June 19, 2011; Omaha, NE, USA; Texas A

Blue Jays relief prospect John Stilson has season-ending surgery

According to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi (via Twitter), Toronto Blue Jays #17 prospect (MLB.com) John Stilson will have surgery on his right shoulder to repair a tear in his labrum. The surgery is expected to shelve the reliever for the next 6-8 months, meaning he will miss the remainder of the season due to the injury and will likely be in question for next spring.

Stilson has not appeared in a game since June 24th with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, when he tossed 2 innings against the Columbus Clipppers. In 34 innings of work, all in relief, Stilson posted a 2-0 record with a 3.18 ERA and a 8.5 K/9 ratio.

The timing is especially poor for Stilson, who will require being added to the 40-man roster at the end of this season in order to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. The right-hander, who features a mid-high 90′s fastball, a power change, and sweeping slider was on the verge of being a bullpen candidate for Toronto this season prior to the shoulder issues.

Considering that he was also recovering from a torn labrum when he fell to the Blue Jays in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft, and his delivery is far from conventional, there may be pause on the Blue Jays part to determine whether he is worth protecting this winter. However, Stilson has a habit of inducing ground balls and racking up strike-outs and has shown that he can be a solid reliever in the back-end of the bullpen, so he may be worth the risk, especially with the bullpen a bit in flux this winter.

For now, while his immediate future is delayed, Stilson will focus on recovery and working his way back into the Major League picture at some point in 2015.

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