Posada Delays Surgery, For Now

Ed Price of The Star-Ledger and Pete Abraham of The Journal News are reporting that Jorge Posada, apparently with the blessing of the organization, will wait 15 days to rest and rehabilitate his badly injured right shoulder in order to try to return this season as a DH and possibly play first. According to their reports, the damage in Posada’s throwing shoulder is extensive and serious–a badly torn labrum and capsule damage. Price reports: “An MRI and examination by orthopedic surgeon David Altchek on Tuesday revealed more damage than what was seen earlier this season, when Posada went on the disabled list for five weeks. ‘It was a risk’ to keep playing, Posada said. ‘A risk I was willing to take.’ Posada said he has frayed tendons in the labrum and a torn capsule. The rotator cuff is okay, Posada said, but doing the throwing required of a catcher could damage the rotator cuff.”

I can understand why Posada wants to come back and try to help the team since he’s a competitor and surely still confident in his ability to hit if his shoulder strength improves even somewhat. Yet his catching for the previous stint made the damage in his shoulder even worse. This is a big risk with his health and the rest of his career. The timing of it is also bad, since the 15 days will delay the decision until after the trade deadline, making any potential move at least somewhat contingent on how to gauge, or guess on, Posada’s progress and health. Additionally, the Yankees need another DH right now like they need Carl Pavano, and even then an injured Posada has more value than Pavano. An aside, sure, but the point is still valid. JD, not 100% himself, must play left. Giambi then must play first. Should Posada continue to play, he will likely miss at least the start of the regular season since rehabilitating after the surgery will take up to six months.

Jorge is a gamer, the guts of the team, and will always have my respect as a player. But the guy needs to have the surgery to get healthy, to possibly have more time as a catcher, and to heal for next year since the surgery in the off-season is a given anyway. Abraham is reporting some news I find nothing short of disturbing: “The decision to delay surgery for Jorge Posada is being driven, at least partly, by team president Randy Levine according to several people close to the situation. He thinks the Yankees need to get some return on the money they spent on Posada. Why Levine would get involved in baseball and medical decisions isn’t certain, but he has that right as team president. That could explain why the Yankees were being so reticent to give information out.”

Abraham is a pretty responsible reporter in both how he reports and considering various angles. I believe that there is some merit to this–at least that Abraham got word of that from several people whether or not it’s true–if he wrote it. If so, Levine should stay the hell out of such decisions and no one–no one–in the organization should exert any pressure, ever, on any player dealing with such a serious injury, especially someone who had never been on the DL before this year and who practically never complains about anything. Such a ham-handed, ignorant approach from Levine–if true–would at least seem consistent with the team’s overall approach with players such as Giambi and (JEEZ!) Pavano, to wring as much value out of players as possible. But Posada has more than the remaining three years on his contract as his cache of value. He’s a vital veteran presence, one of the leaders on the team in word and by example, a fan favorite, very productive when healthy and, and I’ve long considered, the guts of the team. Why not get Posada healthy for the long haul instead of thinking myopically–another bothersome aspect of this organization? Go pressure Pavano about value in return for a fat contract, bean counter. Leave Posada the hell alone.

Published in: on July 23, 2008 at 9:19 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. this is from my phone so Ill be brief
    I think they will send jorge for surgery right after the T deadline. Cash using a ploy to not seem so desperate. We can do ok with jose. You’re not gonna find a catchers bat to replace posada. They need to go for an outfielder and a SP. I’m betting the Stein sons are gonna want to go for it this year

  2. Since you brought up the forbiden fruit first. The Yankees do have several trump cards a float. This including Pavano, Ian & Phil. If one of the three could perform it would be major. I hope the off day doesn’t affect the burning streak . The Rays can’t and won’t hold the the division but this doen’t mean it will be the end of them. There recent success might convince there organazation to finally invest in the club. I would say like a early Blue Jays affect? I see Jobas matched up against Beckett I fear not.

  3. You might be right about that as a ploy, Mike. I don’t think they’ll find a quality, well-rounded catcher on the trade market, either, so they’ll have to live with Molina’s bat. Which outfielder will draw their attention is intriguing. Nady is having a very good year, better than usual. There’s little word from the Yankees camp about the bigger names such as Bay and Holliday.

    Leo, I feel the same way about the Rays. I don’t see them winning the division but don’t see them fading very quickly, either. I too like the Joba-Beckett match-up, although Beckett is quite good, because Joba has been excellent and also because he faces another top-flight pitcher. That to me is a good thing, to let him and the Yanks see how he stacks up and fares against the best.

  4. No surprise to see that we are on the same page regarding Jorge, Jason.

    And although I didn’t mention him, the jerk Levine too.

  5. “Yanks prospect no-hits Braves through 6 2/3 innings” Speaking of those variables Ian Kennedy showing promise.

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