The Angels broke spring training with a number of pitchers needing some time on the DL while rehabbing some minor injuries. For one of them, it may turn out to be a longer stint than expected as Michael Kohn has had his throwing program shut down as he gets a second opinion on a forearm injury that kept him out for most of the spring.
According to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, Kohn experienced discomfort and soreness in his injured forearm during a light catch session. Manager Mike Scioscia said he did fine to begin with but when they went to longer throws, the discomfort returned and he was immediately shut down. This latest setback comes after Kohn was shut down once earlier in the spring when he was diagnosed with a flexor strain in his forearm after undergoing an MRI by Angels medical director Dr. Lewis Yocum. The team kept Kohn from throwing at all for a week before trying to bring him back, but the continued discomfort may point to a more serious issue in his arm. He will seek a second opinion from renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who is known to handle many athletes’ reconstructive surgeries. Teams don’t usually send their players to Andrews unless surgery is most likely necessary, so the prognosis for Kohn in 2012 doesn’t look promising.
The 25-year-old righty has spent the majority of his career in the minors with brief stints in the majors over the last two seasons. Last season in Triple-A Salt Lake, Kohn showed some pretty good stuff, pitching in 46 games, getting 12 saves, striking out 64 batters while walking just 20, with a 4.10 ERA. Over the last two seasons Kohn hasn’t been quite as effective striking batters out during his brief call-ups with the Angels, striking out 29 batters while walking 25 in 33.2 innings pitched. At 25, the Angels are hoping that Kohn would begin to grow into a strong big league reliever this season to shore up the bullpen, but this latest setback won’t help his cause. If he does end up needing surgery, let’s hope he’s able to bounce back in 2013 and continue to grow into a solid contributor out of the bullpen.