Jon Garland was cleared to play catch yesterday for the first time since being placed on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, but there’s no timetable for his return and the 31-year-old right-hander told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that he’s worried about his career:
That’s the natural tendency. It’s my livelihood. I’ve depended on my arm for quite a long time and the first thought is, “Is this it?” I just have to stay positive and hope I get back.
The inflammation kept building. It’s been there, probably my whole career. The wear and tear over the years, it get to the point where the body tries to compensate, and with everything else, it’s taken its toll. I had never had a severe injury. But with every throw, every pitch I was feeling something. The last few outings, it wasn’t fun for me.
That quote sounds more like a stance on injuries in general rather than anything specific about Garland never pitching again, but Gurnick writes that “surgery is an option” and he “admitted to wondering if his season and possibly career could be over.”
Twenty-two-year-old Rubby De La Rosa has moved into the rotation in place of Garland, who went 1-5 with a 4.33 ERA and 28/20 K/BB ratio in 54 innings before being shut down a few weeks ago. Garland previously topped 190 innings in every season since 2002 and needed to reach that mark again to trigger an $8 million option for 2012, but the time on the DL means that won’t happen and he’ll be looking for work as a free agent … or calling it quits at age 32.