To add some salt to the wounds of what fans may have thanks to this year’s Cliff Lee trade, latest word out of the Indians farm system is that Jason Knapp (the key player in the trade) will undergo arthroscopic surgery that will allegedly remove “loose bodies” from his right shoulder.
The 19-year old righty had rave reviews coming through A-ball due to his stature (approximately 6’6″) and power (high 90′s fastball). However, none of this will ever matter if his throwing shoulder is not repaired to the tune of 100 percent. And if this news isn’t bad enough, it appears that the team is a bit ho-hum on the matter.
GM Mark Shapiro, through Bart Swain, director of media relations, said the Indians would not file a grievance with the Commissioner’s office, even though the team says Knapp’s condition existed before the trade was made. Soloff said the Phillies had never done an MRI on Knapp, so that test wasn’t available for the Indians’ medical staff to review. Soloff added that they couldn’t make the Phillies do an MRI on Knapp. The Indians couldn’t do one themselves because the trade hadn’t been made. [...]
Asked if he thought the Indians’ medical staff missed the injury, Soloff said, “I don’t think so. In cases of trades, we request all the information that is available. Once again, the information we reviewed and the conversations from doctor to doctor and medical staff to medical staff did not indicate any inclination that surgery was needed for Jason.”
Other members of the Phillies that came over in the Lee deal have already spent some time with the Indians. Starter Carlos Carrasco’s brief tenure has been well documented around these parts. Catcher Lou Marson has also seen some time, albeit in a bit of a rotation with his field general peers. But Knapp undeniably has the most upside of the bunch given his age and skill set.
However, if the Indians traded for what appears to be damaged goods, this deal will ultimately be even worse down the road. I can’t help but think of Adam Miller in this instance given the upside and injury news. Like Knapp’s shoulder, Miller’s finger has kept a very large ceiling on his respective career. The fact that the team knew about this “pre-exisiting” injury yet threw him back out on the field to rack up more innings is puzzling.
I also found this line to be quite puzzling, yet telling at the same time:
Some in the organization favored Knapp over Kyle Drabek, a pitcher the Phillies refused to deal for Roy Halladay or Lee.
Really? I’d love to know who among the organization favored a 19-year old question mark over Drabek, a pitcher who put up a combined 12 wins among two levels of minor league ball this season and is widely considered the better prospect.
Let’s hope that this can be rectified during this off-season. Otherwise, the team will be that much further behind come the alleged 2012 target for actual competition within Major League Baseball.
Cleveland Indians won’t file grievance… [Plain Dealer]
(image via deej13/Flickr)