It appears to have been of the minor variety– if there even is such a thing when it comes to surgery on a pitcher’s shoulder– but according to a team release, the Jays’ closer “underwent successful right shoulder surgery to repair lingering AC joint soreness on Friday, November 16.”

What month is this, June? I thought we were done with this shit!

“Janssen, 31,” the release continues, “had the small portion of the end of his clavicle shaved down to relieve the discomfort. The surgery was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles and the 6-3, 204 lb. right-hander is expected to be ready for spring training.”

Janssen lost his 2008 season to major shoulder surgery, and according to the injury database at Baseball Prospectus, spent much of the next season dealing with shoulder issues as well. But he’s been fine since, and certainly didn’t appear to be hampered by any issues with the shoulder this season, repeating his breakout success of 2011 and winning the club’s closer role in the process.

Forgive me for not being alarmist, but frankly, the blanket term “shoulder surgery” sounds a lot more ominous here than need be. Some quick research shows that Mariano Rivera had an AC joint procedure between the 2008 and 2009 seasons, and I’m pretty sure he turned out OK afterward. Sure, that’s just one example involving a ridiculous freak of nature, but there’s still reason to feel OK about this. For example, as a New York Daily News piece on Rivera’s surgery explains, “the AC joint does not play as critical a role during the throwing motion” [as the labrum or rotator cuff].

The joint is at the top of the shoulder, linking the collarbone to the shoulder blade, not “inside,” and the procedure appears– exactly as the release says– to be more about clearing cartilage for the purpose of pain relief than actual shoulder function. It is done arthroscopically, not by opening the shoulder up, which means that the recovery time is far shorter than if there were a problem with the labrum or the rotator cuff, and the release is indeed likely correct that Janssen should be ready for the spring.

No, it’s not exactly the kind of news you want to hear about one of your club’s most dependable relievers, but definitely not anywhere close to the same level of concern is warranted for this as it was over Janssen’s 2008 labrum tear. So… y’know… relax.

Comments (102)

  1. Ya ok.. but can someone tell me where this ‘Oliver will only play if back in Texas’ thing is coming from?

  2. Let us hope this is nothing more than laser tattoo removal surgery

    • Definitely regretting the butterfly tramp-stamp. It probably seemed so right at the time..

  3. sounds minor enough, but anytime its to do with a shoulder you worry.

  4. Probably this is regarded as routine pitcher maintenance these days.
    Just wondering why they don’t get this stuff done earlier in the summer so there are fewer issues in spring training. Hell, they can hoist a beer with the other arm, can’t they?

    • november 16th, its pretty early in the offseason.

      • I guess…it seems so long since season’s end.
        I’m just eyeing the calendar and seeing the third week of February as pitchers-and-catchers reporting to Dunedin.

        • Actually, pitchers and catchers may report by late January this year, as the first ST game is on 25 February, due to the WBC.

          Did I mention I’m from Buffalo?

  5. Shaving one’s clavicule to relieve discomfort? Sounds like fun.

  6. Don’t like the sound of that. By the way, how’s Sergio Santos coming along?

    • I heard he is going to be 100% ready to go for ST. Drew is talking about trading the possibility of Janssen being traded while his value is high….

      Any word on Drabek or McGowan?

  7. is casey actually 6’3?

  8. The list of Jays pitchers that required surgery this year continues to rack up … What’s it up to now?

    McGowan, Santos, Litsch, Hutchison, Drabek, Romero, Janssen, Perez (did he have surgery after the ligament tear?),

  9. no wonder Walton got shit-canned. fuck that guy. broke all our pitchers.

    • yeah, fuck em. better to go with no pitching coach than carry that dud

    • this has to be a joke right?

      • you’re standing up for Walton because………he is such a great pitching coach?????

        • No, because anyone shitting on him does so with no actual knowledge of what he did.

          • so you think AA fucked up and we should have stuck with Walton again? I doubt you can lay the blame solely at his feet for all of the injuries, but this is what happens to coaches when bad things happen under their watch. I surely won’t miss him.,

          • Pretty sure Stoeten said you can’t have any knowledge of what he did. Logic would then dictate you can’t say with any confidence whether getting rid of him was good or bad.

          • @ Andrew
            + Billions and Billions

        • No.. he’s saying that we don’t know shit about what Walton did or his affect on the pitchers and that fans scapegoating pitching coaches because of injuries over 1 season is crazy.

          • Bingo SW.

          • most of the pitchers either sucked shit or got injured. the guy responsible for the pitchers should get fired. it’s the same in any profession. the workers suck, the manager gets fired.
            it’s a little thing I like to call Life.
            but people who sit in front of their computer all day, eating nachos, reading baseball news, and then linking to said baseball news, dont really understand Life, because well.. you can fill in the rest.

          • I don’t understand Sam.
            Could you please elaborate?

            ( This is gonna be good)

          • I would but I’m blocked.

  10. I’d rather read that someone’s pain is treatable than not.

  11. Interesting that this procedure – shaving the clavicle – has been performed on other pitchers who feature nasty cutters. Correlation? Causation? You be the judge!

  12. Is Lyon brought back due to rhis

    • odds went up to 50-50 from.05-.95 I would say. Looks for certain we need another reliever because it lloks like Oliver will not be a BJ next year. Either retired or moved to texas seems most likely. Still, Lyon made 5.5 last year and I cannot see AA agreeing to anything close to that, so I can’t give it better than 50-50

  13. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water……..

  14. Feldman signs with the Cubs on a 1 yr deal. It seems like Hoyer is hoarding all the cheap, high upside value buys this year, first Baker, now Feldman. Maybe hoping he can churn out some 1 yr pitching gems and flip them at the deadline for better pieces?

    • Worked with Maholm.

      • Indeed – although I personally like Baker as a long term depth option, so maybe Cubs extend him at some point. Feldman I’m not as high on but like a Maholm some team out there will want pitching depth at the deadline. Cubs have Garza and Samardjzia already, they just need to shed that albatross Soriano contract and could be a couple decent signings away from being a pretty talented team down the road.

        • …waaaay down the road, they are basically where the Jays are when AA took over, but with less MLB talent that can be used to generate prospect porn…which they desperately also need because their farm sucks worse than the Jays did when AA came in. Let’s see where they are in five years…

  15. Wild stuff. I like to see a state on our pitchers who HAVE NOT been opened up by a knife.

  16. It is somewhat strange that AA did not mention this at all during the big press conference they held on November 20th or in any of the numerous media appearances he made in the days afterwards.

  17. Jays to sign TIM LINCECUM…. One can dream.

  18. I hope frasor isn’t back now

  19. Wade‏@NS_Export
    More talking down to the #BlueJays fanbase, get over yourselves >>So… Casey Janssen Had Shoulder Surgery? via @theScore

    29mGarrett Desjarlais‏@NeonTheon
    @NS_Export I ditched the djf guys for good, when on a podcast they implied they were “different kinds of fans” for wanting to watch B Harper

    @NeonTheon I don’t blame you. Their attitude towards fans is ridiculous. The snark and sarcasm is old and played out.

    23mGarrett Desjarlais‏@NeonTheon
    @NS_Export if I want hipsters to condescend to me ill go to queen west and show people what’s on my iPod

    • Hahahahaha.

      • I agree with the snark getting played out too much.

        Friendliness goes a long way too.

        I’m on this site more for the relationships I’ve made with people who love the game too.

      • as much as I love this site, the last comment about the ipod is pretty fucking funny

    • Not everyone agrees with Stoeten?
      That’s why there’s a comment section.

      Who wants vanilla baseball talk?
      DJF- baseball blog with passion and attitude.
      ( although even Griff got in a shot at Stoeten on twitter)

  20. I bet there will be a lot of guys comparing scars during spring training.

  21. So pitchers are pitching less these days than they did in say the 1980s and 90s.

    In 1990 Bob Welch went 27-6 for the A’s. Sure there were surgeries, but now Tommy John is as common as botox in Beverly Hills. Guys are throwing as about as hard now, maybe a little harder on average, but what is going on with destroyed arms and constant surgery?

    Perhaps players rely on heat too much early in their life such as high school, college, and the minors before they learn to change speeds and finesse more with counts. Thus the damage. I know that most guys won’t get drafted unless they can throw 90, so does this create pressure to overthrow in hope to make it to the show? Or maybe the arms just can’t keep up regardless and we just didn’t notice or hear about the surgeries as much decades ago without media as it is today?

    Maybe the future holds rules to throw a 6 man rotation to protect players. We are already seeing protection schemes like Morrow and Strasburgs.

    Some say the fork ball has become a lost art which helped get outs and reduced wear and tear. I don’t know, it’s just really fuckin strange at how the pitching game has changed.

    • The forkball produced MORE wear and tear,that’s why it isn’t used much anymore.

      The big debate about pitchers is exactly what you’re talkin about.
      Are the pitcher’s today more babied and don’t build up their arms properly.
      Nolan Ryan and a few others think so.
      Interesting theroy about how Tampa deals with the problem in minors. All pitchers are brought along at each level taught new pitches and build up their arms for endurance.

  22. I’ve actually had the same surgery…I was back in the gym doing light weight in 3 weeks and was lifting heavier weights than ever in 6 weeks. I’m hoping this is not too much to worry about for the Jays.

  23. I wonder if Janssen’s Dr. shaved a landing strip or a heart on his clavicle?? And, don’t forget the coconut oil.

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