A tale of two Shoulders, how Carlos Martinez and Luis Severino differ for 2019.
Let’s begin with Carlos Martinez. In ’18 he missed time in June due to an oblique injury. After returning, he left a game vs. Colorado on July 30th with a shoulder strain. Martinez returned just three weeks later in a relief role. He excelled as a closer the rest of the season. This season took a negative turn in February when the shoulder started acting up again. Instead of a traditional cortisone shot Martinez received A PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection a few weeks ago.
The use of a PRP injection tells us a bit more about the injury than one might suppose. Doctors turn to PRP injections when something injured is not healing well on its own. A cortisone shot is used to calm down inflamed tissues. Conversely, a PRP injection is used to create inflammation or in other words, ’jump start’ the healing process.
PRP injections are used in Shoulders to encourage healing a chronically inflamed tendon or a small muscle tear.
So, here’s a quick recap. Carlos Martinez has an injured shoulder. The injury is now over six months old. It’s not healing well on its own. So a PRP injection was used to ‘jump start’ the healing process. If it works, he should return to the mound this season. But, he is now a full two months behind. If it doesn’t’ work, he may require surgery to address to issue.
News recently surfaced that the PRP injection was “successful.” I’ll believe that more fully in a few months. He still has to progress through a throwing program without setbacks with a shoulder that hasn’t allowed him back as a starter.
If he returns as a reliever, it could be as soon as mid-April, while a return as a starter would take until late May. His ADP has plummeted to the low 200s, so evaluate your risk tolerance and dive in accordingly. I was entirely out when his ADP was in the 100s, but after pick 250 I’d be tempted.
Now onto to Luis Severino, who left a spring start with a mild shoulder sprain. The most significant difference between the two is that this is a new injury. Carlos Martinez has been fighting this for months and isn’t far from surgery if he fails again.
Severino, on the other hand, appears to have a mild sprain and the New York Yankees are taking a very cautious approach. I’d still be comfortable with Severino as my SP2 in a standard 5 x 5.
Don’t let the recent news that Severino won’t pitch in early May bother you. This timeline isn’t a surprise. Downtime is the norm for Athletes after a cortisone shot. He is not throwing yet, so he’ll need all of April to ramp up his activity and have a few minor league starts to get a feel for his pitches as well.
Now that he’ll max out at making 26-27 starts his draft price should be adjusted as well. He is no longer a round 3 target in drafts. I expect Severino to be productive after returning, but he will always be an injury risk due to his premium velocity while the most significant predictor of injury is a previous injury. In pitchers, the second biggest predictor of injury is velocity.
Both pitchers carry risk, but I like Severino much more than Martinez for 2019.