JULY 15: Karns will, in fact, have surgery on Wednesday to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan tweets. Karns will miss the rest of the season.
JULY 7: The Royals may go without righty Nate Karns for the rest of the year, per manager Ned Yost. The skipper says that it’s “looking more and more like” Karns will require thoracic outlet surgery, as Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reports.
Karns gave the Royals 45 1/3 innings of 4.17 ERA pitching before hitting the shelf with forearm discomfort after his start on May 19th. With 51 strikeouts against just 13 walks over that span, there was quite a lot of optimism that he might be even more effective upon returning from what was expected to be a brief spell on the DL.
The forearm troubles, though, failed to improve as expected. A connection to thoracic outlet syndrome was eventually drawn. And now, it seem, a surgical option is squarely on the table.
If Karns does go under the knife, it’d surely end his 2017 season, though that doesn’t mean the organization wouldn’t still see him as a future contributor. The 29-year-old, acquired over the winter for Jarrod Dyson, will be eligible for arbitration for the first time this fall.
Even if Karns is able to avoid a procedure and begin moving toward a return this year, it will obviously be tough for Kansas City to expect much from him the rest of the way. That helps explain the team’s reported interest in pursuing a rental starter at the deadline.