Updated: 10:01 p.m.
SAN DIEGO -- Phillies reliever Mike Adams has most likely thrown his last pitch of the 2013 season.
“Not good,” he said after having his right shoulder examined in Los Angeles on Tuesday. “I’ve got some tears in there -- rotator cuff and labrum.”
Adams said a course of remedy had not yet been established. He could have surgery or opt for a strength and rehab program that would require up to 12 weeks. Either way, he figures his season is over.
“This season doesn't look good — highly unlikely,” he said. “This year is almost probably a no.”
Adams, 34, signed a two-year, $12 million contract in the offseason. He had an MRI before the signing and that showed no surprises, according to Adams and the Phillies.
"They had to have happened not too long ago," Adams said of the tears.
Adams was supposed to be the guy that fixed the leaky eighth inning that plagued the Phillies last year. Even though he’s been inconsistent this season, his loss is a punch in the gut to a club that has the worst bullpen ERA in the majors at 4.68.
“It hurts,” GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “It’s a big blow to us.”
Adams experienced shoulder problems several weeks ago and had another MRI this past weekend. According to Adams, the MRI showed three tears -- two in the labrum and one on the rotator cuff. The tears were confirmed by surgeon Neal ElAttrache during an exam in Los Angeles on Tuesday. ElAttrache operated on Roy Halladay's shoulder last month.
If Adams opts for surgery, his recovery time won’t be known until doctors get a look at the damage inside his shoulder. His best chance of being ready for the start of next season might be the more conservative rehab route. That is what Phillies team doctors have recommended.
“We’re going to try to figure out what’s best over the next couple of days,” Adams said. “It’s not going to heal. Maybe I can do some stuff to get the other muscles to take over and strengthen and hold everything else intact.”
Adams had a previous tear in his labrum. It was repaired surgically in 2008. He also had surgery last fall to correct thoracic outlet syndrome. Doctors removed the rib under his collarbone to alleviate pressure in his shoulder and improve circulation and feeling in his fingers.
The Phillies say they did their due diligence on Adams’ health history and believed he was worth signing.
“The feeling for us was that, yeah, he’s a risk just like any other veteran guy who’s been around the block a lot,” Amaro said. “There was some added risk because he was coming off a surgery, but his rehab went very well and he didn’t have any complaints or his issues with the thoracic outlet syndrome. This is the stuff that happens. You can’t do anything about it.”
Amaro said he had feelers out with other clubs, but the price for relievers was so high he expected to fill the hole in the bullpen in-house (see story).