Reyes Moronta’s season is over, as the Giants right-hander has suffered a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. (Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle was among those to report the news.) It isn’t yet known if Moronta will undergo surgery, though it is being considered.
Such an outcome isn’t unexpected given Moronta’s extreme reaction last night upon suffering the injury. After throwing a pitch to Luis Urias in the sixth inning of last night’s 4-1 Giants loss to the Padres, Moronta fell to the ground in obvious pain, and needed a few minutes to recover before leaving the field.
Depending on the severity of the tear and other details regarding the injury, surgery could potentially keep Moronta on the IL for a very lengthy time, perhaps to the extent of putting his entire 2020 season in jeopardy. Sean Manaea, Arodys Vizcaino, and Jimmy Nelson are a few recent example of pitchers who underwent similar labrum procedures, with Manaea returning to the mound just today after missing over a year, and Nelson representing more of a worst-case scenario since he missed over a season and a half of action. Again, it won’t be known if Moronta is looking at a similar timeframe given the specifics of his own tear, though obviously he, the Giants, and the doctors will explore whether or not the injury could heal without surgical intervention.
The news brings an unfortunate end to a second consecutive season of very solid work for Moronta out of the Giants’ bullpen. The hard-throwing righty posted a 2.86 ERA, 11/1 K/9, and 2.12 K/BB rate over 56 2/3 innings this season, following a 2.49 ERA over 65 frames in 2018. Walks have been a continual problem for Moronta, as his 5.2 BB/9 is one of the chief reasons advanced metrics are less impressed by his work (3.57 FIP, 4.84 xFIP, 4.30 SIERA this season), though he has done an admirable job of keeping the ball in the park during the homer-happy 2019 season — Moronta’s 6.5 % homer rate is the sixth-lowest of any pitcher in baseball with at least 50 innings pitched this year.
Moronta is a homegrown Giants product, signed out of the Dominican in 2010 as a 17-year-old free agent. He has worked almost exclusively as a reliever during his pro career, and was in line to assume a larger role in San Francisco’s bullpen given how the Giants already parted ways with some veteran relievers at the trade deadline, and face the potential loss of Will Smith to free agency this winter.