Gil Meche Needs Surgery, Out For Rest of 2010

In other news, water continues to be wet, the sun will rise in the east tomorrow, and Jay Leno will continue to not be funny.

News is going around that Gil Meche will require surgery on his shoulder and miss the rest of 2010.  He was on the 60-day DL and appearing in two rehab starts in the minor leagues, including a start on Monday in Omaha where he got rocked in four innings, giving up seven runs.

Meche first went on the disabled list before the start of the season with shoulder issues, but made his season debut in the fifth game of the year.  He had back and shoulder issues last season as well, and the main culprit was repeated high pitch counts. In a complete game start against Arizona on June 16, 2009, Meche threw 132 pitches, struggled in his next two starts and complained of a dead arm. Trey Hillman sent him out and left him in to throw 121 pitches.

After a rough April, where he finished the month with a 10.12 ERA, but he brought his ERA down to a bad, but not AS bad 6.66 after his last start. Problem: you have a pitcher coming off two heavy workload seasons (Meche tied for the league lead in starts with 34 for the Royals in 2007 and 2008) who exhibits arm troubles after a 132 pitch outing, then is sent out for more abuse to the effect that he misses most of spring training and starts the season on the disabled list.

So Ned Yost let him throw a 128 pitch eight inning complete game at Texas. Two starts later, Meche threw 122 pitches over six innings.

It’s been clear to anyone who saw Meche in ’07 and ’08 that the current Gil Meche wasn’t the same. Reports from his rehab start for Omaha said that he didn’t throw his curveball once. When you start using Little League limitations on your pitchers, something isn’t right.

So Meche is hurt. Luke Hochevar is still on the disabled list himself and hasn’t started any rehab assignment yet. Anthony Lerew proved to be ineffective and Brian Bannister and Kyle Davies have alternated from average to bad all year. Plus, there’s a strong chance Meche goes the way of Brandon Webb and Erik Bedard – talented pitchers who always ran into setbacks after injuries. At this rate, a positive sign would be if Meche is throwing in spring training.

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