Ex-Blue Jay Zaun ponders retirement
Brewers catcher has torn labrum in front of right shoulder
Gregg Zaun might not catch another inning in the major leagues.
The former Toronto Blue Jays backstop has a torn labrum in the front of his right shoulder and said retirement would be an option if the injury lingers into late summer.
Zaun, who put his chances of playing this season for the Milwaukee Brewers at 50-50, will get conservative treatment for two to four weeks. Doctors will then re-evaluate his strength and range of motion to determine if surgery is necessary.
"I'm pretty disappointed," the 39-year-old Zaun told reporters. "Things were just starting to roll offensively."
Zaun, who last December signed on to be the Brewers' starting catcher this season, started the 2010 campaign with no hits in his first 21 at-bats. But he hit .333 over the next 81 at-bats to raise his average to .265 before the injury.
Zaun first hurt the shoulder in a collision at home plate with Washington's Ian Desmond in mid-April and played through pain until the second inning of a May 20 contest at Pittsburgh, when his right hand slipped off the bat on a swinging strike.
Despite feeling his shoulder pop out of its socket and slam back into place, Zaun continued the at-bat and knocked in a run before exiting.
"I have a couple of questions I have to ask myself," Zaun said. "Do I want to play next year? I can't answer that question at this point.
"I love the game. I'm not sure if I want to continue going through this.
"If I don't see myself coming back to a situation where I can play four or five days in a row and still function normally," Zaun added, "I'm going to go ahead and get surgery [which would sideline him four to six months] and at least keep the options open for next year."
For now, George Kottaras and Jonathan Lucroy, who have combined for 43 big-league starts, will share the catching duties in Milwaukee.