Rays outfielder Garrett Whitley is expected to miss the entire season after undergoing surgery for a torn labrum in his right shoulder.Tampa Bay's ninth-ranked prospect suffered the injury last Saturday while diving for a ball in the outfield."It is frustrating now to feel like I was [playing well] and then this
Rays outfielder Garrett Whitley is expected to miss the entire season after undergoing surgery for a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
Tampa Bay's ninth-ranked prospect suffered the injury last Saturday while diving for a ball in the outfield.
"It is frustrating now to feel like I was [playing well] and then this freak thing happens," Whitley said. "That's what it is. It's a freak thing. On the one hand, it is frustrating. On the other, I was playing hard -- the only way I know how."
The 21-year-old took to Twitter on Friday night to announce the procedure. "Labrum surgery today ... tough times only make the strong even stronger. Best believe I'm gone come back better than ever," he wrote in the post, which was accompanied by a picture of himself with his right arm in a sling.
Whitley said he will be in the brace for four weeks, but may even start rehab at the Rays' complex in Port Charlotte before then. Team doctors have been teaching him about the labrum and the intricacies of the injury.
"I tore it in the back so my brace is keeping my arm away from my torso because that's the way it needs to heal," the No. 13 overall selection in the 2015 Draft said. "It's a hit. I was feeling good. I played winter ball this year and I was looking forward to this season.
"To go down the week before Spring Training ends, it's been tough to get my mind around. It's all part of it. What's happened has happened. The only thing I can do is move forward and put everything I have into my rehab."
The Melrose, Massachusetts native had all five tools on display in his first full season with Class A Bowling Green in 2017. He produced a .249/.362/.430 line with 13 homers, four triples, 18 doubles, 61 RBIs, 65 runs scored and 21 stolen bases.
The steals matched the career high he set in 65 games with Class A Short Season Hudson Valley in an injury-shortened 2016 campaign. Whitley suffered a hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for the first month of the season and proceeded to bat .266/.356/.379 with 20 extra-base hits, including seven triples, 31 RBIs and 38 runs scored.
Chris Bumbaca is a contributor for MiLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twiter @BOOMbaca.