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Mark Rogers Update; Estrada Signs

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A little behind the ball here, but since we last reported about Mark Rogers' shoulder, a lot has happened.

Midway through January, his mother claimed that his surgery was arthroscopic (i.e. relatively minor) and:

"It was exactly as the doctor thought," said Stephanie Rogers, who joined her son in Texas Thursday. "There was some bursitis that he cleaned up, and (the doctor) tightened up his shoulder."

"The shoulder dislocated every time he threw," Stephanie Rogers said.

According to this article, Rogers had expected prior to the surgery to be sidelined for about four months, and the surgery had gone as planned.

Then, a couple weeks later, Tom Haudricourt burst onto the scene with reports in the Journal Sentinel and Baseball America that Rogers had a SLAP lesion (the same thing that derailed Mike Jones) and would be out for the whole season:

"My last trainer's note indicated he would miss all of 2007 and we would hope he'd be ready for instructional league," said Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash, who oversees the organization's medical program.

In an interview with the Kennebec (Maine) Journal, Rogers' mother, Stephanie, offered a more optimistic outlook for his return to action.

Haudricourt is politely refuting the earlier article there. It's frustrating that the first article was so wrong about the nature of his injury and recovery time and that it took several weeks after its appearance for the correct information to come out.

A couple days later, MiLB.com's Jonathan Mayo clarified the situation even further:

The tear, termed a flap tear, wasn't as bad as it could have been. It was a Type II tear (Type IV is the worst; Type I, the smallest) and it needed just two stitches in the front of his labrum to fix. Meanwhile, the back of Rogers' shoulder was lifted up because the ligaments had been worn away and caused the shoulder to become unstable.

The pain, it was decided, came from bursitis on the top of his shoulder. That was shaved down and cut out, giving his shoulder room to move.

For a depiction of how Rogers' surgery presumably went, check this out.

Depending on your perspective, Mayo's article is either welcomely optimistic or complete propaganda:

For a guy who just had shoulder surgery that will force him to miss the 2007 season, Brewers pitching prospect Mark Rogers is remarkably upbeat...because for the first time in months, his arm actually feels good and he sees a light at the end of the tunnel -- even if it won't be until the 2008 season.

...

The results have been almost immediate. Just a couple of weeks after surgery, Rogers already has good range of motion...He is, by all measures, ahead of schedule.

Well, okay. But we're still talking about an injury that Will Carroll described as "baseball's most fearsome." I guess now we wait and see.

In other Brewers news, the team avoided arbitration with Johnny Estrada, signing him for $3.4M; originally, he asked for $3.9M and the Brewers offered $3M. Bill Hall is the only remaining unsigned player.

...Except, perhaps, for David Bell? Oh no:

Ash received an update on Koskie's health Friday, and the news was not great.

It is increasingly possible that Koskie will not be ready for Opening Day, leaving the Brewers with a number of options. Top offensive prospect Ryan Braun is a third baseman, and Melvin said earlier this winter that Braun would get a chance to win the job. Backup infielders Craig Counsell and Tony Graffanino both have experience at third. Of the remaining free agents, David Bell, who played the second half of 2006 with the Brewers and is a solid defender, is perhaps the best option.

The chances of Bell rejoining the team are probably quite slim, or so I'd like to believe, but I'd feel better if his name stopped getting brought up.

The Brewers also signed a independent league pitcher, erstwhile San Diego Surf Dawg (seriously) E.J. Shanks. He's apparently a submariner, and this is probably the last time you'll ever hear his name. The Brewers are also trying out another indy leaguer, Saul Sovelson.