Adams said on Tuesday at Petco Park he has three tears in his right shoulder, which will likely end his season. The Phillies have not recommended surgery, although Adams said it is a possibility. He said he will get a third opinion after he received a second opinion from Dodgers physician Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
"Yeah, this year is probably done for sure," said Adams, who is 1-4 with a 3.96 in 28 games. "It's very disappointing. Obviously I wanted to come over here and be back to normal, be able to pitch and compete. It's very disappointing. I feel like I let myself down, I let Ruben down, the organization, the fans, all of that, obviously. But right now I have to figure it out and find the best route for the future."
What is in the Phillies' future? Amaro said he would like to improve their bullpen, but for the moment they will go with what they have.
"Right now, we don't have any solutions," he said. "We've talked to some teams about it being a need. Of course, trying to find that need is going to be very, very expensive. And from the conversations I've had so far, the asks have been … let's just say they're pretty strong. A little too strong for my liking. I'm not going to mortgage the future of our organization for a guy who might be able to help us in the seventh or eighth inning."
Losing Adams is a blow. The Phillies signed him to fortify the eighth inning, which had been a minefield for them in 2012. But Adams, who had surgery to repair a torn labrum in 2008 and thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in October, has tears on both sides of the repair made to his labrum in 2008. He also has a partial tear on one of the rotator cuff tendons.
"It's not good," Adams said.
Adams could try to rehab the injury, but a recovery is far from certain.
"Even with the conservative approach, he may eventually need surgery anyway," Amaro said.
Asked if Adams could be back on the mound in time for Spring Training 2014 if he had surgery, the Phillies said they wouldn't know until he has the procedure.
Adams has reason to try to get back as soon as possible. He has a $6 million club option for 2015 that automatically vests if he makes 65 appearances next season and does not finish the season on the disabled list. That is a tall task, but if Adams tries rehab and it does not work, he will still need surgery, which means he will miss even more time.
"Either way is not a sure thing," Adams said. "I think that's why they want to try rehab first and see if that'll work. Obviously there is no sure thing either way, whether I have surgery or don't have surgery, one might not be better than the other. Right now I have to figure out what's going to be the best option, what's going to help me have longevity, have a few more years. That's the decision that has to be made pretty soon so we can figure out what route we're going to go. My main concern now is to worry about next year, the year after that and the year after that. This year is obviously gone, probably, more than likely."
Adams took an MRI exam before he signed in December. He said nothing was mentioned then about any shoulder problems.
"The feeling for us was that, yeah, he's a risk just like any other veteran guy who's been around the block a lot," Amaro said. "There was some added risk because he was coming off a surgery, but his rehab went very well and he didn't have any complaints of his issues with the thoracic outlet syndrome. This is stuff that happens. Can't do anything about it. I view it as an opportunity for the young kids. It's not ideal for us. But that's how we have to view it."