Neshek Has Setback

10 Nov

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According to Joe Christensen, Pat Neshek has experienced a setback in his rehab down in Ft. Myers. He apparently felt some discomfort in his elbow while pitching. He traveled to the Twin Cities for an MRI and to have it looked at by Dr. Dan Buss who I believe is a Twins doctor.


All I know is that if I am Pat Neshek, I am going to get several second opinions. There is no way that I would trust the Twins doctors, not with elbow problems. He was diagnosed with an “acute partial tear” in his UCL. Acute equals not good. “Partial” still means torn. Maybe not completely torn through the ligament, but PARTIALLY!


When we last talked to Pat Neshek in a Weekly Twins podcast a couple of weeks ago, I wondered aloud if he had experienced any scares, setbacks or any pain in his rehab. He insisted that he hadn’t. He was yet to throw off a mound, which he was soon to do. He also said that he had not thrown his slider, or any pitch with spin. Those would be the biggest tests on his elbow. He was throwing nearly at 100% and feeling good.


Again, he is just going to have an MRI and have it looked at. Hopefully this will just be a scare and there is no tear in his elbow ligament. Hopefully this is just a natural recovery feeling. I have my doubts, and after immobilizing the elbow and slowly rehabbing it back to strength, Tommy John surgery is again an option, or at least has to be mentioned.


In a previous podcast, Neshek told us that they knew that if he needed to have Tommy John surgery, they needed to do it by November so that he would miss all of the 2009 season and come back by Spring Training 2010. That would allow for about 16 months after surgery to get ready.


But back to the Twins doctors for a minute. After Francisco Liriano was injured in 2006, they had him skip a start and then he made another start. Then he was out for over a month, but they decided to bring him back. Then he got hurt again. But they waited until November for him to have the Tommy John surgery. Why? How does that make any sense? In fact, we have seen this pattern a lot in recent years. A player is injured. He is brought back fairly quickly. He is soon hurt again, and this time he is out even longer. Shannon Stewart’s name comes to mind. The Twins have just racked up the injuries in recent years, and I don’t understand why. I know that the Twins used to be known for their lack of injuries, at least major injuries. But when Trainer Dick Martin left (fired?), everything changed. I would be curious in finding out the stats on that. Going back over the last 15 years, how many players went in the Disabled List each year? Over the same period, how many combined days were spent on the Disabled List. I have a sneaky suspicion (with admittedly no hard facts to support it) that starting with the year that Martin left, there would be a spike.


Is there some correlation, or is it just dumb luck? I don’t know the answer to that, but I do feel that the question needs to be asked?


The Twins seem to be against surgery in most any situation. I understand that in theory. I really do. Many believe that once a surgery has occurred, the area will never go back to 100% Sometimes it is best not to have surgery. But sometimes, it is so obvious what needs to be done. If the Twins would have had Neshek have Tommy John surgery in May, he maybe could have been back after the All-Star break next year, at best. In reality, they should have just had him have surgery and then tell him to rehab for 2010.


Unfortunately, the injury problem extended to the Twins minor leagues. Look at the Beloit Snappers. They had 13 people on the Disabled List late in the season. Some are just dumb luck. When Loek Van Mil was sent home from the Beijing Olympics in August with elbow pain, he was told he had the same injury that Neshek had. The Twins immediately started him on the same rehabilitation plan If I’m in the Van Mil family, I’m considering getting a second opinion as well. At the very least, I would be keeping tabs on the Neshek situation.  


Big picture – We don’t know anything. Maybe we will find out that this is nothing. But obviously Pat Neshek is a great guy (and a great pitcher), and we at hope for nothing but the best for him. Whether that is surgery or more rehab, we wish Pat Neshek nothing but the best!!


Any thoughts, please e-mail me, or leave Comments here.


6 Responses to “Neshek Has Setback”

  1. brad November 11, 2008 at 8:43 am #

    Seth, just wait until they get out of the Dome and the injuries are really going to pile up. Almost all cold weather towns really have bad histories with pitcher injuries.
    Whatever he did Dick Martin had these pitchers ready and we rarely had any troubles.

  2. Cory November 11, 2008 at 8:49 am #

    First off, best of luck to Pat Neshek. Of course the Twins could use him, but I wish him more of luck in just plain getting healthy.

    That being said, the Rockies received Huston Street in the deal for Matt Holliday. I know there aren’t rumors to this, but is there any chance the Rockies did this to have a better chance at getting one of the Twins starters in an Atkins deal? And then hypothetically, would/should the Twins do a Cuddyer/Blackburn for Atkins/Street deal? That would definitely help shore up two areas of need.

  3. mini_tb November 11, 2008 at 9:51 am #

    “All I know is that if I am Pat Neshek, I am going to get several second opinions.”

    Seth, wouldn’t these be 3rd, 4th, and 5th opinions?

    Seriously, best of luck to Pat Neshek. Let’s hope it’s just a minor setback.

  4. Doug November 11, 2008 at 9:52 am #

    The people who are saying that the Twins and Neshek should have opted for surgery immediately are misguided. Neshek had a partial tear and there was a chance that surgery would never be needed. There is always a question whether a player can comeback from a major surgery.
    If the rehab does not work and surgery is needed now, the only thing Neshek and the Twins will be losing is six months of pitching. Deciding on immediate surgery because the Twins need bullpen help would have been pretty shortsighted.

  5. Dome Dog November 11, 2008 at 12:02 pm #

    Let’s wait to find out how serious this is before we start throwing people under the bus and proclaiming doom and gloom for the bullpen in ’09.

    With that said, I hope this doesn’t change the Twins priorities this offseason. I’ve always thought that signing free agent relief help is much more expensive than the reward that you get from it. I’m hoping the Twins are able to fill the hole at 3B by signing a free agent and then using their trade chips to fill the hole at shortstop. Maybe in that trade they are also able to get a “throw-in” relief pitcher ala Joe Nathan (not that you can expect to get a steal of that magnitude ever again, but getting a cheap young relief pitcher with some upside in a trade seems more beneficial than paying for an overpriced veteran relief arm that is in free agency). My concern is that this news about Pat would change the priorities, since the bullpen was obviously a big weak spot for the team last year.

  6. mike wants wins November 11, 2008 at 12:18 pm #

    I agree with dome dog.

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