Thursday, February 17, 2005

Pitchers Going and Coming 

First, the bad news. Travis Blackley is going to be miss all of 2005 recovering from arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder. It seems to be an annual rite of Mariners Spring Camp as the Felling of the Pitching Prospects begins. Sportspot has an interesting discussion thread on pitching injuries and the M's medical practices, that is worth the time if these things interest you.

This helps to explain Blackley's terrible 2004 campaign (1-3, 10.04 ERA for the M's). Dr. Lewis Yocum examined the shoulder in September and found two small tears. The first recommendation was rest and rehab over the winter. But with no signs of improvement by February, it was decided that surgery would be needed. The M's hope the 22-year-old Blackley will be pitching by 2006.

Jason Churchill, of Mariners Minors fame, has an excellent article on Travis Blackley's injury over at InsideThePark. It boils down to Travis being relieved to at least know why his pitches suffered a drop in velocity last year, and looking forward to 2006.

With the injury, Travis Blackley moves to the 60-day DL. This opens up a spot on the M's 40 man roster, which they seem to have quickly filled by signing standout Mexican pitcher Jorge Campillo. Dr. Detecto writes up a nice Detect-o-Vision piece on Campillo which essentially says he could be the next Enrique Romo for the Mariners, and that this looks like another feather in the cap of the M's front office.

I think that, at the least, Campillo will serve as an adequate replacement for Travis Blackley in the short term. Add him to the list of players to watch closely during Spring Training, and know that he is more likely to affect the 2005 Mariners than Aaron Sele.

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