Shoulder surgery will end Chavez's year
Slugger played 23 games in 2008; A's brass eyes spring return
TORONTO -- With an offense that has struggled mightily to score runs of late, the Athletics will now have to go forward knowing that Eric Chavez won't be making a return from the disabled list this year. The injured third baseman is set to undergo season-ending surgery on his right shoulder next week.
The operation, which will be performed in Oakland by team orthopedist John Frazier, is tentatively scheduled for next Wednesday, Aug. 13.
The 30-year-old Chavez has been on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation since July 2. He had been lightly rehabbing the injury, but these efforts will now be shut down. According to Athletics assistant general manager David Forst, the team is hoping that the surgery will allow Chavez to return by Spring Training 2009.
"He's been dealing with this shoulder problem for a long time," said Forst. "We feel like going in to actually repair the problem is his best chance to open up next year feeling 100 percent."
The third baseman had three surgeries over a 10-week span this past offseason, including a procedure to repair the labrum in his right shoulder, microdiscectomy surgery on his back and a left shoulder debridement.
"The good thing is that his back feels great and his left shoulder is not a problem," Forst said. "It seems like those two issues have been addressed. Going through an offseason last year, rehabbing three different surgeries at once was not easy. This time, he'll be able to focus just on one thing."
Chavez has appeared in just 23 games for Oakland this year, during which he batted .247 with two home runs and 14 RBIs. In addition to his current DL stint, Chavez was also sidelined for the first two months of the season as he was recovering from his back surgery. He did not appear in his first game this season until May 28.
Last season, the 11-year veteran was limited to just 90 games because of back and shoulder injuries.
Oakland manager Bob Geren is looking forward to having a healthy Chavez contributing in the lineup next season.
"He's a six-time Gold Glove winner and a big part of our team," Geren said. "Any time you have a player of his caliber, you'd love him to be in your lineup. But looking at [getting] this behind him and ready to contribute on a daily basis next year is exciting."
David Singh is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.