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Jaime Garcia needs shoulder surgery

May 22, 2013, 12:46 PM EDT

Jaime Garcia, Cameron Maybin AP

When the Cardinals placed left-hander Jaime Garcia on the disabled list last week they feared that he’d need shoulder surgery and sure enough Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that he’ll go under the knife.

Garcia has a long history of arm problems and the possibility of shoulder surgery has been looming since last year, when he opted for rest and rehab in an attempt to avoid an operation.

And he actually managed to pitch well for nine starts this season, throwing 55 innings with a 3.58 ERA and 43/15 K/BB ratio. No word yet on an official return timetable, but it’s safe to assume he’s done for 2013 at the very least.

  1. stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Nooo. Really? Who woulda’ thunk it? Stupid…stupid…stupid.
    He should have had the damn surgery LAST YEAR. You know…when the 7 or 8 Doctors said to have it. Man this dude grates on my nerves sometimes.

    • gibbyfan - May 22, 2013 at 1:13 PM

      I agree entirely—I bet if he didnt have his contract issues well attended too he would have had it in a heartbeat so as not to jeopardize his pocketbook…….

    • forsch31 - May 22, 2013 at 8:21 PM

      It was three doctors…then the national expert in the field told him to rehab.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 23, 2013 at 10:01 AM

        Admittedly…I exaggerated for illustrative purposes Bob. That should have been obvious.
        The point I was trying to illustrate was…he should have had the surgery last year after numerous Doctors told him to. This was only a matter of time as a result of his getting that “fourth” opinion.

      • forsch31 - May 23, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        The “fourth” opinon was that of Dr. James Andrews, the aformentioned leading expert in the field. If someone like that tells me to do rehab instead of surgery, I follow his advice, even if I have 10 other doctors telling me otherwise. Especially for labrum tear surgery, whose outcome is very much an unknown.

        Again, the surgery isn’t close to a guarantee that it will solve Garcia’s shoulder issues. That completely changes any conversation about whether Garcia should have gotten the surgery. Only an idiot rushes headlong into a surgery like that without exploring all other options first.

    • forsch31 - May 22, 2013 at 9:17 PM

      Also, this isn’t Tommy John. It’s a torn labrum. You know…the same thing that ended Mark Mulder’s career (not to mention some other notables). That’s what he was dealing with last year as well. It’s the kind of injury that even if there’s a slight chance you can rehab it, that’s what you do.

      See Baseball Prospectus’s review of 67 cases of surgeries to notable pitchers since 2002: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=16634. About 58 percent of those pitches either didn’t come back or haven’t gotten out of the minors.

      According to this 2011 thesis from the University of Florida, surgery today for SLAP has a 33 to 67 percent success rate: http://honors.usf.edu/documents/thesis/u49041248.pdf

      The idea that all of Jamie Garcia’s problems would have solved by surgery isn’t even close to true.

      There’s a very good chance that even if Garcia manages to come back from this surgery, he won’t be anything close to the pitcher he was, because the surgery can permanently change your shoulder’s range of motion. His career could be toast.

  2. blacksables - May 22, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Tony and Dave wouldn’t have let this happen.

    • blues1988 - May 22, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      yes they would have, they did it w/ mulder and plenty of others during their tenure. i don’t blame it fully on jaime though, i blame it on the cards medical staff. we’re famous for this stuff!

      • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2013 at 1:20 PM

        Jamie had numerous Doctors recommend the surgery.
        He’s a professional. Not some high school pitcher.
        In my opinion…it’s solely on him.

        Just a quick (un-scientific) poll:
        Who did NOT see this coming?

    • danwilliamsmlb - May 22, 2013 at 7:11 PM

      They wouldn’t have had any more choice in the matter than current Cardinals leadership; a team cannot compel a player to undergo surgery.

  3. blues1988 - May 22, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    lol i mean i agree, jaime is stubborn but i’m just saying it’s not ALL on him. but on your poll, i definitely saw this coming.

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