Purgatory Online

Friday, May 21, 2004

Slate has an article up explaining labrum injuries, the type of owie that's done for Troy Glaus. Although the article focuses on pitchers, it doesn't paint an especially pretty picture:
Leading baseball surgeon Dr. James Andrews estimates that 85 percent of pitchers make a full recovery after an ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, aka the once risky Tommy John surgery. (USA Today has even called the surgery the "pitcher's best friend.") 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: He has a 3 percent chance of becoming Rocky Biddle. More likely, he'll turn into Mike Harkey, Robert Person, or Jim Parque, pitchers who lost stamina and velocity—and a major-league career—when their labrums began to fray.

If and when Glaus returns, then, it'll have to be as a full-time DH or DH / first baseman.