Just saying the words, ‘Michael Pineda needs shoulder surgery,’ makes me shutter because that is often the beginning of the end of a pitcher’s career. However, one pitcher who went through the same surgery that Pineda will go through, Curt Schilling, thinks that he will be fine in a year and maybe less.
“He can be back better than he has ever been in 10 months,” Schilling told Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com. “Maybe less, because he is younger. It is going to be 100 percent on him.”
Schilling went under the knife back in July of 1995 and was back on the field by May of 1996.
“I came back after my surgery, throwing four to six miles harder than I did before,” he said. “That is where the magic is. It is all about rehab. Most doctors can make you 100 percent well physically. I would tell you that it is 25 percent about the surgery and 75 percent about the rehab.”
Schilling might have had success in coming back from this injury, but there is a long list of pitchers who were never the same again. Chris Carpenter and Ted Lilly are two examples of pitchers who had success afterward, but Matt Clement, Jason Schmidt, Ben Sheets, and Brandon Webb are four pitchers who never recovered.
Schilling’s doctor said that it is about not being lazy and sticking to the rehab meticulously. However, when you are talking about guys like Sheets and Webb who have literally put years into their comeback attempts it seems overly simplified to blame their failure to return on a lack of determination.
The Yankees and their fans are simply going to have to wait and see how things turn out. Pineda doesn’t inspire much confidence being that he showed up to camp 20 pounds overweight after not having thrown a ball once all offseason. However, once he got into camp the Yankees were thrilled with how much of a hard worker he is. If the biggest thing is how meticulous he is with his rehab, hopefully somebody can get it into his ear to work his ass off so he can contribute in 2013.