Last month the Phillies allowed right-hander Jonathan Pettibone to put off surgery despite being diagnosed with a partially torn labrum in his shoulder. When questioned about the seemingly odd decision at the time general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. insisted that “a lot of pitchers have these irregularities and pitch through them.”
To which I wrote: “Something tells me I’ll be writing a ‘Jonathan Pettibone to undergo shoulder surgery’ post at some point, but hopefully I’m wrong.”
Well, now Pettibone is having the surgery. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that Pettibone will undergo “exploratory surgery” to be performed by Dr. James Andrews and “it’s extremely doubtful he will pitch again this season.”
He actually first experienced the shoulder problems last season and has essentially been putting off surgery in favor of rest and rehab since then. And now the 23-year-old with a 4.04 career ERA in 18 starts for the Phillies may not pitch again until mid-2015.
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Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.
Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.
When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.
The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.