Archive for Sunday, February 22, 2004

K.C. pitcher Snyder needs more surgery

February 22, 2004

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— Kyle Snyder will undergo shoulder surgery for the second time in less than six months, the Kansas City Royals announced Saturday.

Snyder, a 1999 first-round pick from the University of North Carolina, will have surgery Wednesday.

Royals general manager Allard Baird said Snyder would begin the season on the 60-day disabled list, but it was unclear how long Snyder would be out.

Snyder had arthroscopic surgery for a partially torn labrum Sept. 3, but began to feel soreness in the shoulder when he reported early and began more intense throwing last week.

"He tried for a few days throwing with it, and it didn't get any better," Kansas City trainer Nick Swartz said.

Snyder went to see Dr. Craig Morgan, who determined he should have surgery. Morgan, who has performed procedures on major-league pitchers Curt Schilling and Paul Byrd, will do the operation in Wilmington, Del.

Swartz said he would determine the extent of the injury during surgery.

A torn labrum would mean Snyder would be out for six to nine months, said general manager Allard Baird. But if the labrum is just irritated, Swartz said Snyder would be able to return sooner.

This will be Snyder's fourth operation since 2000. He missed most of the 2000 and 2001 seasons after having two elbow operations.

"Snake bit is probably a good term," Swartz said of Snyder.

Snyder, a hard-throwing right-hander, went 1-6 with a 5.17 earned run average in 15 major-league starts last season after a May 1 promotion from Class AAA Omaha. He went on the disabled list because of a sore shoulder July 3 and was activated July 21. After four more starts, Snyder went back on the disabled list Aug. 6 and missed the Royals' final 51 games.

If he had been healthy, Snyder would have competed for a spot in the rotation, which has three vacancies behind left-handers Darrell May and Brian Anderson.

Baird noted that Kansas City had 32 other pitchers in camp.

"I don't think anything is different," Baird said. "We just lost one guy. Other guys are in the mix. Nothing has changed."

The Royals used 15 different starting pitchers last year. In September, they had five starters on the disabled list, including four who had undergone operations.

Kansas City held its first workout Saturday for pitchers and catchers, but most position players already are at camp. Only four position players on the 40-man roster have not reported: outfielders Carlos Beltran, Juan Gonzalez and Matt Stairs and infielder Tony Graffanino.

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