By Mike Beradino
September 11, 2001
FORT LAUDERDALE –Amid the organizational euphoria that greeted Josh Beckett’s major league debut, the Marlins had to wonder if Wes Anderson would ever join him.
Anderson, a righthander rated behind only Beckett among Marlins prospects, had arm surgery to repair a severely torn labrum and minor fraying in his rotator cuff. Anderson, 22, won’t throw for six months and was most likely looking at a 2002 midseason return at the earliest.
“The surgery was a little more complicated than what they initially thought,” farm director Rick Williams said. “I don’t know that there should be any goals other than for us and Wes to have patience.”
Anderson went 1-6, 5.63 in 32 innings at Class A Brevard County this year. He missed all but one inning over the final three months with a combination of back spasms and shoulder pain.
Shoulder problems landed Anderson on the disabled list for a month during both of the previous two seasons, but he traced the severe pain to late last season. An MRI showed a minor labrum tear, and he was shut down after one instructional league start. Dr. James Andrews then recommended rest and strengthening exercises before giving in to surgery.
The shoulder seemed fine during most of spring training, but the pain returned just before Opening Day. When Anderson’s velocity dropped from its usual 91-94 mph range to as low as 84 mph, he knew something was wrong. He tried to pitch through it and wound up with an 85 percent tear of his labrum.
Dr. George Caldwell, who performed the surgery, said he couldn’t believe Anderson had been throwing with such an injury.
“Every now and then, I felt a sharp twinge, but I didn’t think it was serious,” Anderson said. “I’d feel it four to five times a game. Looking back, I’m sure that was a sign, but I was still trying to learn the difference between discomfort and pain. I missed the boat with that one. I thought it was discomfort.
“I don’t blame the Marlins or anyone else. The end decision was up to me. I didn’t think it was serious.”