The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Spring Game 12: Yankees at Tigers (with A-Rod surgery update and audio)

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc, Podcast on Mar 08, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

YANKEES
Cabrera CF
Damon LF
Swisher 1B
Matsui DH
Nady RF
Ransom 3B
Molina C
Berroa SS
Bernier 2B

Pitching today: A.J. Burnett followed by Phil Hughes, Brian Bruney, Andrew Brackman and Mark Melancon.

TIGERS
Everett SS
Polanco 2B
Sheffield DH
Thames LF
Larish 1B
Clevlen CF
Laird C
Inge 3B
Gomez RF

Pitching today: Nate Robertson, Dontrelle Willis, Fernando Rodney.

Notes: This is the spring-training debut for Burnett. He will likely throw two innings followed by three from Hughes. … Hideki Matsui will get a test today as he plays in back-to-back games. … Back with more later on.

BREAKING NEWS, 9:02 a.m.: Announcement coming at 9:30 on A-Rod. Dr. Philppon will be on a conference call. Sounds like a decision has been made.

UPDATE, 9:36 a.m.: Alex Rodriguez will have less invasive surgery to repair the labrum, try to play and then have a full repair after the season.

UPDATE, 9:40 a.m.: A-Rod has an impingement, meaning bone is striking bone. The initial surgery will fix the labrum. The second will repair the bone deformity.

The goal, Dr. Philippon, will be a rapid rehab. “It’s a very good option,” he said.

He said the rehab will take 6-9 weeks.

UPDATE, 9:47 p.m.: Surgery will be Monday. Dr. Philippon said he’s 85-90 percent certain A-Rod won’t have a setback this season.

A-Rod will stay in Vail for several weeks.

Again, it’ll be 6-9 weeks before he plays in a MLB game. So late April possibly.

UPDATE, 9:58 a.m.: Dr. Philippon said it’s 100 percent that A-Rod will need a second surgery.

The larger surgery would have kept him out 3-4 months. They’ll gave to reshape the femoral head of the bone.

UPDATE, 10:02 a.m.: Cashman said he thinks they made the right call based on the information.

UPDATE, 11:21 a.m.: Here we are in Lakeland, home of the Tiger and one of my favorite spring training sites, Joker Marchant Stadium.

Here is where Mark Feinsand and I parked:

(Just kidding, Brian).

As for A-Rod, I believe the Yankees are doing the right thing. Dr. Philippon is considered one of the top people in his field. If he says Alex can get through the season, you have to believe him.

The question now becomes when A-Rod will be ready to play. Opening Day is four weeks away. So in theory, Alex could be ready two weeks into the season. That’s certainly better than the All-Star break.

UPDATE, 11:56 a.m.: Even if A-Rod comes back in two weeks, I think the Yankees would be wise to obtain an infielder now. They could use a solid third baseman and beyond that, they will obviously need a reliable backup for the whole season. Clearly Alex will need extra time off, games as the DH, etc.

It would be crazy to get somebody expensive like Scott Rolen. But maybe somebody like Mark Grudzielanek? Ray Durham? I would expect Cashman to make some sort of move.

UPDATE, 1:22 p.m.: A.J. Burnett got three easy outs in the first inning. P-9, F-8, 4-3. 11 pitches, 8 strikes. 0-0 after one inning.

UPDATE, 1:41 p.m.: Here is the conference call today with Brian Cashman and Dr. Philippon. Warning: This is 30 minutes and it’s thick with medical stuff. I figure Will Carroll, if nobody else, will be interested.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

UPDATE, 2:00 p.m.: A.J. Burnett’s line: 2 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts. He was very efficient, getting the hitters to put the ball in play. Hughes in now. 5-0 Yankees.

UPDATE, 3:13 p.m.: Just spoke to Brian Cashman, Mr. Pessimism said he expects A-Rod back in mid-May. Cashman always goes worst-case scenario.

Cashman said that as the Yankees researched this, they found a number of athletes (including baseball players) who had similar surgery and came back to play at a high level.

Here’s Cashman talking about the decision:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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