According to the Pirates, players who undergo the type of surgery Martin had typically return to full baseball activities in four to six months. That means Martin could be ready for Spring Training in mid-February or set back until mid-April.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Chris Ahmad in New York. Martin, 24, will return home to Arizona to continue his rehabilitation work this offseason.
Martin made his Major League debut in April due to a series of injuries sustained by Pirates outfielders, but he spent most of the season with Triple-A Indianapolis. Hours after being recalled from Triple-A on Sept. 3, Martin hustled home from third base to score on a wild pitch, only to have Marlins pitcher Jarlin Garcia land on top of him while trying to make a play at the plate.
Martin left the ballpark that night with his arm in a sling, but he initially received encouraging news from the doctors who treated him. They said his season-ending injury, a dislocation of his left shoulder, would not require surgery and would only take about a month to heal. Evidently, the initial diagnosis they passed on to the Pirates’ medical staff was incorrect, or Martin suffered a setback.
Instead, Martin wound up needing surgery that could cost him a spot on next year’s Opening Day roster. The left-handed-hitting outfielder could be a candidate to serve as a fourth outfielder or a temporary replacement in right field if Gregory Polanco is held back by his own lingering shoulder injury.
Martin hit .250 with a .631 OPS in 40 plate appearances for the Pirates this year. Martin, coming off an excellent showing in Spring Training, slashed .259/.312/.419 with eight homers, 50 RBIs and nine steals for Indianapolis.
Martin is the second Pirates prospect to require surgery this month. Reliever Geoff Hartlieb underwent surgery on his right foot on Oct. 9 to address an injury that left him in a walking boot at the end of the season. The 25-year-old Hartlieb’s surgery was performed at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, and he is projected to be fully recovered in time for Spring Training.