Thursday, January 27, 2005

Van Benschoten tears a labrum, is out for the year 

Stud Pirate pitching prospect John Van Benschoten is out for the season with a torn labrum.

What makes this story particularly interesting, to me, is the fact that JVB was considered an elite hitting prospect when he came out of college -- his potential as a positional player was considered greater than his pitching potential.

Given the awful success rate for pitchers coming back from torn labrums, and the fact he's going to be on the shelf for a year, I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better for the Pirates to have him DH all season, in, say, high-A, to keep the season from being entirely wasted. If he can still hit, then it may be better for the Pirates to go ahead and switch him to first base or the outfield now, rather than waste development time trying to get him back from the labrum problem.

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