Remember a little less than a year ago, when Alex Rodriguez found out he needed hip surgery? Remember the doctor explaining that the injury stemmed from a congenital condition, a misshaped bone that led to a series of other problems?
Well Rodriguez wasn’t alone with that condition.
This year, the Yankees had three minor league players shutdown with similar injuries. First-rounder Ty Hensley, Double-A third baseman Rob Segedin (that’s him in the picture), and High-A utility man Anderson Feliz each had similar problems that required surgery, according to vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman.
“We had three this year,” Newman said. “We’d had none in our history.”
Newman said the discovery of the condition in so many young Yankees had nothing to do with Rodriguez — the Yankees weren’t suddenly checking everyone for misshapen hips because of what happened to A-Rod — but doctors simply might be finding it more often these days.
“We just happened to have three guys with it,” Newman said.
Hensley was throwing during instructional league and should be ready for spring training. Segedin raked for about a month in Double-A — .338/.390/.606 through April 24 — before being shut down for the operation. Feliz played into June before having the surgery. The Yankees have long liked Feliz’s tool set, but Newman said he’s had a series of groin and hamstring problems that have impacted his ability to stay on the field and move forward.
“The idea is that this (surgery) will alleviate that,” Newman said.
• After having Tommy John surgery last year, Manny Banuelos did not pitch in an actual game this season. He did, however, pitch at the minor league complex and in instructional league. Newman said he was reaching 92-94 mph with a good changeup and getting breaking balls over the plate. He is expected to be ready this spring, but he will not pitch at all this winter. “He pitched enough,” Newman said. “He’s been throwing for 14, 15 months. He’s going home to rest.”
• Michael Pineda is also going home with no plans for winter ball. He was reaching 94-96 mph with his fastball. “We’ll see how he comes back, but I think he’s healthy,” Newman said. “I thought he was fine. There might be a little bit of (rust) in spring training early in the year, but he’s got a history of throwing strikes.”
• Jose Ramirez was shut down at the end of the year because of an oblique problem, but he was throwing again in instructional league. He’s healthy again.
• Considered the team’s top relief prospect when the season started, Mark Montgomery struggled in Triple-A this season, while also battling a shoulder injury (early) and a back injury (late). Newman said the team got an MRI of Montgomery’s shoulder twice during the year, and they’re convinced it’s healthy. “I think his back was bothering him,” Newman said. “He changed his workout program last offseason, experimented with a new program, and that may have been part of it. I don’t know. You can’t jump to that conclusion, but it impacted his control more than anything. He still struck people out a lot this year, just walked too many.”
• Second baseman Corban Joseph, who made a few big league cameos this season, had shoulder surgery and didn’t play beyond May 31. Newman said Joseph was trying to “muscle through” the season but had ultimately needed the surgery. He’s throwing and rehabbing now.
• This year’s second-round pick, Gosuke Katoh, played through instructional league last month but has what Newman labeled a sprained finger. It’s considered a very minor issue. Katoh had a really nice debut.
• Another high pick from this year, first-rounder Aaron Judge, missed the year with a quadriceps injury. Newman labeled the Yankees treatment as more precautionary than anything. “He’s working out,” Newman said. “He had a quad pull. He wasn’t going to get any games, so we’ve just taken our time to make sure it’s completely healed by spring training.”
Associated Press photos