Jesse Litsch came back from Tommy John elbow surgery to throw 75 reasonably effective innings last season, but now he’s been shut down for at least a week after experiencing shoulder soreness in Blue Jays camp.
John Lott of the National Post reports that Litsch was examined yesterday by Dr. James Andrews, which is so often a precursor to surgery, but for now he’ll try to simply rest the injury.
Litsch looked pretty good after shifting to the bullpen in the middle of last season and avoided arbitration with a one-year, $930,000 deal, so if healthy he’ll be competing to be either a fifth starter or long reliever for Toronto.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.