I wouldn’t count on Kelvim Escobar being an integral part of the New York Mets bullpen anytime soon. Regarding Escobar, “if healthy” is just wishful thinking.
Let’s review the time line in which Kelvim came to be a Met.
July 2008: Kelvim Escobar has surgery to repair his torn labrum. The surgery was performed by Dr. David Altchek. (Yes, that one). It was believed that Escobar would not pitch for the Angels again until July of 2009.
June 2009: On June 6th he pitches five effective innings for the Angels. His right shoulder did not respond well. He would not pitch again in the 2009 season.
November 2009: Dr. Altchek gives the okay for Escobar to pitch in the Venezuelan Winter League.
December 2009: Escobar pitches one inning for Cardenales de Lara on December 20th. He faces five batters, getting a pop up, a fly out and a strikeout. He also walks a batter and lets another one on as a result of his own throwing error. He does not pitch again. On December 26th he signs a guaranteed $1.25M contract plus incentives with the Mets.
February 2009: Upon reporting to Mets camp, Escobar says about his winter league appearance. “I felt good. My velocity was good, my stuff was good. I shut it down after that because we didn’t make the playoffs. I didn’t pick up a ball for four or five weeks, and then I started playing catch and it didn’t feel quite right.” He acknowledges that he’s behind schedule and isn’t sure when he’ll be able to pitch.
I don’t think I have to spell it out in any more detail. But something smells fishy to me.