Phillies right-hander Jonathan Pettibone is on the Triple-A disabled list with a shoulder injury that dates back to last season and team doctors recently diagnosed him with a partially torn labrum, but he’s decided against having surgery.
For now, at least. This stuff almost never goes well and surgery is almost always required eventually. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that Pettibone opted instead for an anti-inflammatory injection and rest, which is scheduled to last until at least the end of the month.
When asked about Pettibone’s decision to bypass surgery, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said:
He was given all the options and he made the decision. He’s going to rest until the end of the month. There’s no timeline for when he’ll be ready. He’s had it. A lot of pitchers have these irregularities and pitch through them. They can get better. You also can strengthen the muscles and tissue around it. Jonathan’s is pretty small, but it was uncomfortable for him. Basically it’s how long can he manage through it.
Something tells me I’ll be writing a “Jonathan Pettibone to undergo shoulder surgery” post at some point, but hopefully I’m wrong. He had a 4.04 ERA in 18 starts during his MLB debut for the Phillies last season and at age 23 has mid-rotation starter upside long term.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.