Texas Rangers top hitting prospect Josh Jung underwent surgery Wednesday to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. The procedure was performed by team physician Dr. Keith Meister in Arlington, Tx., and the club expects the Texas Tech product to make a full recovery.
The rehab process will ultimately dictate when Jung will make a full recovery. The rough estimate given by general manager Chris Young is approximately six months before Jung will be able to DH in games.
"This is a tough break for Josh," Young said via conference call. "Given his character and work ethic, we're fully confident Josh will make a full recovery and bounce back from this. Obviously, it's not the best news today."
The Texas Tech product was shut down nearly two weeks ago after experiencing left shoulder discomfort while lifting weights. He was examined by Meister last week with the evaluation indicating a labral strain. Further evaluation at the beginning of this week revealed the tear, making surgery the necessary option.
Jung was slated to compete for the starting job at third base this spring. Veteran infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who has a Gold Glove at the hot corner on his résumé, now automatically slots into that role. Other internal options include Andy Ibáñez and Yonny Hernandez. Ibáñez posted a respectable .756 OPS and 1.8 bWAR over 76 games last year.
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The Rangers also have a bevy of prospects that could possibly play third base, including Davis Wendzel, Sherten Apostel, Josh Smith, Justin Foscue and Ezequiel Duran. However, Young said these players are not options to start on the big league roster.
It's unclear whether the front office will prioritize an external additions for third base. With the owner-imposed lockout still in place, club executives are not permitted to speak to or about 40-man roster players or Major League free agents. With a Gold Glove winner already on the roster, third base would likely still slot behind other priorities once the work stoppage is over.
"We do have a lot of infield depth," Young said. "We're confident in the group we have."
Promo image: Kelly Gavin / Courtesy of the Texas Rangers
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