Pomeranz to undergo back surgery

The Orioles’ decision to designate reliever Stu Pomeranz for assignment and allow him to become a free agent was related to a back injury that will require surgery.

The club is in the process of arranging the surgery for Pomeranz, according to an official. He won’t pitch in 2013.

The injury involves a vertebrae in Pomeranz’s lower back and is considered pretty serious, according to another member of the organization. However, the Orioles could choose to re-sign him to a minor league deal.

Manager Buck Showalter has spoken highly of Pomeranz and hoped to get him on the expanded roster in September, but the right-hander’s health wouldn’t allow it.

Pomeranz, 27, didn’t permit an earned run in 23 1/3 innings over 10 appearances divided evenly between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. He walked three and struck out 35.

Pomeranz gave up two runs in six innings with the Orioles. He tore his left oblique on May 27, was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on June 6 and apparently sustained the back injury while rehabbing in Sarasota.

The Orioles designated Pomeranz for assignment last night to make room on the 40-man roster for infielder Yamaico Navarro, who was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor league right-hander Jhondaniel Medina. The Orioles later announced that Pomeranz was non-tendered, along with first baseman Mark Reynolds and infielder Omar Quintanilla, making all three players free agents.

The St. Louis Cardinals selected Pomeranz in the second round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft. He pitched for the independent New Jersey Jackals of the Canadian-American Association in 2009, and the Orioles signed him to a minor league deal on Feb. 3 with an invitation to spring training.

Pomeranz has overcome injuries and alcoholism, which he’s acknowledged, in order to get his career on track. Now he’s faced with another health crisis.

blog comments powered by Disqus