Reynolds Undergoes Surgery – Update

October 29, 2009 | 7:49 pm | 5  

Greg Reynolds, who didn’t pitch in 2009 following one April appearance for Triple-A Colorado Springs, underwent exploratory arthroscopic surgery Wednesday Oct. 28 on his ailing right scapula.

The operation was performed in Lexington, Ky., by Dr. W. Ben Kibler, a shoulder and scapula specialist at a clinic there. Marc Gustafson, the Rockies player development director, said Kibler removed some scar tissue in the area of the muscle surrounding the scapula or shoulder blade and removed an inflammed bursa as well. A bursa is a sac of fluid around tendons that is designed to reduce friction from movement.

Gustafson said Reynolds will begin throwing in about 12 weeks, doing strengthening and range-of-motion exercises in the interim. The hope is Reynolds will be close to returning for spring training, at least a portion of it. But any short-term timetable is obviously less important than Reynolds possibly having the chance after this surgery to be healthy and pitch without pain.

“There was something there that wasn’t right and hopefully this does what it needs to do,” Gustafson said.

The scar tissue in the muscle surrounding Reynolds’ scapula was causing a clicking sensation, Gustafson said, followed by pain when Reynolds tried to pitch. He was in the Rockies instructional league program and advanced through the throwing program to the point, Gustafson said, where he was able to throw a bullpen session.

Gustafson said Reynolds completed that entire session without incident, beginning with the catcher standing in front of home plate and moving to the distance of 60 feet, 6 inches as the catcher went behind the plate.

“He felt really good and next day he was sore,” Gustafson said. “He threw the ball very well. That’s the disappointing part from our perspective; he looked great.”

Prior to going to the instructional league, Reynolds, 24, had intensive discussions with the Rockies medical staff about his posture and was receptive to trying to alter the way he drew his arms back in his delivery in an attempt to put less pressure on his scapula. In addition to the medical staff, pitchers Aaron Cook and Jason Marquis sat with Reynolds at Coors Field to watch video of Reynolds throw. The two Rockies pitchers focused on Reynolds’ delivery and endorsed the suggestions designed to put less pressure on his scapula.

“He felt the clicking whenever he got into the cocking phase of the windup…,” Gustafson said. “When he goes into his motion, there’s kind of a rubbing or a clicking sensation, which ultimately flares up and causes a pain.”

Reynolds’ lone appearance in 2009 came on April 9 when he drew the Opening Day assignment for Colorado Springs and threw 97 pitches while allowing six hits, five runs and three walks in 4 1/3 innings.

The Rockies took Reynolds out of Stanford with the second overall pick in the 2006 draft. The $3.25 million signing bonus Reynolds received was a franchise record until this year when Tyler Matzek, a high school left-hander, received a $3.9 million bonus.

Reynolds’ physical problems began in 2007 at Double-A Tulsa when a shoulder injury and subsequent surgery ended his season after he went 4-1 with a 1.42 ERA in eight starts with nine walks and 35 strikeouts in 50 2/3 innings.

Gustafson recalled a Braves scout that season saying Reynolds was the best minor league pitcher he had seen all year. Former Rockies manager Clint Hurdle was fond of repeating the coaching adage that if you’ve seen it, it’s in there. And Gustafson echoed that line of thinking when after wistfully recalling Reynolds’ time in Tulsa, Gustafson said, “We’ve got something there. We can’t give up, and we certainly won’t.”

5 Comments »

  • David Martin | October 29, 2009 | 8:21 pm

    It is easy to forget how highly touted Reynolds was. All we ever hear is how the Rockies could have had Lincecum or Longoria instead…I don’t think Reynolds will ever be what the Rockies expected, but what if he once again emerged as the ’07 pitcher in Tulsa, or the one who Dan O’Dowd believed was better than Lincecum? The crazy thing is, he is still just 24 years old, hopefully everything works out for this kid.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | October 30, 2009 | 12:52 am

    It is indeed easy to second guess with hindsight about not picking Lincecum or Longoria. Many felt the Rockies should have drafted Brad Lincoln, who’s had plenty of his own injury problems.

    However, I don’t recall Reynolds being touted to the point where many thought he would be a good pick at #2. Did *anyone* think that? It doesn’t seem like he was thought of as the high-ceiling guy one usually wants with such an early pick.

  • Cesar Carvajal | October 30, 2009 | 6:54 am

    Hi guys, how are you?

    Just to mention that Jhoulys Chacin started again and you check out the recap of the game…

  • Matt | October 30, 2009 | 8:35 am

    Cesar,

    Thanks for the updates regarding Chacin, I really appreciate it!

  • Agbayani | November 1, 2009 | 1:24 am

    Reynolds has talent. No, not #2 pick in the draft overall talent (he was always a weird selection), but he would be in the big leagues now but for his shoulder trouble.