Mariners outfielder Guillermo Heredia is headed for a second opinion on his ailing right shoulder but has already had surgery recommended by one doctor, manager Scott Servais revealed to reporters on Wednesday (via the Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish).
Servais stated that the surgery “needs to happen” and added that Heredia will require “kind of a lengthy rehab,” though he declined to put an exact time frame on the outfielder’s recovery. The team does expect Heredia to be ready for Spring Training, per Divish. Heredia has been diagnosed with a subluxation in his non-throwing shoulder, and the injury was exacerbated on a diving attempt at a fly-ball against the Astros a couple of weeks back.
The injury will officially close the book on Heredia’s first full season in the Majors. While his overall .249/.315/.337 slash line isn’t much to look at, it’s fair to wonder how heavily the shoulder troubles impacted Heredia down the stretch. He carried a much more respectable .272/.338/.377 batting line into the season’s final month before cratering with a .143/.211/.157 performance over his final 70 trips to the plate. That slump includes a woeful 0-for-16 stretch to close out the year.
The 26-year-old Heredia left Cuba back in January 2015 and went through a near-six-month waiting process before being declared a free agent by Major League Baseball that July. He ultimately took another seven months before signing with Seattle. He won’t be eligible for arbitration until after the 2019 season, so the Mariners can control him cheaply for the foreseeable future.
While his bat has yet to provide much in the way of value, Heredia has received strong grades for his work in the corner outfield, per Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating, and he’s also played a roughly average center field in nearly 500 innings. Statcast’s new Outs Above Average metric pegs him at a solid +7 outs for the 2017 season.