Royals righty Trevor Oaks has undergone surgery to repair a tear in his hip labrum, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports on Twitter. The news was largely expected by this point, though it remains a disappointing outcome for the 25-year-old.
Oaks was primed to compete in camp for a rotation spot — or, more likely, a place on the depth chart at Triple-A. Having debuted in the majors last season, his first with the Royals after an early-2018 trade, he was certainly a candidate to see substantial time in a K.C. rotation that will enter the season with loads of uncertainty.
Instead, Oaks will miss most or all of the coming season while working back from a procedure that turned out to be “a little more extensive” than originally anticipated. It is believed that he’ll be able to get back to baseball activities in four months’ time, though the timeline up to and past that point will depend upon his actual progression.
Whether Oaks will return to competitive action in 2019, let alone do so at the MLB level, remains to be seen. The Royals will surely prioritize his long-term health as the rehab unfolds. Though Oaks is not regarded as a particularly high-upside pitching prospect, he has had some success in the upper minors with a groundball-heavy approach. Through 275 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level, Oaks carries a 3.30 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9.