Last year at this time, Todd Greene seemed destined to be a big-league star with the Anaheim Angels. His future now is more uncertain than ever.
The former Evans High and Georgia Southern star told the Angels he experienced pain in his surgically-repaired right shoulder while catching for Class AAA Vancouver over the weekend.
The 26-year-old Greene caught nine innings in back-to-back games Friday and Saturday as part of his rehabilitation assignment, and was expected to join the Angels as early as this week.
Greene underwent surgery in the offseason to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Angels manager Terry Collins expected him to be able to start the season, but two weeks into spring training Greene was told to stop throwing. He has been on the disabled list since March 19.
Greene will remain in Vancouver through Tuesday, when team officials will decide what course of action to take.
Options range from using Greene as a designated hitter, to shutting him down for the rest of the season, to reconstructive surgery on the shoulder.
Using Greene as a DH, however, probably isn't feasible. Tim Salmon has been forced into that role this season due to a bad foot.
In 34 games for Anaheim last season, Greene batted .290 with nine home runs and 24 RBI before a foul tip broke a bone in his right wrist on August 20 and ended his season. With 34 homers combined between Anaheim and Vancouver last season, Angels GM Bill Bavasi traded the club's two frontline catchers, Jim Leyritz and Jorge Fabregas, to clear the way for Greene.
"I've been concerned about that all along," Bavasi told the Orange County Register, regarding Greene's status as a catcher.