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.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.