Ken Rosenthal joined The Athletic last August in the wake of Fox Sports torpedoing their own digital content with their fabled pivot to video. Since then, The Athletic has continued to expand at a very fast pace, grabbing up baseball writers left and right.

That boost in coverage is going to have to sustain The Athletic for a while on the MLB side, as Ken Rosenthal will be out of commission for a while.

Rosenthal announced on Twitter Wednesday that he would be undergoing back surgery:

Rosenthal’s timing is interesting, given the impending start of spring training, and on the surface it might seem odd. But assuming it was a scheduled procedure, this is typically the best time of year for a newsbreaker like Rosenthal to take a month off.

Unfortunately, this hasn’t been a typical offseason for baseball; there are still plenty of players unsigned, to the point that the MLBPA has organized a training camp for free agents.

Rosenthal was reporting on that as recently as Wednesday:

Normally most of the big names would have found a home by now, but the top free agent on the market, Yu Darvish, just signed this weekend. (A signing Rosenthal broke, not coincidentally.)

Spring training is typically filled with analysis of the teams as they’re constituted, as everyone is in a holding pattern until opening day, when the games themselves start to impact the trade market (teams become buyers or sellers, needs become apparent, injuries occur, etc.) That’s when reporters like Rosenthal get revved back up again, and it’s why his timing would normally make sense.

It just sucks because there’s still plenty of inevitable offseason news that hasn’t happened yet.

But, more importantly, Rosenthal’s back has apparently bothered him for a while now, and chronic pain and discomfort isn’t good for anyone. Hopefully, he makes a quick and full recovery.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.