This news just popped up on my Twitter feed courtesy of Dan Szymborski of ESPN and Baseball Think Factory…Yankees starter Michael Pineda, acquired this offseason from the Mariners in exchange for DH Jesus Montero, has a torn labrum in his right shoulder, and will undergo arthroscopic surgery next Tuesday.
This is bad, bad news for the Yankees. I’d assume the torn labrum would knock Pineda out for the rest of the season, and this is an injury that could effect him for his entire career. With elbow injuries, it’s more of a simple procedure generally….just replace the ligament, and you’re good to go. With the shoulder, there are a lot more moving parts, and there’s a lot more that can go wrong. There isn’t a simple fix for this. There are many more failures as opposed to successes when it comes to labrum surgery, but both Chris Carpenter and Curt Schilling came back from the injury, so there’s still hope for Pineda. Here’s a great article tweeted out by our very own Brian detailing just how terrible a labrum injury is for a pitcher’s career.
Pineda was battling ineffectiveness all spring, and an alarming drop in velocity had the Yankees extremely concerned about their new starter. With the news released today, the team is probably really happy that they brought Andy Pettite out of retirement, and that they also re-signed Freddy Garcia. Combine those two signings with the conversion of Phil Hughes to the starting rotation, and things are a lot better for the Yankees than if they let Garcia walk, kept Hughes in the bullpen, and didn’t give Pettite a call.
Primary Yankees DH Raul Ibanez has a .686 OPS this season, while Montero is at .643 for the Mariners. If Montero turns things around and starts being a force for the Yankees, this trade could look awful when you consider all of the other ramifications from it. This is just awful news for the Yankees, their fans, and most importantly, Pineda.