Burke (left shoulder) set for surgery; out for '20

February 24th, 2020

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers’ starting rotation depth took a big hit Monday, when the club announced left-hander will undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

The surgery is scheduled for Friday in Arlington and will be performed by Dr. Keith Meister. The recovery period is expected to take 12 months, meaning he will miss the entire 2020 season. Burke is the No. 7 ranked prospect in the Rangers Top 30 according to MLB Pipeline.

 “The prognosis is good,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “Based on [the] MRI [Burke had] in the fall that -- barring any surprises when Dr. Meister goes in there -- it’s a pretty standard procedure. The prognosis is he would be 100 percent for next year. We’ll know more after he gets with Keith.”

Burke, who was acquired from the Rays on Dec. 21, 2018, has been dealing with shoulder issues dating back to early last season. He made three starts for Double A Frisco before going on the injured list from April 23 to June 16 with left shoulder fatigue.

Burke was activated on June 17 and made 10 starts at four levels before making his Major League debut on Aug. 20. He made six starts for the Rangers, posting a 1.50 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP through his first three before allowing 19 runs over 8 2/3 innings in his last three outings. He was shut down at the end of September.

“He had fraying in his labrum dating back to last season,” Daniels said. “We shut him down and he had a series of treatments over the course of the end of the year and through the offseason, including two injections. It hasn’t responded the way we hoped.”

Burke was on a limited throwing program to begin Spring Training. He was stretched out to 90 feet, and the shoulder wasn’t responding.

“It hasn’t gotten worse, which is a good sign,” Daniels said. “It really hasn’t gotten meaningfully better as he stretched out his throwing program. The symptoms are recurring. Some guys, [injections and treatment] addresses the issue. With Brock it hasn’t. He has been diligent about his rebab, it just needs something more.”

Burke is one of four young left-handers who were expected to form the core of the Rangers’ starting pitching depth at Triple-A Nashville, along with Kolby Allard, Joe Palumbo and Taylor Hearn.

Allard was 4-2 with a 4.96 ERA in nine starts for the Rangers last season after being acquired from the Braves, and he is probably first in line on the depth chart if something happens to one of the five Major League starters. Palumbo is also in that competition behind Mike Minor, Lance Lynn, Corey Kluber, Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles.

Hearn and right-hander Jonathan Hernandez are possibilities for rotation spots, but both are also being considered for the bullpen. Right-hander Ariel Jurado, who was 7-11 with a 5.81 ERA in 18 starts and 14 relief appearances last season, is also a part of the Rangers’ depth. He was held back early camp because of right shoulder soreness but is full strength at this point.