Jesse Litsch ponders another surgery with baseball future in doubt

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27-year-old right-hander Jesse Litsch, still suffering from the aftereffects of an infection in his shoulder, will see a cartilage specialist later this month and may elect for his third surgery this year as he attempts to salvage his career.

Litsch’s infection arose after he received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his shoulder in February. Surgery to clean out the infection left him with little cartilage in the back of his arm. Since he’s struggled to progress in his comeback since, the Blue Jays dropped him from their roster last week.

“I still want to play, I don’t want to give up, I’m not one to give up,” Litsch told Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi. “If it comes to where I can’t play anymore, I’ll have to figure something out. But I want to keep trying until my body tells me I can’t.”

Litsch was a successful starter for the Jays in 2007-08, going 20-18 with a 3.67 ERA in 287 innings between the two seasons. Injuries have limited ever since, though the did experience some success out of the pen in 2011. Overall, he went 27-27 with a 4.16 ERA in 67 starts and 21 relief appearances for Toronto.

Masahiro Tanaka throws two-hit shutout vs. Rays

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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka went the distance, holding the Rays scoreless on two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts across nine innings on Monday night in the Bronx. It’s the fourth shutout of his career, accounting for four of the Yankees’ last six shutouts. The other two were thrown my Luis Severino and Brandon McCarthy.

DJ LeMahieu provided the bulk of the offense, swatting a two-run home run off of Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. Cameron Maybin tacked on a solo homer off of Chirinos in the fifth as the Yankees went on to win 3-0.

After Monday’s performance, Tanaka owns a 3.23 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 20 walks across 92 innings on the season.

With the win, the Yankees increase their lead over the Rays for first place in the AL East to 1.5 games.