Could Adams Suffer Carpenter’s Fate?

Mike AdamsPhillies fans probably heard the Cardinals announce this week that Chris Carpenter might never pitch again.

Carpenter, 37, had surgery in July to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which involved removing a rib to alleviate pressure on a nerve near his right shoulder. He returned to pitch in September and told reporters last month, “I haven’t had any issues with my throwing or anything this year. I feel good. My shoulder feels good.”

But he suffered a season-ending setback last week, which included the return of numbness and discomfort in the right shoulder and neck area, bruising and discoloration in his right hand.

Those problems are relevant in Philadelphia because Phillies setup man Mike Adams, who signed a two-year, $12 million contract in December, had the same surgery in October.

“We’ve talked to him. He said he’s doing great,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said today about Adams. “We’ll find out more when he arrives in Clearwater, and I think he’ll be arriving there fairly soon. He’s been throwing off the mound and he hasn’t had any issues. We’ll see how far along he is, whether he’s going to be behind in Spring Training or not. We don’t think so. But we’ll find out once he gets to Clearwater. Right now we don’t have any concerns, but we obviously want to make sure that he’s all right and progressing properly.”

It goes without saying the Phillies need Adams healthy. The eighth inning proved to be a mess last season with the Phillies blowing 13 leads.

But while Amaro acknowledged that signing Adams carried risks, he said this week’s news regarding Carpenter did not make him more concerned.

“Everybody’s situation is a little different,” he said. “All the information we got from our doctor and looking at the medical reports and such we felt … as always there’s a risk when guys are coming off a surgery like this, but we felt like it was a good risk.”

As of today, Amaro said outfielder Delmon Young will be the only player in camp definitely behind schedule, although that could change by the time pitchers and catchers have their first official workout Wednesday. Young is recovering from microfracture surgery on his right ankle in November.

“He won’t be able to get into real activities probably for a few weeks after we open up, at least,” Amaro said. “He might not be able to play in games competitively until the middle of March. We don’t know that, but we’ll see how he progresses once we see him.”

Amaro said right-hander Mike Stutes, who had shoulder surgery in June, should be “100 percent, we believe. He shouldn’t be any issue at all. He’s been throwing bullpens for a while.” Left-hander Raul Valdes had right knee surgery in September. Amaro also said he doing well.

“He’ll be close to 100 percent,” he said.

Both pitchers will be competing for bullpen jobs.


Thanks Todd. I love getting these updates in my inbox. You always do a great job. Enjoy spring training, and the weather that comes with it.

Todd, I too appreciate you updating us on specifics. God forbid the Phillies should do that. I don’t believe anything Amaro says, I think he is in over his head and their second third place finish this year will prove that.

I am less concerned about these issues as I am whether or not Howard can stop swinging at obvious balls. After giving him the big contract he has been less than stellar and we need that big bat to put fear back into opposing pitcher’s hearts!

Thanks for the up-date Todd. I think there are many more success stories involving this surgery than there are Chris-Carpenter endings of careers following these surgeries. I hope Carpenter is going to be okay.

Ruben still seems to stubbornly hold on to the hope that somehow Delmon will be ready to start game 1 of the 2013 season. The physical condition of your body affects recovery time. I don’t see this guy eating veggies and fruit and keeping his weigh down….. By the way, does anyone know when the “weight clause” in Delmon’s contract comes into play?

Hey Todd, thanks for the write-up. I’m a Doctor of Physical Therapy student and we just learned a lot about TOS. I was wondering if you had any insight into what kind of treatment Adams was going through post surgery? TOS can be common in pitchers and I do not think Carpenter’s unfortunate situation is the norm.

PTPhilliesPhan, how common is TOS in pitchers and how often is it resolved through surgery as radical as removing a rib? I say radical because it is my understanding that the surgery is a treatment of last resort in TOS.

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