O’s pitcher Matt Hobgood shut down at minor league camp

Matt Hobgood, the Orioles 2009 first-round draft pick, has recently been shut down from pitching at minor league training camp in Sarasota, Fla., and will see a team doctor in the next few days.

About four or five days ago, Hobgood threw during a live batting practice session, but he continued to have shoulder soreness and now he’ll soon see team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens to determine the next course of action.

An Orioles source denied that the club has decided that Hobgood needs surgery and said no decisions have been made yet.

Last year, Hobgood went 0-6 with an ERA of 8.76 between the Gulf Coast League O’s and the short-season Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds as he tried to work his way back from the shoulder injury. He didn’t get into an affiliated game until June 20 and pitched just 37 innings, allowing 51 hits with 26 walks and 22 strikeouts.

“Not very good,” Hobgood said of his 2011 season in a January interview with MASNsports.com “It was the worst of my three seasons so far. My arm bothered me the whole year. It just didn’t feel good. Just haven’t really ever felt good since high school.”

While reports have indicated that Hobgood had been dealing with a strained rotator cuff, he said in the January interview that it was more involved than that.

“They said it was a strain, but I actually tore my rotator cuff,” Hobgood said. “It was like a 30 percent tear and I believe I tore it in 2009 in Bluefield, you know, due to the change of throwing program and throwing mechanics. I didn’t find out about it until the end of the 2010 season after I’d thrown 125 innings, or whatever it was, between Bluefield and (Single-A) Delmarva.

“When I went and saw (Dr. Lewis) Yocum, he said it was more of a lot of scapular instability and a lot of shoulder weakness. He could fix the tear, but there’s no point in fixing it, because the problem now is the scapular instability,” he said then.

The mid-90s fastball velocity Hobgood showed in high school that led the Orioles to make him the fifth pick in the 2009 draft has not been there at any point since he began pitching in the O’s farm system in July of 2009.

He was rehabbing the injury over the winter and there were some positive reports on his progress, but now he is not pitching at minor league camp and will see Dr. Wilckens to determine what happens from here on out.

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