Escobar is Coming Back

By: Ally White

The Boston Angels Pitcher Kelvin Escobar was scheduled to pitch on Wednesday at Arizona for the first time since his shoulder injury (a tear in his labrum) this past March 25th.

"Escobar's going to throw tomorrow, start the progression," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said on Tuesday night before the Angels faced the Red Sox in the first of three games at Fenway Park. "It's very encouraging. He's definitely more upbeat."

After knowing about his labrum tear, Escobar argued about the option of having to go through surgery especially due to the fact it could mean a career-threatening situation.

Escobar's injury is similar to Mark Gubizca, the announcer for FSN West, who currently travels with the Angels and who depleted 14 seasons as a eminence Major League pitcher. He was also part of the team in his last four seasons despite having a labrum tear in1993.

"I rehabbed the way he is rehabbing now with Dr. Lewis Yocum," Gubicza said, referring to the team orthopedist. "I strengthened the back of the shoulder and got four years out of it. Dr. Yocum said he was going to give me new exercises, and I felt brand new. It can be done. That's what I'd tell Kelvim. That was in the '90s; now it's even more advanced with techniques, machines. He has to do the program every day. Even when you start feeling you've got it back, you can't go one day not doing the exercises. I was able to build my strength back up that way, and I went back into the rotation the next year,"

In 1988 Mark Gubicza had a 20-game winner as he threw 269 2/3 innings for his team the Royals but went to the bullpen after returning from the labrum tear in 1993, getting in 43 of 49 emergences. After three years with the Royals he transferred to the Angels in 1997 where he played in two occasions but injured his arm and decided to retire.

On the other hand, Escobar who won 18 games in 2007 had been throwing soft pitch for almost a week as he felt pain in his shoulder again. He has been resting all spring after getting worst on his shoulder in workouts in December.

Escobar is young , he is 32 years old. Gubicza was 31 years old after he completed his return from the labrum tear in 1993.

"I'm still young," Escobar said. "I'll be 32 in two weeks, but retirement is getting into my head, because it's hard to rehab. I want to be out there playing, and I've done everything I can do to be healthy. He's got a shot," Gubicza said. "It definitely can be done. He has a million pitches he can throw, so it's not like he has to throw 93 or 94 mph to be effective. He's got all those other pitches he can go to in addition to the fastball."

An additional advantage for Escobar is his versatility. Escobar has pitched in every position there is, beginning as long reliever to be closer to starter, and he has perform in excelled way in each of them. Presently Escobar is in the second year of a three-year, $28.5 million contract and he has no intentions to retired yet, he expects to do the best for the team next game.

"I know you have good days and bad days when you go through this," Escobar said after aggravating his shoulder throwing on March 17. "I had some good days ... and then a bad one. I'll keep going and do what I can. I want to get back out there when I'm ready and help this team win."

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