Pirates Notebook: Karstens has right shoulder surgery

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CHICAGO -- Pirates right-handed pitcher Jeff Karstens had surgery on his injured shoulder Friday and is not expected to begin pitching again until late August at the earliest.

Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed the surgery in Los Angeles after Karstens visited him earlier this week for a second opinion on his shoulder. ElAttrache "debrided" Karstens' rotator cuff and labrum, meaning he removed loose fragments of the tendons.

Karstens, 30, has not pitched this season after experiencing shoulder discomfort early in spring training. He had a recent rehabilitation outing shut down after continued shoulder pain.

The Pirates signed Karstens to a one-year, $2.5 million contract after the team non-tendered him ahead of the arbitration deadline in the offseason. With a 10-12 week recovery window and a month of rehabilitation beyond that, Karstens' chances of pitching this season are slim.

When healthy in 2011 and 2012, Karstens was an effective pitcher with the Pirates. But he has struggled to maintain his health, especially the past two seasons. He missed more than two months in 2012 with right shoulder inflammation and did not pitch for three weeks later in the season with a right hip flexor injury. In five seasons with the Pirates, Karstens went 23-25 with a 4.31 ERA and a 1.312 WHIP.

Presley up, Hughes on DL

The Pirates recalled outfielder Alex Presley from Class AAA Indianapolis and placed right-handed pitcher Jared Hughes on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.

It marked the third time this season the Pirates had called up Presley to the major leagues. The Pirates optioned him to Indianapolis Monday.

"It's been a wild week," Presley said, "being in Pittsburgh, then going back. Now, I'm at Wrigley [Field]. I really don't unpack anymore. Packing's not a big issue for me anymore. You just have to be on your toes at all times."

In the meantime, he's been building a nice collection of airline miles and hotel points.

"I've got plenty," he said. "I don't know if they go to me or the team's collecting them."

Presley, 27, is hitting .286 with the Pirates, though he has bounced back and forth between the major and minor leagues. He was hitting .282 in 44 games with Class AAA Indianapolis.

"Any opportunity up here is welcomed," he said. "You definitely learn to appreciate being up here and how much of a privilege it is to play in this league. Any chance I get to play in this league, I'm grateful."

Hughes, 27, is 1-2 with a 4.96 ERA this season. He walked off the field Saturday with trainer Todd Tomczyk in pregame warm-ups and flew to Pittsburgh after the game for further evaluation.

Draft comes to a close

The Pirates wrapped up their 2013 draft by making their final 30 selections Saturday.

Of the 41 players the Pirates drafted over the three-day draft, 20 were pitchers. Sixteen of those pitchers were right-handers.

The Pirates selected seven outfielders, four catchers, four third basemen, three shortstops, two second basemen and one first baseman.

Nine of their draftees are high school players, including their top three picks. The Pirates have until July 12 to sign them.


Michael Sanserino: msanserino@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1722 and Twitter @msanserino. First Published June 9, 2013 4:00 AM


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