made the move a team event -- on the bus Tuesday night in a desolate West Tennessee area between Memphis and Nashville.
"'G' is an interesting cat as it is, just awesome," Garneau said. "I thought he was just calling me to the front of the bus, but then he said, 'You're going to the big leagues, then came back and gave me a big 'ol hug."
• Righty Tyler Chatwood, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery last July, faced hitters for about 25 pitches -- his second such session -- on Tuesday.
• The bullpen is struggling but the Rockies will not rush righty Brooks Brown, who is eight games into a rehab assignment at Albuquerque for right shoulder inflammation (0-0, 3.38 ERA). "He's feeling better sometimes than others, but we want to make sure that he's at full strength before we bring him back," Weiss said.