LaTroy Hawkins missed three months with shoulder soreness earlier this season, appeared in five games for the Brewers after returning from the disabled list late last month, and is now back on the shelf with what is being called “shoulder weakness.”
Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Hawkins will get a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum early next week, but the veteran right-hander doesn’t sound optimistic about his status:
I want to be able to carry my own weight. Shoot, I can’t carry my own weight right now. It’s miserable being out there in the bullpen and you can’t carry your own weight.
Hawkins has been one of the best and most durable relievers in baseball for the past decade, averaging 65 appearances and 68 innings per season since 2000 while posting a 3.24 ERA. He’s thrown at least 50 innings every season since 1997, but is currently 0-3 with an 8.44 ERA in 16 innings after signing a two-year, $7.5 million deal with the Brewers this winter.
The lesson, of course, is that good, durable 37-year-old pitchers are still 37-year-old pitchers and signing them to multi-year contracts often turns out badly. Milwaukee owes him $4 million for 2011.