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09/02/09 7:17 PM ET
Surgery likely for Salty after season
Rangers catcher restricted to pinch-hitting, DH role
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia is going to play the rest of the season as a pinch-hitter, possible designated hitter and reserve catcher. Then, when the season is over, he will likely have surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, a condition in the right shoulder that causes pain, fatigue and numbness in the arm, hands and fingers. "I'm probably going to have the surgery, but I want to help out as much as I can so that's where we're at," Saltalamacchia said before Wednesday's series finale with the Blue Jays. "Mainly, my role is going to be a pinch-hitter and maybe a DH, if a lefty comes in. I could probably catch if needed. "Obviously I'd rather do that than have the surgery right now and go home." The Rangers activated him before Wednesday's game, giving them 33 active players. They will continue to go with Ivan Rodriguez and Taylor Teagarden at backstop, with Kevin Richardson in reserve. Saltalamacchia hasn't played since Aug. 14. He was hoping that a couple of weeks on the disabled list would allow his arm to recover and allow him to keep playing during the final month of the season. But that didn't happen. Saltalamacchia was assigned to Double-A Frisco on a rehab assignment last weekend, and had to come out of both games because the fatigue and numbness returned. On Monday, the Rangers decided to shut him down. The next option is surgery to remove a rib bone in the shoulder area that is restricting nerves and blood flow in the arm. Recovery time is usually two to three months, and Saltalamacchia will likely undergo surgery as soon as the Rangers' season ends. "That's my thought, given the way it feels and the way my rehab is going," Saltalamacchia said. "It's not getting any better. We're still going to get a second opinion, but given the option of surgery or resting it for two months, I'd rather have the surgery so I'm know I'm not going to have this problem next year."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.