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Tyler Clippard to be shutdown for six weeks with shoulder sprain

Not good news, though I guess it could be worse.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks - Workouts Rob Schumacher/The Republic

If you saw Tyler Clippard’s outing on Friday, it was clear there was something very wrong, as the veteran reliever faced seven hitters and didn’t retire any of them. He ended up being lifted in the middle of a plate appearance, being escorted off the mound by Torey Lovullo and the Arizona trainer. He had an MRI yesterday, and the results indicate that he has a capsule sprain in the shoulder of his throwing arm. He is going to be shut down entirely for six weeks, and will be re-evaluated at the end of that time, which takes us to the start of May. However, I imagine, even in the best-case scenario, he may well not be back until June, as he’ll effectively have to start throwing again at that point.

According to the reliever, he said he had been feeling good, and the issue just popped up during his last outing: “It came out of nowhere”. Clippard said there was no real pain, it just felt weird. He has always dealt with some discomfort over the course of his 14-year career. but this was something different. Of course, he’s frustrated and bummed out about having to miss time. It will be interesting to see how the bullpen will be adjusted in what looks to be a significant absence. Here’s what Jack wrote about the likely shape of Arizona’s relief corps, as Clippard’s health became an issue.

If no J.B. Bukauskas in April, and no Clippard as well, it could possibly look something like this on April 1:

  • Soria (CL)
  • Crichton (Set Up, 7th/8th)
  • Devenski (Set Up, (7th/8th)
  • Lopez (Short Middle, 5th,6th)
  • Ginkel (Short Middle, (5th,6th)
  • Young (Lefty Situational and Long)
  • Clarke (Long/Swing)
  • Widener (Long/Swing)

If Clippard’s injury is something serious and he ends up on the 60 day IL, thereby opening a 40 man roster spot, a dark horse candidate would be the lefty Miguel Aguilar, who I hear they really like. He is an NRI, and without that 40 man roster spot opening is a much bigger long shot however, Having the extra long man in Widener (in addition to Clarke and Young) might make a lot of sense especially early in the season when starters are still getting stretched.

I would imagine the team will put Clippard on the 60-day injured list, based on today’s diagnosis. which would indeed open up a roster spot for an additional reliever, such as Aguilar. There is still the possibility that they could pull the trigger on Bukauskas; however, I imagine they will still try and hold off on that, for service time considerations. We’ll see what Torey has to say; we’ll have those comments in the Gameday Thread for this afternoon’s contest.

Tyler Clippard audio [or link]