Guardians Talented Reliever Out With Shoulder Injury; In Doubt For Opening Day

Cleveland Guardians left-hander Sam Hentges has been diagnosed with left shoulder inflammation.

Hentges, who was a reliable performer out of the bullpen for the Guardians in 2022, finishing with a sparkling 2.32 ERA and 72 strikeouts over 62 innings of work in 57 appearances, will be re-evaluated on a week-to-week basis.

While there is no definitive timetable for his return, shoulder issues can often be a lingering problem for pitchers, making his status for the start of the 2023 season uncertain.

Hentges was the only left-handed pitcher locked into a spot in the Guardians' bullpen, so his absence would be a blow to the team.

If he starts the season on the injured list, Tim Herrin is the leading candidate to replace him, with Caleb Barger and Phillip Diehl also in contention.

The twenty-six-year-old broke out last year in his second season in the majors after compiling a poor 6.68 ERA in 2021, his rookie season.

He is a former fourth-round pick by the Cleveland Indians in the 2014 MLB Draft. Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports