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Jake Lamb to have surgery, miss remainder of season

His shoulder needs work, but he should be fine for spring training next year.

Arizona Diamondback v San Francisco Giants Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images

Jake Lamb’s season, already underwhelming, when it was there at all, has officially come to an end. The team announced this afternoon that he’ll undergo surgery to repair a frayed rotator cuff in his left shoulder. It puts a full stop to a year which Lamb will likely be happy to put behind him. The problems started less than a handful of games in, when Jake hurt his shoulder on April 2 against the Dodgers. It initially appeared to happen when he made a diving catch in foul territory, and Lamb then exacerbated it later in the same game when sliding into home-plate [both plays are part of the video below]

Initially diagnosed as a sprained left AC joint, Lamb’s rehab was just about at an end after three weeks. But tendinites in his other elbow put him back on the shelf, and as a result, Lamb did not return to the majors until May 18, having missed 39 games. But Jake still didn’t seem “right”, struggling at the plate. By the time of his final game on July 26, when he re-injured the shoulder on another diving play, at Wrigley Field, his slash line was .222/.307/.348, an OPS of only .655. That was 189 OPS points below what he posted during the 2017 season, when he became an All-Star for the first time.

The team seems to have been aware of this issue, as they moved just before the trading deadline to acquire Eduardo Escobar from the Twins. While the two sides had been in discussion about those players, Mike Hazen said they made a quick deal for Escobar before word leaked that Lamb would have to go on the DL. They knew the asking price for a replacement would go up, if Minnesota knew the D-backs were in need. As a result of this timely acquisition, this afternoon’s news probably doesn’t hurt Arizona as much as it might have done. Lamb’s production thus far should be easily replaced by Escobar, with perhaps some occasional Daniel Descalso now and again.