According to Dejan Kovacevic, Kevin Hart has been diagnosed with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, with surgery being recommended. Hart will go to see Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion, although the mention of Andrews is never a good thing.
The Pirates acquired Hart in the trade that sent Tom Gorzelanny and John Grabow to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Hart, Jose Ascanio, and Josh Harrison. At the time the deal didn’t look as good as the other deals made that week (Jack Wilson/Ian Snell for Jeff Clement/Ronny Cedeno/Brett Lorin/Aaron Pribanic/Nathan Adcock, and Freddy Sanchez for Tim Alderson), but it seemed like a fair swap, with a starting pitcher and a relief pitcher who was about to be a free agent, in exchange for a starting pitcher and a relief pitcher, plus an infield prospect.
Shortly after the trade, Ascanio went down with a shoulder injury, and was diagnosed with a labrum tear of his own. Ascanio is currently on the 60-day disabled list, and could return around June or July. Now Hart is diagnosed with the same injury. The lone bright spot is that Josh Harrison is looking good in Altoona, with a .344/.420/.426 line. Harrison is 22, turning 23 this year. I’ve often made the comparison to David Eckstein, and I think worse case, Harrison is a super utility player off the bench.
However, the trade isn’t looking good right now, as Tom Gorzelanny is looking good in the Chicago Cubs’ rotation, with a 2.45 ERA in 22 innings, plus a 7.0 K/9, a 2.9 BB/9, and no homers allowed. Those numbers are an improvement on his excellent 2007 season, an improvement the Pirates didn’t see in 2008 or 2009. The Pirates wouldn’t have Grabow this season, but Gorzelanny would certainly help. Harrison could eventually revive the trade, but I’m not counting on much from Hart or Ascanio, since labrum tears are hard to predict when it comes to a pitcher making a comeback.
Hart will probably have surgery and will likely move to the 60-day disabled list, which would open up a spot on the 40-man roster.