Follow us:

Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

April 25, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Michael Pineda to undergo surgery, miss entire 2012 season (plus minor-league report)

Here is today’s minor-league report and yesterday’s also.

Devastating news today for Michael Pineda, and the Yankees: he has a labrum tear in his right shoulder and will undergo arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman — who acquired Pineda from the Yankees on Jan. 20 — told reporters it will take 12 months for Pineda to recover from the injury. That wipes out 2012, of course. After that, it’s anyone’s guess. It’s pretty well established in baseball that shoulder injuries are much, much more problematic than elbow injuries. I addressed that issue in this blog post, after Erik Bedard underwent surgery for a torn labrum. I think Bedard’s recovery should give some hope to Pineda, though whether he’ll ever been the devastating pitcher he was before is a legitimate question. Here’s an even more in-depth piece I did on recovering from torn labrums, with five case studies. It’s sobering, but there are some beacons of hope, most notably Chris Carpenter, won by a Cy Young after labrum surgery.

I’ve already seen someone tweet that this is great news for the Mariners. I think that’s a cynical way to look at it. Jack Zduriencik said at the time of the trade he wished Pineda well, and I believe he was sincere. For the Mariners, this deal will make or break on how Jesus Montero and, to a lesser extent, Hector Noesi, perform. I don’t think Pineda going down is a high-five moment, in any way — but, then again, that may be how some fans are reacting. Having gotten to know Pineda a little, and finding him to be a likable young man, I feel badly for him, and I suspect most fans, even Mariner fans, do as well.

As for any Mariners culpability in sending “damaged good,” as I’ve seen suggested (mainly by disenchanted Yankee fans), it’s just not the case. Pineda underwent, and passed, a full Yankees physical prior to the trade, which included a shoulder exam. Cashman just told New York reporters that Pineda was “fully healthy’ at the time of the deal. The shoulder injury he developed is just an unfortunate break for the Yankees — but one of the risks of acquiring any pitcher.

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►