Orioles LF Scott done for season with torn labrum
It wasn't the pain in his right shoulder that forced Luke Scott to bring an end to his 2011 season. The Baltimore Orioles left fielder reluctantly abandoned his effort to play through a torn labrum because he was no longer able to swing the bat effectively.
Scott put an end to his troubled season Saturday. In the days ahead, he will decide whether to correct his shoulder through rehabilitation or surgery.
The 33-year-old hoped a stay on the 15-day disabled list would help, but after being activated Friday he didn't get through an entire game against the Los Angeles Angels before realizing his bat speed just wasn't there.
''I battled through it the best I could, but I'm not helping the team by going out there and swinging with my bat underwater,'' Scott said. ''I'm not helping myself either, so I thought I should do what's best now and try to get ready for the next year.''
After batting .284 with 27 homers and 72 RBIs last year, Scott is hitting .220 with nine homers and 22 RBIs in 64 games.
Swinging the bat became a chore, not because it hurt so much - he received two cortisone shots along the way - but because he couldn't take the kind of cut he was accustomed to taking.
''Pain's not really the issue. I can play with the pain as long as I have the snap in my bat and I can do a good job out there,'' Scott said. ''I'm just not capable of doing a good job and functionality comes into question.''
It's not that he didn't try to make it happen. Scott exhausted all avenues before realizing that he wasn't going to make it through the season.
''I didn't have peace just shutting it down and calling it quits without exercising all options,'' he said. ''I've exercised all those options. I've taken the DL time to rest where I didn't do anything, I didn't touch a bat, didn't touch a weight, didn't do any exercise. I just mostly slept, I rested and gave it a while to calm down.''
And then he came back and went 0 for 3 against the Angels, hitting a drive to the warning track in his final trip.
''I think what really put him over the top was the ball that he kind of squared up that flew out deep to center field,'' Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ''He felt like he could've hit that (harder) normally.''
Coming to grips with the fact that he won't play again this season was not easy for Scott. He missed his first professional season in 2001 after undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery, and doesn't particularly care for the idea of not playing baseball during the last couple months of summer.
''It's like getting kicked really hard in the stomach without someone telling you. You put so much into this game, you put so much into your heart's desire, so much work,'' he said. '' I really believed - I was thinking positive - that I was going to get through this. When you realize that it's not going to work out the way that you want, it becomes very difficult to handle. But at the same time, I've been down this road before.''
Scott's contract ends after this season, and he'd hate for his time with the Orioles to conclude in this fashion.
''My heart's desire is that I want to be here when the organization makes that turn to get back to where we need to be,'' he said. ''But that's out of my hands. All I can do is get ready for this challenge that's coming up, getting myself ready for next spring training and bring to the table what I bring to the table when I'm healthy. Then the rest of that's the Orioles' decision. The Good Lord has control of my future. My heart's desire and my hope is that it will be here.''
Baltimore placed Scott on the 15-day disabled list Saturday and recalled third baseman Josh Bell from Triple-A Norfolk.