SAN FRANCISCO -- Somewhere in the Giants' athletic training quarters at AT&T Park sits a jar containing several sizable bone fragments.
Those were the objects removed Saturday from shortstop Edgar Renteria's right elbow. Renteria's arthroscopic surgery provided confirmation -- not that the Giants needed it -- that the bone spurs and chips forced him to play much of the season under considerable hardship. Signed through 2010, Renteria is expected to be fully recovered by Spring Training.
Many observers reviled Renteria for his subpar production, which included a career-low .250 batting average with five home runs and 48 RBIs in 124 games. Obviously, the Giants don't share that disdain.
"He was fried almost at the All-Star break," general manager Brian Sabean said Sunday. "It really by that time was affecting what he was doing on a daily basis, whether it was hitting or fielding. It took a lot of courage and a lot of help from the medical staff to keep him out there. The surgery reflected that. The loose bodies in there were significant and definitely a detriment to his abilities."
Said manager Bruce Bochy, "You'd be amazed how large the spurs and bone chips are. That tells you a lot about Edgar. He had to be in more pain than what he was telling us."
Sabean credited Renteria for his intangible contributions, which helped compensate for his struggles on the field.
"He had a huge influence, in a really professional and quiet way, on a lot of the younger players, especially Pablo [Sandoval]," Sabean said. "He took Pablo under his wing early in Spring Training and stayed true to that throughout the year."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.