I got a bit of a scare this afternoon when I saw the words “Charlie Morton” “surgery” and “labrum” on the Pirates’ twitter account, but it turns out that the surgery he’s had is to fix a torn labrum in his hip and not his shoulder.
Michael Sanserino at the PG says that the recovery time is six months, which takes us right up to opening day. Both Alex Rodriguez and Chase Utley had hip labrums fixed after the 2008 season: A-Rod had a minor surgery done in March and was playing by May, though I think he had to have a follow-up surgery after the 2009 season (he missed no time in 2010). Utley had his done in late November and played on Opening Day 2009. Obviously since Morton’s a pitcher, it’s going to affect him a little differently.
As it stands right now, I’d guess Morton will be ready for the opener, but I don’t want to say that for sure until we know more about his surgery and recovery. I’m guessing that won’t be until February. In any case, I think this drives home one of my points about the rotation from yesterday: it’s going to be hard for the Pirates to match the pitcher health that they had in 2011 again in 2012.