Orioles pitching prospect Dan Klein underwent surgery today to repair a small tear in his right labrum and to loosen his shoulder capsule. He'll likely begin a throwing program in mid-December and could begin pitching for an affiliate by June 1.
Orthopedic specialist Dr. Lewis Yocum used one anchor to repair the tear. The average amount for a smaller tear is two.
"That's good news. There was little damage," said John Stockstill, director of player development.
Yocum also loosened the shoulder capsule that had tightened from a previous exploratory surgery on Klein's shoulder while he pitched at UCLA.
"Hopefully, that will give him a freer range of motion," Stockstill said.
"It looks like what was causing the stress or the lack of range of motion was because of how tight the capsule was from his surgery three years ago. That answers some questions as to why it was taking him two to three days to really feel good. If you look at his pitching innings over the course of the last three years, he was always capping out at a low level."
The best news came from Yocum's confirmation that Klein, a third-round pick last year, hadn't suffered any damage to his rotator cuff.
Klein will report to the minor league complex in Sarasota. His throwing program will last 2 1/2 to three months. Assuming there are no setbacks, he'll begin preparing as if he's going through a normal spring training.
Klein will be kept back at extended spring training once the affiliates start their seasons.
"The prognosis if he stays healthy is that hopefully we'll shoot for June 1 for him to be 100 percent," Stockstill said.
Klein hasn't pitched since June 1 at Double-A Bowie. He was 3-1 with a 1.11 ERA in 16 games between Single-A Frederick and Bowie, with six walks and 37 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings.
Meanwhile, back in Oakland, first baseman Chris Davis has been scratched from the lineup with a sore shoulder. Looks like he's headed to the disabled list to make room for starter Brian Matusz.
Josh Bell will play third base and Mark Reynolds will move to first.