Friday, June 06, 2008

Tanner Scheppers' shoulder

I feel like this is an important thing to discuss a bit, because the Pirates are taking a significant risk, with the potential for a significant reward, with this shoulder and there's a lot of stuff being passed around about his injury that I'm not so sure is true. Most people are categorizing his shoulder injury as being a stress fracture. As far as I can tell, that was the initial diagnosis, but it's not the correct one. ESPN's scouting report (which I linked to before and is Insider only) says this about the injury:

First he was reported as having a "stress fracture," which was met with disbelief in the industry. Then his advisors said that diagnosis was incorrect and sent him to Dr. Lewis Yocum for a second opinion. Teams that received his medical report this week confirm that Scheppers has a type of impingement in his shoulder and may have tearing in his labrum, and the course of treatment is rehab rather than surgery.

I've seen a couple other places talk about the labrum, so I think that's probably the issue. This poses an interesting question. Is the wear and tear better or worse than a stress fracture? A stress fracture in a pitcher's shoulder would be an incredibly rare injury, so I have no idea how it would heal and I doubt many people do. Labrum problems in pitchers can be serious, but as the blurb above indicates, they can also be rehabbed and as Charlie mentions on his blog, there seems to be some indication the injury isn't that serious, though I think it's probably hard to tell at this point.

In my first post, I was pretty negative about this pick, but I'm starting to look at it in a different light. While rehasing the Penguins' season with my dad tonight, we talked about the Marian Hossa trade and how ballsy Ray Shero was to pull the trigger on the deal. I said, "Well, you have to have balls to be a good GM. Dave Littlefield was always afraid of screwing up and as a result, he never rolled the dice on anything that involved a lot of risk, but a big reward." What we have in Scheppers is the ultimate risk/reward pick. If he's fine, we picked up a fireballing starter with top of the rotation talent in the second round. If he's not fine, he joins the Pirate Pitching Draft Pick Hall of Shame, which is standing room only right now. I'm not any where close to sure that this pick will pan out, but I'm happy to have a GM that's willing to take a risk.