It is often easy to overlook the role Juan Encarnacion played for the 2003 Marlins. Always a quiet presence, Encarnacion batted .270 with 19 home runs and an important 94 RBI. He also committed 0 errors in 653 putout attempts. He struggled in the playoffs, making way for the veteran Jeff Conine and the emerging superstar Miguel Cabrera. After being traded away and coming back, Juan once again took over right field as the starter for the 2005 team. He is currently a member of the St. Louis Cardinals (where he won another World Series in 2006).
Dr. George Paletta was not optimistic Sunday that the outfielder will regain full vision after his frightening injury and resume his career.
“It’s the worst trauma I’ve seen. Absolutely,” Paletta said, adding that the future holds no guarantees. “You hope the best for Juan, but he suffered a severe injury with a very guarded prognosis.
Paletta said the eye socket was essentially crushed on impact, comparing the injured area to the disintegration of an egg shell or ice cream cone, and that the optic nerve had sustained severe trauma. Reconstructive surgery may not take place for several days while doctors wait for swelling to subside.