Veteran left-hander Nate Robertson, who the Mariners signed to a minor league contract, but was expected to compete for a spot in the starting rotation, will have surgery on Wednesday in Los Angeles to remove loose bodies from in his throwing elbow.
Dodgers team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache will perform the procedure. He also performed two previous elbow surgeries on Robertson's elbow.
"It’s really something you can’t prevent," Robertson said. "It was just a bone chip that’s kind of moved around to really bad spot. It’s locked me up. It’s pretty painful. They’re not going to be able to make any good judgments of what I can do when I’m missing with that. It needs to be cleaned up."
Robertson has been bothered by elbow discomfort in his last two outings. In three outings this spring, he has pitched seven innings and allowed 11 hits and six runs, with two walks and seven strikeouts.
"After my first outing I felt great, everything was working well," he said. "During the second start, I felt something coming on."
The Mariners expect that Robertson will be able to resume throwing in about four weeks.
He said he hopes to be back no later than June.
Robertson, right-hander David Pauley, lefty Luke French and hard-throwing prospect Michael Pineda were all vying for the last spot in the rotation. But now it's down a three-man race.
"It’s terrible timing for me trying to make the club," Robertson said.
Right now .. the rotation looks like:
- Felix Hernandez
- Erik Bedard
- Jason Vargas
- Doug Fister