Coming into the season, I think we all had high expectations for Mike Adams. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. signed him to become the setup man–a role that he has excelled at–for Jonathan Papelbon. On paper, it looked as though the Phillies could have one of the best 8th and 9th inning combo of pitchers in MLB.
He started off well, allowing just two earned runs in his first ten appearances. Then, he started to struggle a bit. His velocity dipped noticeably, and he came out and made some comments suggesting that he wasn’t feeling right.
In late April, pitching coach Rich Dubee told reporters that Adams was dealing with “a tender hip”. A few weeks later, he was shut down for a few days due to back spasms. They did not get any better, and eventually an MRI revealed a back strain. Finally, on May 20, he was placed on the DL retroactive to May 11. He was activated six days later.
He continued to battle various injuries (sore shoulder, sore biceps) until he was placed on the DL on June 22. He would not return to the team for the rest of the year. We learned that his shoulder was an absolute mess–possibly even worse than Roy Halladay‘s. Adams had two tears in his right labrum, and a tear in his rotator cuff. It was unclear whether–or for how long–he was pitching with these tears.
He said that the injuries would not heal themselves, but that he had not decided whether to go under the knife or not. He contemplated doing extensive rehab to strengthen the muscles around his shoulder. Initially, that’s what his plan was. But in the end, he came to his senses and elected to have the season ending (his season was over either way, though) surgery. Afterwards, he said the outcome was actually better than expected, but we won’t really know for sure until Spring Training 2014.
He plans to be ready for Spring Training, and even hopes to be effective in the regular season. If that’s the case, the Phillies will definitely need him.
Overall, Adams was a huge disappointment. His 3.96 ERA wasn’t all that bad, but the fact that the Phillies were counting on him for so much more made his season a failure. The only reason that it’s not an F is because the injuries are something that can’t be predicted. Hopefully he comes back next year and is the Mike Adams that we expected from the beginning, rather than the injury riddled, shell of his former self, that was saw in 2013.