He has only played on a limited basis since 2007. From the San Francisco Chronicle-
The next time Eric Chavez’s back goes out, it will be the end of his career.
“Pretty much game, set and match,” the A’s third baseman told The Chronicle by phone from his home in Phoenix.
Chavez is rehabbing his most recent back problem in Arizona in the hopes of rejoining the A’s on their next homestand. Doctors, however, have told him that a herniated disk in his back could go at any time, even if he sneezes.
If that happens, Chavez will need to have his previously repaired vertebra, the L4-L5, fused with the vertebra that is currently herniated, which is the L3-L4. Another microdiscectomy such as the one Chavez had in October, 2007, is out, because it would leave his spine too unstable, Chavez said.
Spinal fusions don’t allow for the type of physical activity performed by pro athletes.
If a spinal fusion causes Chavez give up ballplaying it will be sad but necessary. His long term health is more important.
If Chavez retired today, he is certainly one of the top 100 3rd baseman in baseball history. Prior to the 1930′s, most players at that position were closer to modern day shortstops offensively than to today’s 3rd basemen. Harlond Clift was the first to ever hit 30 homeruns, and he did that in 1938. That’s eight years after the big offensive year of the era.(1930) Chavez has hit over 220 homers in his career, with a .268 career Batting average and career on base percentage of .344. Those are more than solid numbers plus Chavez was multiple time gold glove 3rd baseman.
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