Mariners closer David Aardsma will have hip surgery on Monday, the Mariners announced today.
Aardsma will travel Vail, Colo., where Dr. Marc Phillipon will repair a tear in the labrum of his left hip.
The hip has apparently bothered Aardsma since the end of last season.
"We thought it was an oblique strain and it just wasn't getting better," Aardsma said. "When I started my throwing program it was still bothering me. "
Aardsma went and saw Phillipon - a "real specialist" on Tuesday.
The Mariners decided that surgery was the best remedy after consulting with Mariners medical director Dr. Edward Khalfayan and head trainer Rick Griffin along with Phillipon.
According to the press release, the Mariners expect Aardsma to be ready to begin throwing in four weeks, and he should be ready for opening day. He is expected to be ready for Opening Day.
"From what I've been told, I should be ready to go," he said. "I can throw in four weeks and this isn't a major rehabilitation process."
Being a closer, Aardsma's process for being ready to throw in spring training isn't quite as extensive.
"I just need to be able to throw back-to-back days," he said. "If I can do that, I should be ready to go."
Aardsma recorded 31 saves during the 2010 season, leading the Mariners and ranking seventh in the American League. He was 31-for-36 in save opportunities overall, but closed 15-of-16 opportunities from July 11 to the end of the season with an 0.81 ERA. His 69 career saves ranks fourth all-time in club history.
Obviously, Aardsma has been the subject of many trade rumors. But the Mariners had yet to move him. Now we know there may have been a reason why. His trade value is non-existent now. The Mariners will have to start the season with him as closer. Any chance of moving him would require him to have some success early.
As for the surgery, the procedure has become very common over the last few years. Rob Johnson had surgery to repair tears in the labrums in both hips last offseason. His overall progress was delayed somewhat in spring training but he was ready to go on opening day last season. However, Johnson has since admitted that he didn't quite feel 100 percent.
Phillipon performed Johnson's surgeries as well as similar surgeries to Alex Rodriguez and Mario Lemeiuex.
The question with Aardsma is the effect on his mechanics. He's never had a high leg kick so that range of motion shouldn't be an issue. But the leg/hip is the plant leg and absorbs the pressure as he delivers the pitch.
"I could really feel when I would fully extend as I finished my delivery," he said.