PHOENIX -- When he got the news that there was some fraying in the rotator cuff of his left shoulder, there was a part of D-backs third baseman Jake Lamb that breathed a sigh of relief.Finally, he had an explanation for why, even when there was no pain in the
PHOENIX -- When he got the news that there was some fraying in the rotator cuff of his left shoulder, there was a part of D-backs third baseman Jake Lamb that breathed a sigh of relief.
Finally, he had an explanation for why, even when there was no pain in the shoulder, that he could not seem to hit the way he had in previous years.
Lamb will undergo surgery sometime in the next two weeks, ending his 2018 campaign, but if all goes well, he should be ready to go when Spring Training opens next year.
"It was honestly a little bit of a relief when I saw the tear and everything like that," Lamb said. "Not that it's an excuse. It just never felt right whether in a game, [batting practice] -- it's hard to explain, but it just never felt like the ball was coming off my bat correctly. I guess it was a little bit of a relief, but at the end of the day, you never want to have surgery and be hurt."
The left shoulder is the back shoulder for Lamb when he's at the plate, and he described having a hard time getting his bat through the strike zone on the same plane as he had in the past.
The Statcast™ numbers back that up. While the exit velocity off his bat was almost identical to last year, as was the hard-hit ball rate, there was a noticeable drop off in his launch angle. Last year, his launch angle averaged 12.2 degrees. This year, it was just 4.9 degrees.
Lamb initially injured his shoulder diving for a ball against the Dodgers on April 2. When he returned on May 18, he told the team he was completely healthy and ready to go.
"I felt like I was 100 percent," Lamb said. "Now, over time, it just felt like it wasn't moving right, but there was also zero pain, so that was the tough part for me."
It was difficult because it led him to say he was good to go when he might not have been.
"We both learned some valuable lessons from some of our discussions, because I felt like at times he told me he was ready to go and 100 percent and he wasn't," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "But like I said, that's Jake's mentality, and that's more of a credit to him than anything because he wanted to play."
Lamb aggravated the shoulder last Thursday when he dove for a ball against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
The D-backs added reliever Brad Ziegler to the roster Thursday after acquiring him from the Marlins on Tuesday. To make room for Ziegler, the team optioned reliever Silvino Bracho to Triple-A Reno.
The team will have an even more difficult decision to make Friday when reliever Andrew Chafin returns from paternity leave.
"We have discussed some options," Lovullo said of making room for Chafin. "We haven't yet finalized anything."
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.