Mets left-handed reliever Tim Byrdak, aka The Byrdman, aka Hulk Hogan, was placed on the DL friday with a sore shoulder. Ok, no problem. Like most Mets fans, I figured he was bound to wind up there with a dead arm at some point this year consider how much this guy is used. But when the results of an MRI showed a torn anterior capsule of his left shoulder, I was angry.
When Tim was signed by the club last year, I understood the move since he was going to be a much cheaper version of Pedro Feliciano. But after the first half of last season, I had a bad feeling about this. Pedro was known as “Perpetual Pedro” due to the fact that the guy literally pitched four out of every five days. He was used in 408 of 810 possible games over the last 5 years of his career. Pedro led the majors in appearances in 2008, 2009, and 2010. He led the league in appearances from 2007–2010. His 344 relief appearances over those four years, is a Major League Baseball record
Here’s an excerpt from Pedro’s Wikipedia page:
(in 2011) Feliciano signed a two-year deal worth approximately $8 million with the New York Yankees. Feliciano was placed on the disabled list due to soreness in his left shoulder. On April 25, orthopedist James Andrews recommended a six-week strengthening program for the pitcher. The Yankees front office claimed the reason behind Feliciano’s injury was that the Mets had overused him. The cause of Feliciano’s trip to the disabled list was a torn capsule and rotator cuff in his left arm, requiring arthroscopic surgery to repair. Because of this, Feliciano did not pitch during the 2011 season, and is unlikely to pitch in the 2012 baseball season.
Feliciano pitched in 50.3% of the Mets games over that 5 year stretch. In the season in a half that Byrdak has been here, 49.8%. Both are now physically unable throw a baseball.
Pedro Feliciano, Chris Young, Johan Santana and now Tim Byrdak. How do four pitchers in two years have their shoulders destroyed? Who’s to blame here? The players? The manager? The pitching coach? There’s no team in MLB that has destroyed shoulders at this rate. You can easily point to overuse with in the case of the relief pitchers. Byrdak and Feliciano have been known to get up and down multiple times per game, and that would sometimes happen for a week straight. With Johan Santana, that’s the price you pay for throwing 1,900 innings over twelve years. And who knows with Chris Young. The guy is six foot ten inches tall and only throws 84 mph. Kind of a bizarre combination.
The point is that the Mets have literally run players into the ground and it would be nice to build a bullpen/roster that would avoid this. Josh Edgin was finally called up to be the second lefty out of the pen, but that obviously was too little too late. We all know 2012 is over, but let’s hope Sandy & Co. doesn’t let 2013 end the same way.