Jesse Litsch Out At Least A Week With Shoulder Injury

By Thom Tsang

Another day, and these physical issues just keep on mounting for the Toronto Blue Jays ahead of their first scheduled intrasquad game. Weren’t everyone supposed to be in the best shape of their careers?

This time, it’s righty Jesse Litsch who’s gets the unlucky call. As reported by Gregor Chisholm of today, the 26-year old has been shut down by the team for a minimum of the next full week – possibly longer – with inflammation in his pitching shoulder. He had been set to compete for a roster spot on the bullpen for the coming season, though naturally, it seems rather unlikely that he’ll be able to accomplish the goal with this latest injury.

Litsch has been well acquainted with setbacks like this before: after a promising start to his career that included a 13-win, 3.58/1.23 campaign in 2008, he was derailed by Tommy John surgery in 2009, and hasn’t exactly been an effective pitcher since. The soft-tossing righty shared time between the starting rotation and the bullpen for the Blue Jays last season, but also missed 58 games due to – you guessed it – a shoulder injury. It’s perhaps worth noting that Litsch threw his slider much more – and at a higher velocity – than at any point of his career (19.2% vs 11.2% average). I don’t know enough about Litsch’s mechanics to really say if that has anything to do with his continued shoulder problems, but perhaps that might be worth looking into at some point.

Either way, it’s an unfortunate incident for the athlete involved. I was never much of a fan of Litsch, but it’s not like anyone getting hurt is ever a good thing. Luckily, the preliminary results with Litsch’s visit with Dr. Death James Andrews came back without indication of structural problems; that being said, we’ve heard that kind of thing before. The Blue Jays will shut Jesse down from all throwing activities during the next seven days, with hope that he’ll be able to build his strength back up once he’s been cleared to move on.

A couple of Blue Jays pitchers have already gone through their own adventures with injury scares, so maybe the reasonable thing is just to assume that these things are par for the course; I gotta say though, this one sounds a little more serious.

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