Friday, May 27, 2005

The bigger they are, the harder they tear

But, if you're Jon Rauch, hopefully not that hard:

[Team physician Bruce] Thomas said if the tear is small and doctors are able to repair it easily, Rauch could return by the end of the season. "I've seen that," Thomas said. "But I've also seen plenty of times where it's bad enough that he would have to aim to be ready by next spring."

I guess this would be as good a time as any to cite the work of the unlicensed good doctor of basebology, Will Carroll:

But if pitchers with torn labrums were horses, they'd be destroyed. Of the 36 major-league hurlers diagnosed with labrum tears in the last five years, only midlevel reliever Rocky Biddle has returned to his previous level. Think about that when your favorite pitcher comes down with labrum trouble . . .

Considering Carroll wrote this before Biddle's flammable '04 with Montreal/San Juan, I'd reckon the Biddle reference is even more haunting now.

Since that article, Kevin Gryboski has managed to come back from one as well.

Jason Schmidt, too, has had labrum problems. It all boils down to how bad the tear is.
Wow, I didn't know about Schmidt. Was that the reason for his struggles late last season?
Well, he had surgery on his rotator cuff and labrum in 2000 and he may have injured it again last year, I'm not sure.
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