Blue Jays right-hander Jesse Litsch was shut down last week due to shoulder soreness and given an anti-inflammatory injection in the area of the pain.
Litsch was only supposed to miss a couple of days while the shot took effect. But the 26-year-old has now been ruled out for the start of the 2012 season.
According to beat writer Gregor Johns of MLB.com, the injection caused an infection in Litsch’s right arm and he had to undergo emergency surgery this weekend to have the infection removed.
Litsch will not be allowed to pick up a baseball for the next six weeks and is doubtful to be back to 100 percent health by the end of April. He registered a 4.44 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 75 innings last season.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.