''His arm action's good; he's throwing free and easy...He's not close to throwing off a mound yet. There's some issues there, no question.''
No, not a reprint of a 2005 article or 2004 article or 2006 article, but rather Larry Rotschild talking about Rich Harden at the Cubs Convention on Saturday. Don't worry though, the Cubs have the spin ready.
Cubs insiders say Harden is right on schedule toward a strong, on-time and well-conditioned start to spring training and the season.
Of course they believe that...but what about this?
But sources also confirmed Saturday that Harden has a tear in the joint, just severe enough that some players might seek surgery but slight enough to be in a range often treated effectively with a strengthening program, therapy and a well- managed work schedule.
A tear you say, never had any problems with one of those.
That's more than the Cubs let on last fall, even after the revelation that Harden had a cortisone shot for ''rotator tendinitis.''
But Harden has been working six days a week this offseason on a program that might be the most rigorous of any Cub -- and the first of his career to focus this strongly on his shoulder, team officials say. In fact, the team estimates his shoulder is stronger now than it was when he joined the team in July and started piling up 97 mph scoreless innings.
Other things the Cubs have estimated over the years: Sosa would never become a problem with the team and will be beloved by all fans, Kerry Wood and Mark Prior would pitch full seasons in 2006 and 2005, and that they'd win a World Series sometime within the last 100 years.
''I'm on a set program, and I'm not behind at all,'' Harden said. ''I'm right on schedule and feeling great. I'll be ready for the start of the season for sure. There's no doubt in my mind. Nobody has any doubts whether I'll be ready or not. I will.''
If anything, that might have been the confusion with Rothschild's comments -- that Harden isn't ready to throw from a mound by design. He's on a deliberate throwing program to ease him up to pitching condition by the end of an extra-long 2009 spring training.
They tried that shit with Mark Prior.
it didn't work.
Anyone have Kevin Towers phone number?
Dr. Hecht's medical take is below.