MAY 14: The Braves announced that Minor underwent shoulder surgery today to repair the labrum in his shoulder. As David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets, initial MRIs didn’t reveal a tear in the labrum, but upon undergoing exploratory surgery, Dr. Neal ElAttrache did indeed find damage in the labrum, which has now been prepared. The Braves’ press release indicated that Minor is expected to be ready for the 2016 season.
MAY 12: Braves left-hander Mike Minor will undergo surgery on his left shoulder that will likely end his season, reports Bill Shanks of FOX Sports 1670 and Scout.com. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman adds that the surgery will take place this week (Twitter link).
Minor, 27, landed on the 60-day disabled list earlier this month and had yet to show “measurable improvement” as of that report. The former No. 7 overall pick has not pitched this season and spent a portion of the 2014 season on the shelf due to inflammation in his left shoulder as well. That injury led to a diminished performance in terms of both bottom-line results (4.77 ERA) and time spent on the field (145 1/3 innings), but Minor still topped the Braves in an arbitration hearing this offseason, netting a $5.6MM salary. (Atlanta had filed at $5.1MM.)
Minor’s rather significant arbitration earnings cloud his future with the Braves. Last December, the Braves cut bait on both Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen, non-tendering the pair rather than paying similar salaries to the ones they earned in their lost 2014 campaigns. Of course, both of those right-handers were recovering from Tommy John surgery, not shoulder surgery, so the situations are not entirely similar. Medlen and Beachy were both going through their second Tommy John, and it was known that they would be out through the early portion of summer, at least. While shoulder problems are often actually more severe for pitchers than Tommy John, we don’t yet know the type of procedure that Minor will undergo, and therefore it’s impossible to know specifically what kind of timeline will come along with his rehab.
With Minor absent from the rotation, Eric Stults and spring trade acquisition Trevor Cahill joined Julio Teheran, Alex Wood and Shelby Miller in the rotation to begin the season. However, Cahill’s early struggles have led to a bullpen role and a rotation audition for the highly touted Mike Foltynewicz, who was acquired from Houston in the Evan Gattis trade.