ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Japanese right-hander Shinji Mori saw his first-year stint in North America end after just three pitches in a minor league exhibition game due to a torn labrum expected to sideline him for the entire season.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays right-hander Shinji Mori leaves the game after injuring
his arm during a nor league preseason game against the Philadelphia Phillies
Mori, 31, started against the Philadelphia Phillies and fell to the ground holding his right shoulder after throwing his third pitch into the dirt in his first spring outing since signing with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in January.
An article posted on Tampa Bay’s official Web site said the former Seibu Lions player, who later received an MRI, is likely to need surgery and “probably be out 12 months.”
“I’m 100 percent disappointed,” Mori was quoted as saying.
He added that the pitch was a fastball while suggesting his latest injury was unrelated to the shoulder stiffness that had delayed his appearance in a preseason game.
Tampa Bay acquired Mori through the posting system, in which major league clubs present sealed bids for Japanese players, and signed Mori to a two-year contract worth a reported $1.5 million with a club option for another two years.
Mori spent nine seasons in Japanese baseball without suffering a serious injury since joining Seibu in 1997 as a second-round draft pick. He has a 44-44 career record with 50 saves and a 3.39 ERA and was named the best setup man in the Pacific League in 2002 and 2003.
Last year, he went 2-2 with five saves and a 4.22 ERA in 48 games.