Cleveland Indians outfielder Bradley Zimmer underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder on Friday, a procedure that will shut him down from baseball activity for the next eight to twelve months.
The 25-year-old center fielder injured the shoulder in early June while in Triple AAA Columbus during batting practice.
After sitting out for a week and a half while still dealing with pain, Zimmer received an anti-inflammatory shot and the team shut him down for four to six weeks prior to Friday’s surgery.
This unfortunately is another bump in the road for one of the Indians’ talented young prospects and makes you wonder if he’s ever going to live up to the hype that was laid upon him after being the Indians top draft choice in 2014 and also the Indians #1 prospect in their farm system before making his major league debut in May of 2017.
Zimmer appeared in 101 games his rookie season last year, making 332 plate appearances and hitting .241 with 15 doubles, 8 home runs, 39 runs batted in and 18 stolen bases. His season was cut short in September when he broke his hand diving head first into first base which forced him to miss the rest of the regular season as well as the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees.
He made the opening day roster and was the team’s starting center fielder but he was struggling at the plate and also struggled once again with staying on the field. In 114 plate appearances, Zimmer was hitting .226 with 5 doubles, 2 home runs, 9 runs batted in and 4 stolen bases. He also struck out 41.5% of the time at the plate.
In May against the Yankees, Zimmer crashed into the outfield wall chasing a ball and he suffered bruised ribs and was forced to miss 20 games due to that injury.
Not trying to compare Zimmer to these players but his career injury wise is starting to resemble Grady Sizemore and Michael Brantley’s with the amount of injuries he’s suffered and he’s only 25 years old.
Sizemore’s career was derailed by elbow and knee injuries after a promising start which included three straight All-Star appearances and two Golden Glove awards. Brantley has had a couple of injury plagued seasons after finishing third for MVP in 2014 but he looks like he has bounced back another All-Star type season so far in 2018.
Not saying Zimmer has shown he could be like Sizemore and Brantley in terms of talent but there’s an old saying that once the injuries start, they don’t stop. Hopefully he can bounce back from this recent bump and still be the player the Indians are hoping he can be.