While neither Schilling nor Sox officials could be reached for comment, baseball sources have indicated that the club has at least inquired about the possibility of voiding the one-year, $8 million contract Schilling signed last November. It is not known to what lengths the Sox have gone on the matter, but their threat has been serious enough to create a conflict between Schilling and the Red Sox.
While the precise nature of Schilling’s injury is not known, it is believed that the right-hander is suffering from an injury to the rotator cuff and/or labrum that might require surgery. It is possible that the sides disagree on how to treat Schilling’s ailment and that a course of treatment, too, is a part of their disagreement.If Schilling has surgery on his shoulder, it is almost certain that he would be unable to pitch this season
If he does have surgery and is out for the season, this definitely hurts the defending champion Red Sox, at least in terms of the depth of their rotation. They do of course have the luxury of being able to insert arguably the best pitching prospect in the game, 23-year-old Clay Buchholz, into their rotation. Buchholz already put his stuff on his display last year, going 3-1, with a minuscule 1.59 ERA in 22.2 innings pitched. Oh, he also happened to throw a no-hitter in the third game of his career.
Presumably, the Red Sox would go with a rotation of Beckett, Dice-K, Wakefield, Lester, and Buchholz.
Update(2/7, 9:30 PM MT)
Curt Schilling has possibly the best blog around for professional athletes, due to his honesty, and his tremendous knowledge about the game and business of baseball. He just responded to the report on his shoulder. Here is a blurb of what he had to say on the aforementioned blog(38 Pitches):
There have been disagreements these past few weeks in an effort to provide me with a solution that would allow me to pitch as much as possible during the 2008 season. At no time did I ever consider taking a course of action against the clubs wishes. In the end, regardless of who agreed with whom, I have chosen the clubs course of action and will vigorously pursue any and every option I can to be able to help this team to another World Series title in 2008.
Please understand that a lot of what has been reported is not true. When the club feels it’s appropriate to further discuss the details of this issue publicly I will elaborate but I need to make it clear that Dr Morgan did NOT diagnose me with a tear of the rotator cuff at any time during this process, nor did he recommend rotator cuff surgery.