Jake Lamb's frustrating season to come to close with season-ending shoulder surgery

Jack Baer
Losing Jake Lamb is tough for the D-backs, but they already have an in-house replacement. (AP Photo)

It was a tough season for Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb, and now it is over.

The club announced the slugger would undergo season-ending shoulder surgery on a left rotator cuff that has reportedly frayed. The surgery will conclude a season in which Lamb struggled with both injuries and an on-field performance that was well short of the standard he set over the last two years.

Manager Torey Lovullo said Lamb would be ready for spring training in 2019, according to MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert.

Lamb will finish the season with a .222/.307/.348 line across 238 plate appearances with six homers and 31 RBIs. His numbers translated to a 70 OPS+, meaning his OPS came in at 30 percent below league average when adjusting for park effects.

Those numbers were a far cry from his performance in the 2016 and 2017 seasons, when he established himself as a presence in the middle of the D-backs order. Lamb posted a .248/.345/.498 line across the two years and ranked only behind Paul Goldschmidt on the team in homers with 59.

Where that slugging has gone has been a major question for Arizona this season, and Lamb’s health seems to be the answer. Lamb spent the majority of April and May on the disabled list with a sprained AC joint, then hit the DL again on Friday with a contusion in the same shoulder.

Confirming that the 2016-17 version Jake Lamb isn’t coming back this year is tough for the D-backs, who entered Thursday tied with the Dodgers for first place in the NL West. However, this is also basically the reason they acquired infielder Eduardo Escobar from the Twins a few days before the trade deadline.

Escobar, Daniel Descalso and Chris Owings have all seen starts at third base since Lamb was placed on the DL, but Escobar is probably the likeliest to carve out a full-time role at the hot corner. Escobar is on pace for career highs in both on-base percentage and slugging this year with a .276/.339/.511 line.

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