Posted by: Nate | February 8, 2008

Schilling Update: Rehabbing, Out Until ASB – at least

According to reports that came out today, Schilling and the Sox have agreed to undergo a treatment plan for his ailing right shoulder that doesn’t involve surgery. Schilling is having a cortisone shot today with the hope that it will ease the pain and allow him to begin rehabbing and strengthening it without pain. This opinion was reached by siding with the opinions of Red Sox team doctor Thomas Gill and Mets team doctor David Altchek, who was brought in to settle the dispute.

The dispute arose when Schilling was examined by his doctor, Craig Morgan, who has performed two surgeries on Schilling. His opinion was very adamant that surgery was the best and only option for Schilling. As stated on Boston.com, “Dr. Craig Morgan, who performed surgery on Schilling’s right shoulder twice, in 1995 and a cleanup procedure in 1999, believes that the treatment prescribed by the Sox has no chance of succeeding, that the degeneration in Schilling’s biceps tendon is irreversible and requires surgery if Schilling is to have any chance of pitching this season.”

If (the Sox plan) was successful, I think it would be the greatest thing known to man,” Morgan said in a phone conversation this morning.”

Clearly there was a lot of disagreement and contention among the parties involved and hopefully for both Schilling and the Sox he is able to start a rehabilitation program and re-join the team for the stretch run. Even if he is not able to pitch again this season, hopefully he will be around the team as a positive veteran influence and help coach the younger kids who will now be shouldering a bigger load.

I also disagree with columnist Nick Cafardo’s contention that the Sox aren’t in worse shape after this Schilling injury.

“Are the Sox a lesser team because Schilling won’t be with them for at least half the season? Unlikely. Schilling isn’t the workhorse he has been most of his career, and the Sox knew that.”

While I agree that the Sox are too smart to be counting on a 41 year old Schilling to log 200+ innings and 15-20 wins over the course of this season, especially after his shoulder troubles from last year, I think this injury clearly has a ripple effect on the team that is decidedly negative. I think it is reasonable to assume that Schilling, if healthy, would have given the Sox a solid 150ish innings over 20 or so starts throughout the season and the post-season and posted a solid low to mid 4 ERA. While the team does have internal options in Clay Buchholz to take on a bit of a bigger load, they already had counted on using him this season before Schilling was hurt. Now the load shifts to Kyle Snyder and Julian Tavarez to sport start to give the younger arms rest and keep them under their innings cap and it is impossible to argue that the tandem off Snyder and Tavarez is a downgrade from Schilling. While both men are serviceable options in the short term and good at long relief, they don’t qualify as “rotation material” in my eyes.

That being said, I would prefer the Sox hold onto their options and try to get the most out of Tavarez, Snyder, AAA arms rather than making a hasty trade for a back end starter or worse yet, signing one of the available free agent pitchers to a bloated deal. My feeling is that while the team is definitely worse off now that Schilling is hurt, we have a creative enough front office and talented enough players to overcome this setback without making any major moves. Hopefully everyone else can stay healthy and prevent any more rotation crises.

Boston.com link: http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2008/02/schillings_cort.html

Carfardo link: http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2008/02/08/rehabilitation_may_help_sox_in_long_run/

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Responses

  1. Bedard was acquired, to the Mariners, I think, so that leaves that line out.

    This really sucks for Schilling.


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