As expected, Angel Guzman has opted for season-ending shoulder surgery after meeting with Dr. James Andrews earlier this week.
Guzman has a lengthy history of arm problems, including a previous Tommy John elbow surgery, and the latest injury is a significant ligament tear in his right shoulder. Andrews advised him to go under the knife rather than attempt to rehab the injury without surgery.
As for when he might be able to pitch again, Guzman wasn’t sure:
I don’t know how long it’s going to take. … Sometimes those doctors use language that is hard for me to understand. At least [Andrews] gave me hope. He said a lot of pitchers have had that surgery done before and have come back good.
It’s going to take more than that to keep me away. I have to keep my mind the way I’ve been doing, like last year. That’s the only thing I can control. … I don’t want, in two years, just thinking, “Why didn’t I do it?” I’d prefer to get it done now and see if I really can keep pitching.
Guzman emerged as a reliable setup man last season with a 2.95 ERA and .192 opponents’ batting average in 61 innings, and his injury reportedly has the Cubs in the market for additional relief help. At this point the best-case scenario for Guzman is probably a mid-2011 return.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.