When we last checked in on Alan Horne (Eastern League pitcher of the year for the Yankee affiliate in Trenton in 2007), he had just been diagnosed with rotator cuff damage in his pitching shoulder. This damage required some fairly extensive surgery with Dr. James Andrews that sidelined Horne for 4 months.
While Alan's days as a top Yankee prospect are probably over, he is back in action this Spring and is still with the team. In reading the 2009 Baseball Prospectus annual, it appears that they believe that Alan's only hope at a big league career is pitching out of the bullpen, but the Yankees and Horne have not yet taken that path.
The rehab from shoulder surgery has gone as well as anyone could have hoped and Alan is back on his regular throwing routine. On Tuesday, Alan threw a scheduled bullpen session which included all of his pitches and on Saturday he is scheduled to throw live BP for the first time. The expectation is that Horne will start the season at the warm extended Spring Training complex in Tampa, and then rejoin the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees sometime during the season.
Barring a catastrophic run of injuries depleting the Yankees' pitching depth at AAA, it is unlikely that Horne will get the call to the Bronx anytime this season. However, if Horne can stay healthy and channel some of his 2007 success, a cup of coffee with the big club in September when the rosters expand isn't completely out of the question.
Alan's father Bill is a regular contributor to our near-defunct Yankee forums and has been since day one. We here at New Stadium Insider try to stay level-headed about Yankee prospects, but we hope that Alan can beat the odds and have a successful major leage career - even if it isn't with the Yankees.
For more in-depth updates on Horne and other Yankee prospects, be sure to check out Chad Jennings' indispensable Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees blog, and also check out our forums, where Bill Horne provides periodic updates on Alan.
UPDATE (3/14/09 10:00 PM): We just got word of the following from Mr. Horne:
Got off the phone with Alan a little while ago. He said they decided to throw him a pen today instead of live BP since they bumped his work up to Tues/Thurs/Sat with all his pitches and see how his arm reacted. He said his pen was fine today, everything's working like it should (meaning his arm and his pitches) and I'll take that for sure.
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