Rich Harden out for 2012 season
Free agent pitcher Rich Harden will miss the 2012 season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn right shoulder capsule, an ailment he has pitched with since 2007, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday.
Harden, 30, finally opted to have the injury repaired last week in Pensacola, Fla.
Harden, who pitched for the Oakland A's last year, is hoping the surgery will allow him to pitch at full strength in 2013.
"There's no reason, if I work hard, I can't get back to where I was before," Harden said Wednesday.
Harden, whose promising career has been plagued by injuries, believes his decision to pitch with the torn capsule led to other problems and lowered his velocity.
Harden has not pitched more than 150 innings since 2004, suffering injuries to his elbow, rotator cuff and oblique muscle in recent years. He did not pitch more than 100 innings in the past two seasons.
"If you look at those injuries, that's definitely where they came from," Harden said. "Yes, I've been injured a lot, but nobody really knew what I'd been dealing with for five years. Every day, just to play catch, I had to re-train my body to throw. I was pushing the ball. I'd start the game throwing 86-87 mph and that was max effort."
Harden said his surgeon appeared to be "pretty surprised ... about how I made it this long without surgery."
In 2011, the Canada native pitched 82.2 innings for Oakland, going 4-4 with a 5.12 ERA and 91 strikeouts. The Red Sox were set to acquire him from the A's last July, but the deal fell through after Boston looked over Harden's medical records.