Matt Hobgood has been a disappointment since the Orioles selected him with the fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft, throwing 158 innings with a 5.48 ERA in the low minors, and now Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the 21-year-old right-hander will miss the entire season following shoulder surgery.
According to Connolly he’ll go under the knife on April 2 to “size down his right rotator cuff.” Tommy John elbow surgery gets all the attention, but rotator cuff surgeries are often even tougher for pitchers to come back from.
Hobgood received a $2.4 million signing bonus and wasted no time debuting in full-season ball, but he’s been dealing with shoulder problems since late 2010, spending last season on and off the disabled list while unsuccessfully trying rest and rehab.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: