Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dr. James Andrews: CC Sabathia has degenerative changes in his knee

CC Sabathia’s visit to Dr. James Andrews produced a bit of news after all.

In reviewing the MRI that showed fluid on the 33-year-old’s right knee, Andrews also diagnosed “degenerative changes” in the knee, according to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

“Andrews confirmed no meniscus tear,” Cashman said before Wednesday night’s game at Citi Field. “There are degenerative changes in his knee. He will receive an injection of cortisone with some stem cell to try and deal with those degenerations.”

Cashman said the procedure will be done Thursday in Birmingham, Ala., where Sabathia saw Andrews Tuesday for a second opinion.

“That’s the typical protocol when you see some of those degenerative changes in the knee,” Cashman said. “His knee stability is fine, there’s no ligament damages and stuff like that, so the knee is stable. But he does have some degenerative changes. You say, what does that mean? He’s got some cartilage breakdown that is occurring.”

Cashman said he did not want to give a prognosis until speaking with Andrews after he completes the procedure. But he did say “we have had current and past players,” who have dealt with a similar condition, including Hideki Matsui, Randy Johnson and, currently, Carlos Beltran.

Thanks to Los.

Repoz Posted: May 15, 2014 at 07:02 AM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Publius Publicola Posted: May 15, 2014 at 07:44 AM (#4707167)
In reviewing the MRI that showed fluid on the 33-year-old’s right knee, Andrews also diagnosed “degenerative changes” in the knee, according to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.


Cashman's professional statement: "Since 1986, when I invested my modest strength in the pennant race, which was forced upon the New York Yankees, over 28 years have passed. In those 3 decades, all my thoughts, actions and my life were dictated by my love for and loyalty to the Steinbrenner people. Centuries will pass, but from the ruins of our stadium and ex-player monuments our hatred will be renewed for those who are responsible, the people to whom we owe all this: The Boston Red Sox and their supporters."

   2. TRBMB Posted: May 15, 2014 at 07:52 AM (#4707171)
Brian Cashman has degenerative changes in his continuing incapability in developing major league players internally. His time is up.
   3. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: May 15, 2014 at 08:12 AM (#4707177)
But he did say “we have had current and past players,” who have dealt with a similar condition, including Hideki Matsui, Randy Johnson and, currently, Carlos Beltran.

Degenerative knee cartilage is the new market ineffiency?
   4. Publius Publicola Posted: May 15, 2014 at 08:53 AM (#4707200)
Stem cell injections sound like quackery to me but I found this:

In the first-of-its-kind study, "Adult Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) Delivered via Intra-Articular Injection to the Knee, Following Partial Medial Meniscectomy," most patients who received a single injection of adult stem cells following the surgical removal of all or part of a torn meniscus, reported a significant reduction in pain. Some patients?24 percent of one MSC group and 6 percent of another?experienced at least a 15 percent increase in meniscal volume at one year. There was no additional increase in meniscal volume at year two.

"The results demonstrated that high doses of mesenchymal stem cells can be safely delivered in a concentrated manner to a knee joint without abnormal tissue formation," said lead study author C. Thomas Vangsness, Jr., MD. "No one has ever done that before." In addition, "the patients with arthritis got strong improvement in pain" and some experienced meniscal regrowth.

C. Thomas Vangsness, Jr., MD. et al. Adult Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) Delivered via Intra-Articular Injection to the Knee, Following Partial Medial Meniscectomy. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, January 2014


   5. Wet Willie Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:19 AM (#4707215)
I've got chronic pain in one knee and the other appears to want to follow along. But I don't plan on any injections of any kind in the near future.
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4707220)
Remember when that one guy used to come on Primer and argue that there was no medical reason to prefer a long-term commitment to thin players over fat ones?

Yeah.
   7. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:31 AM (#4707228)
Sabathia is the guy who makes me wary of paying big money to Jon Lester. Lester is the same age CC was when he signed his extension with the Yankees. Like CC he has all sorts of performance and durability reasons to believe he's worth the money but the Yankees got one good post-extension year out of CC (2012) and now that deal is looking like it is going to hurt.

I'd hate to lose Lester but man pitchers are so freakin' unstable.
   8. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4707285)
Didn't Bartolo Colon have a stem cell treatment that revitalized his career?
   9. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4707286)
Remember when that one guy used to come on Primer and argue that there was no medical reason to prefer a long-term commitment to thin players over fat ones?
Yeah.


The Yankees have been burned once too often by obese pitchers with knee damage like C.C. Sabathia and Randy Johnson.
   10. Wet Willie Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4707295)
Remember when that one guy used to come on Primer and argue that there was no medical reason to prefer a long-term commitment to thin players over fat ones?


In 13 years, the guy has never pitched less than 180 innings. Unlike all the skinny kids ripping their elbows.

IOW, I like big butts.

   11. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4707311)
The Yankees have been burned once too often by obese pitchers with knee damage like C.C. Sabathia and Randy Johnson.


There's extensive medical research indicating that overweight/obese athletes are more likely to develop joint damage in the legs and hips than non-overweight/obese athletes. It's just pure physics.

Johnson first started having knee problems in 2003, when he was 39. Sabathia is only 33.
   12. Wet Willie Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4707330)
Even if Sabathia is coming to the end of the line, he was remarkably durable and good for a dozen years. Not many pitchers in baseball history can say that, not even a handful of pitchers still active.

And he's got a better chance of being useful again than Dan Uggla.
   13. bookbook Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4707332)
So, 6'11" athletes are lesser injury risk than normal sized humans?

Maybe
   14. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4707341)
I always get ridiculed for arguing that opt-out clauses can be a benefit to the team as well as for the player. But boy, I bet the Yankees wish they had let Sabathia walk and become some other team's problem.
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4707355)
I always get ridiculed for arguing that opt-out clauses can be a benefit to the team as well as for the player. But boy, I bet the Yankees wish they had let Sabathia walk and become some other team's problem.


Um, Sabathia is another example of things becoming worse for the signing team because of the opt-out, not better as you seem to conclude.

The contract he opted out of was a positive asset for the Yankees at the time, not a negative one.

Maybe what you are really pointing out is that teams should trade players (who don't have opt-outs, but have positive trade values) before the last few years of long contracts. This offseason, were you suggesting that Holliday, Beltre or others should be traded? The teams would have reaped the oft-quoted benefits of avoiding their decline phase AND they also would have gotten something back in trade potentially.
   16. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4707361)
So, 6'11" athletes are lesser injury risk than normal sized humans?

Maybe


I'm not aware of any research one way or the other on that one. Tracking down a suitable population sample could be a challenge, though I guess basketball players might work.
   17. jmurph Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4707375)
While I don't agree with Tom on this point, his argument is not at all complicated: opt-outs can be a benefit if the team is willing to let the player walk when he opts out.
   18. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4707381)
I'm with Tom. The Yanks got three great years from Sabathia and had they let him walk at the opt out the three years they lost would have been good, bad and bad so far. The opt out was great for the Yankees but they didn't let it work for them.
   19. Nasty Nate Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4707393)
Non-tendering a star player before the last season can be good for a team if the player ends up being worth less than his arb salary, but that doesn't mean non-tendering star players is good for teams.

What current long-term contracts would have been better for the team if they had an opt-out this offseason?

I'm with Tom. The Yanks got three great years from Sabathia and had they let him walk at the opt out the three years they lost would have been good, bad and bad so far. The opt out was great for the Yankees but they didn't let it work for them.


As long as we are introducing hypotheticals, if the Yankees had let him go after the opt-out, they may have spent the money even worse than what they currently have.

But we don't need to use what-if scenarios. The Yankees are in a worse situation than they were with the original contract, likewise with A-Rod.
   20. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4707412)
Um, Sabathia is another example of things becoming worse for the signing team because of the opt-out, not better as you seem to conclude.


Things got worse for the signing team because they didn't have the stones to let Sabathia walk. There can be no doubt at this point that the contract would have been hugely beneficial for the Yankees if they had allowed Sabathia to leave.
   21. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4707428)
Johnson first started having knee problems in 2003, when he was 39.

So his knee wasn't nearly as durable as the fitness guru David Wells' (knee surgery at 43).

And it's okay to draw these one-on-one comparisons, because Wells is not a small sample size.
   22. Vailsoxfan Posted: May 15, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4707435)
The stem cell idea has some promise, but it is way to early to know how much...The problem with that study is they did it in conjunction with menisectomy, which is fine, but almost everyone who has a menisectomy will feel better initially. The issue is long term degeneration as a menisectomy doesn't fix anything, but cleans out the knee and reduces pain until more wear happens. The growth of meniscal volume is promising, although they don't know if the volume is new meniscus or less sturdy scar tissue. Probably no harm to put stem cells in, but not some miracle at this point.
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: May 15, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4707450)
Things got worse for the signing team because they didn't have the stones to let Sabathia walk. There can be no doubt at this point that the contract would have been hugely beneficial for the Yankees if they had allowed Sabathia to leave.


Either we use hindsight or we don't.

If we use hindsight, he hasn't been worth the remainder of his original contract, but the remainder of his original contract would have been preferable to what the Yankees spent that money on; thus the opt-out has resulted in a worse situation than if his contract didn't have one.

If we don't use hindsight, the Yankees at the time lost a star player on a (slightly) below market contract; thus it was bad for them at the time.

There are examples of an opt-out, in hindsight, helping the team (just like in hindsight, it would have helped the Giants to grant Tim Lincecum free agency after 2011), but Sabathia isn't one of them.
   24. Nasty Nate Posted: May 15, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4707466)
To put in another way, teams almost always already have the upside of an opt-out at their disposal, adding the actual opt-out only gives them the downside. If they have a player whose remaining contract is below market value, they can give him premature free agency or trade him. I.E., if they have a contract from which a player would opt-out, they can generally get rid of that contract at no cost to themselves without having the opt-out clause in the contract.
   25. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 01:02 PM (#4707490)
So his knee wasn't nearly as durable as the fitness guru David Wells' (knee surgery at 43).

And it's okay to draw these one-on-one comparisons, because Wells is not a small sample size.


Wells started missing time with gout as early as 1996, when he was 33 and still pitching for the Orioles, and he continued to have problems with it for the rest of his career. Obesity is a substantial risk factor in the development of gout.
   26. Wet Willie Posted: May 15, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4707518)
Wells started missing time with gout as early as 1996, when he was 33 and still pitching for the Orioles....


At which point he finally became a successful starting pitcher, racking up 137 wins in the following decade.
   27. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 01:46 PM (#4707536)
At which point he finally became a successful starting pitcher, racking up 137 wins in the following decade.


Well, sure, but his body started going bad on him. Randy Johnson was a pretty good pitcher after his knee problems, too, but that didn't mean that his knee wasn't bad.
   28. Wet Willie Posted: May 15, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4707546)
Athletes bodies all go bad on them over time, and a lot of buff ballplayers never make it to age thirty. Wells and Sabathia are two of the top 100 pitchers of all time by wins. Weight is largely irrelevant. I'd wager lack of heft below the hips is a factor in the arm injuries of guys half their size.
   29. ??'s Biggest Fan! Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4707627)
Brian Cashman has degenerative changes in his continuing incapability in developing major league players internally.

Hmmm, they got a couple of interesting hitters in AA and high A...
   30. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4707707)
Heyman is reporting Jose Fernandez will have Tommy John surgery Friday.
   31. madvillain Posted: May 15, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4707731)
Heyman is reporting Jose Fernandez will have Tommy John surgery Friday.


That really sucks, but on a positive note another young fireballing stud Chris Sale is making his first rehab start in AAA tonight for Charlotte and hopes to be back next weekend for the Yankees series. Oh, how ironic it would be if the "tommy john surgery waiting to happen" Sale somehow manages to avoid the knife while all the other "safer" bets flame out.
   32. Rough Carrigan Posted: May 15, 2014 at 05:50 PM (#4707778)
Athletes bodies all go bad on them over time, and a lot of buff ballplayers never make it to age thirty. Wells and Sabathia are two of the top 100 pitchers of all time by wins. Weight is largely irrelevant. I'd wager lack of heft below the hips is a factor in the arm injuries of guys half their size.


Like that pear shaped Bronson Arroyo?
   33. Walt Davis Posted: May 15, 2014 at 06:49 PM (#4707804)
While perhaps the Yanks should have let CC walk in the opt-out, he went from a contract that takes him through 2015 at $23 M a year to a contract that takes him through 2015 at $23 M a year plus 2016 at $25 M. It's not like ARod where they saddled themselves with a guy for an extra 5 years than what they had committed to.

I see CC's vesting 2017 option is worse than I expected though -- basically, if he doesn't injure his shoulder by the end of 2016, it vests. According to Cots, nothing about IP, it's strictly about losing time to a shoulder injury in 2016. So there's a real good chance that vests so it's 2 extra years at $50 M which is not good but still better than ARod.

Anyway, the difference between the contract they've ended up with and the contract they'd have had to sign him to if not giving him an opt-out is trivial. But, yes, this was a time when the opt-out could have worked to the team's advantage.
   34. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: May 15, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4707829)
Anyway, the difference between the contract they've ended up with and the contract they'd have had to sign him to if not giving him an opt-out is trivial. But, yes, this was a time when the opt-out could have worked to the team's advantage.

Yes, the Yankees would have been better off letting him walk after the opt-out, than not having an opt-out, and letting the clock on his deal run out. But if we are arguing that in perfect 100% hindsight, the Yankees would have been even better off, if they had not included the opt-out, and simply traded him that offseason.

How much would they have gotten for 4 years of a 30 year old certified ace and innings eater, coming off something like 18 WAR in the past 3 seasons? Clearly the Yankees cost themselves an A prospect, and two B+ prospects by including the opt-out!

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Politics - December 2014: Baseball & Politics Collide in New Thriller
(5055 - 8:35pm, Dec 19)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogTrading Justin Upton means the Braves are in full rebuilding mode | Mark Bradley blog
(76 - 8:30pm, Dec 19)
Last: Rickey! trades in sheep and threats

NewsblogThe 2015 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!
(112 - 8:20pm, Dec 19)
Last: Booey

NewsblogRoyals sign Kris Medlen to two-year deal - MLB Daily Dish
(32 - 8:20pm, Dec 19)
Last: WSPanic

NewsblogJerry Crasnick on Twitter: "Jake Peavy has agreed on 2 yr deal with
(11 - 8:16pm, Dec 19)
Last: Chipper Jonestown Massacre

NewsblogAmazin' Avenue - Cohen: Mets and Rockies discussing Troy Tulowitzki deal with Noah Syndergaard as the centerpiece
(31 - 7:56pm, Dec 19)
Last: Cargo Cultist

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-19-2014
(10 - 7:47pm, Dec 19)
Last: bobm

NewsblogFull Count » Source: Red Sox close to deal sending Will Middlebrooks to Padres for Ryan Hanigan
(9 - 7:40pm, Dec 19)
Last: Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - December 2014
(739 - 7:02pm, Dec 19)
Last: Booey

NewsblogHow the Rays lost the City Council vote - DRaysBay
(4 - 6:55pm, Dec 19)
Last: RMc is a fine piece of cheese

NewsblogMax Scherzer not a realistic option, New York Yankees' Randy Levine says - ESPN New York
(66 - 6:47pm, Dec 19)
Last: bobm

NewsblogThe 4 surprisingly quiet teams of the MLB offseason
(26 - 6:43pm, Dec 19)
Last: bobm

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(9173 - 5:25pm, Dec 19)
Last: Moses Taylor, Moses Taylor

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(159 - 5:04pm, Dec 19)
Last: NJ in DC (Now with Wife!)

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1960 Ballot
(10 - 4:34pm, Dec 19)
Last: DL from MN

Page rendered in 0.3417 seconds
48 querie(s) executed