Pittsburgh Pirates‘ right-handed pitcher Jeff Karstens has not thrown a single pitch in 2013, and it appears he might not throw one at all this season. Karstens underwent rotator cuff and labrum surgery on Friday in Los Angeles. He will not be able to pitch for 10-12 weeks, according CBSSports.com.
This has been a trend for Karstens in his career, he appears to have a very fragile body. He misses significant time due to injury every season. Shoulder inflammation kept Karstens out for the first two months of the 2013 season. Last month, Karstens had a few minor league rehab starts, but was shut down after two starts with shoulder discomfort.
The 10-12 week timetable is probably how long it takes for the normal athlete to return from this surgery, but in “Karstens-time” it could be anywhere from 12 to 150 weeks, I’m sure. I’m not trying to make light of the situation, it’s obviously horrible news for the pitcher and for the Pirates. Karstens is a really good guy and it’s a shame his career has turned in this direction. When he has been healthy for the Pirates, he has been a very consistent pitcher, whether it be out of the bullpen or as a starter.
The Pirates non-tendered Karstens in November of 2012, but after he couldn’t find any takers on the open market, he decided to return to the Pirates on a one-year, $2.5 million contract. In 2012, Karstens went 5-4 with a 3.97 ERA in only 90.2 innings. Last season was very brief for him with–you guessed it–injury issues. He had hip problems seemingly all season. While his time with the Pirates is likely over, hopefully he can get back to 100 percent and get his career on the right track.