Pitching prospect Daniel Espino (22) was put on the operating table.
ESPN,메이저놀이터 an American sports channel, reported on the 4th (Korean time) that ‘Espino, the best pitcher for the Cleveland Guardians, is expected to undergo surgery on his right shoulder and determine at least a year’. According to local media, Espino received surgery on the anterior joint capsule (sac-shaped tissue containing mucus) of the right shoulder. Dr. Neil Elatrache, who performed the surgery, predicted Espino would be out for 12 to 14 months. Dr. Elatrache is the successor of Frank Jobb, the founder of Tommy John Surgery, and was also in charge of shoulder surgery for Ryu Hyun-jin (now Toronto) in 2015.
On the 24th of last month, Jack Meisel of The Athletic, a sports media outlet, posted on his social media (SNS), “Spino had a recurrence of shoulder pain (inflammation) during return training. He is currently resting and will visit the hospital soon.” Espino only played four games in Double-A minor leagues in 2022 due to shoulder and knee problems. In February, Cleveland announced that Espino would be sidelined for at least eight weeks due to a muscle tear in his right shoulder. However, as the pain recurred, the possibility of surgery increased.
Espino, a native of Panama, joined Cleveland with the 24th overall pick in the first round of the 2019 rookie draft ($2.5 million contract fee, 3.3 billion won). He went 3-8 with a 3.93 earned run average in minor league single-A and upper single-A in 2021. In the prospect rankings selected by MLB.com, the official MLB website, he was ranked 14th overall and 1st in the Cleveland team. The fastball that can hit up to 103 miles (165.8 km/h) is his trademark. In the ’20-80 scale’, which evaluates the talent of a prospect with a maximum of 80 points and a minimum of 20 points (average of 50 points), the fastball (fastball) received a perfect score of 80.
With this surgery, his big league debut within this year was overshadowed. In Cleveland, not a few rookie players, including right-hander Tanner Bibi (24) and left-hander Logan Allen (25), debuted in the big leagues this year, blowing new winds on the mound.