A right elbow injury limited right-hander Octavio Dotel to just 4 2/3 innings with the Tigers this season, but despite the fact that he will turn 40 in November, the veteran reliever isn't ready to hang it up. MLB.com's Bobby Nightengale writes that Dotel would like to return for a 16th Major League season in 2014.
Dotel met with Dr. James Andrews and received a platelet-rich plasma injection as well as a rehab schedule. Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand elaborated on Dotel's potential schedule:
"He wants to avoid surgery, obviously, and was told to rest basically for four-to-six weeks, I believe, before doing any kind of exercises and will start doing shoulder exercises after that. He won't do any elbow exercises until two months."
Dotel's 2013 season was forgettable at best, as he allowed seven runs on 10 hits and four walks in those 4 2/3 innings, but prior to that he showed that he can still be plenty effective in his late 30s. In 2011-12, Dotel compiled a 3.54 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 112 innings between the Blue Jays, Cardinals and Tigers.
The veteran has played for a record 13 Major League teams throughout his lengthy career. As a free agent at season's end, if Dotel is able to work his way back to the big leagues in 2014, he could extend that record further. Of course, he'd likely have to prove himself on a minor league deal in Spring Training to do so, regardless of where he signs. Nightengale notes that any surgery with a lengthy reab would likely mean the end of what has been a solid big league career for Dotel.