This is perhaps the least surprising thing in the history of things:
Peter Gammons says Rich Harden saw Dr. James Andrews, Andrews saw a surgical procedure, and Harden will miss 2012; wish that was a surprise
— Ray Ratto (@RattoCSN) February 8, 2012
Not surprising, but still depressing.
Harden is the guy for whom the phrase “man, if he can stay healthy …” was invented for. Even last season, which was his worst as a major leaguer, held some promise, with Harden striking out 91 guys in 82 and two-thirds innings. He has long teased us with the idea that he could put together a great full season as a starter of be converted into a shutdown reliever. But it’s never happened and, based on this news, is exceedingly unlikely to ever be.
Some folks win the talent lottery. Some win the genetic lottery. Some really lucky ones get them both. Harden, sadly, had only the former, as his body seems bound and determined to not allow him to throw baseballs the way he can without doing all kinds of damage.