Pirates Learn Kevin Hart Has Torn Labrum

This isn't good. Labrum tears are awful, awful injuries for pitchers. Last year the Pirates acquired Hart with Jose Ascanio and Josh Harrison from the Cubs for John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny; Ascanio went down with serious shoulder issues almost immediately, and now Hart is down too. (Harrison, mercifully, is hitting very well for Altoona.) This probably explains Hart's terrible play in Spring Training, which I suppose is good news. The bad news is that torn labrums can wreck a pitcher's career. There are some pitchers who've come back from them--Gil Meche and Jon Rauch have had good major league careers after having labrum surgery. And Chris Carpenter missed 2003 with a torn labrum, then had a Hall-of-Fame-quality peak. But prospects are still bleak.

Hart is scheduled to see Dr. James Andrews, and it's still possible at this stage that Andrews will suggest something other than surgery. When Josh Beckett was 19, a doctor told him he'd have to have labrum surgery. Beckett went to Andrews for a second opinion and Andrews said surgery wasn't necessary, and Beckett has gone on to have a good major league career. So let's hope that's what happens in this case.

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