In the wake of the disheartening news about Michael Pineda, there's been a lot of loose talk about the history of labrum injuries and Pineda's prognosis. For instance, Curt Schilling weighed in with his personal experience, and essentially suggested that if Pineda works hard enough he'll come back better than ever. And sooner than everyone says.
Unfortunately, a lot of the analysis implicitly assumes that all labrum injuries are the same. They're not. The reports suggest that Schilling's injury was not the same as Pineda's.
Fortunately, Baseball Prospectus's Jay Jaffe has done the grunt work, identifying 67 pitchers with labrum injuries, then distilling all the details until he found those with injuries that seem truly similar to Pineda's.
The grand total is three.
The bad news is that Miller never really made it back, and that Sanchez needed roughly three years to get back on track. The good news is that Sanchez is back on track, and that Valverde became a fine closer (though as Jaffe notes, Valverde's injury might have been less severe than the others').
The takeaway is that we really just don't know what's next for Pineda. Except many months of grueling rehabilitation. That's a given. But there is a wide range of possible outcomes here. If you're a fan of fulfilled potential, all you can do is hope for the best.