Bullpen hopeful Jesse Litsch will not start the season on the Toronto Blue Jays’ active roster.
He will rest for six weeks following surgery to clean out an infection caused by an injection in his right (throwing) shoulder.
The Blue Jays had planned to shut down Litsch for a week after he visited renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who diagnosed the 29-year-old with inflammation.
"The bullpens leading up to spring training, and even the first couple of bullpens, he didn’t feel like it was anything that was going to be to the point of shutting him down," Blue Jays manager John Farrell told reporters.
The injury is the latest in a series of setbacks for Litsch, who posted a 4.44 earned-run average and struck out 66 batters in 75 innings last season. He began the year as a starter before transitioning to a relief role.
In 2009, he had elbow ligament replacement (Tommy John) surgery and a year ago spent 54 days on the disabled list with an impingement in his right shoulder.
Litsch entered spring training at Dunedin, Fla., in a battle with Carlos Villanueva, Luis Perez and Rick VandenHurk for one of the final spots in the bullpen.
He will probably begin his season with the AAA Las Vegas 51s.