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Horne’s long road continues

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Just rolled into Sarasota where the wind is howling out to center field. Even I could hit a ball at least over the second baseman’s head (my baseball goals are very low).


The big pitching news of the day out of Yankees camp has to be Alfredo Aceves and his balky back, but the big news out of the minor league complex is Alan Horne and his torn rotator cuff.

“It never felt great last year,” Horne said. “But that was to be expected. I took a break this fall before I began to really get after it in the weight room. It felt great and I started throwing around December 1. It felt fine for the first two months but started to go downhill fast at the beginning of spring.”

Horne had mild shoulder surgery after the 2008 season. He tried to pitch last year, but the shoulder and a strained hamstring limited him to 14 outings between rookie ball and Double-A. He’s now scheduled for surgery with Dr. Andrews on April 9, and it will definitely knock him out for the season. When he can get back on a depends on the severity of the injury.

“I honestly have no idea until he gets in there and sees how bad things are and what time of repair has to be made,” Horne said. “All of that determines down time.”

Back in 2007, Horne was outstanding in the Double-A Eastern League. He went 12-4 with a 3.11 ERA and 165 strikeouts in 153.1 innings and was named the league’s Pitcher of the Year. In 2008 he ranked ahead of Jesus Montero, Brett Gardner, Ross Ohlendorf and Andrew Brackman on Baseball America’s Yankees prospect list, and he might have been one of the slew of big league call-ups that year had he not strained his biceps in his second Triple-A start.

“It’s been a long road for me over the past 10 years,” Horne said.

When he’s been healthy, Horne has been a young pitcher on a no-doubt course to the big leagues, but his body has had ¬†way of letting him down. He’s already come back from Tommy John surgery, now he’ll have to come back from this.