Mariners catcher Tom Murphy will miss the rest of the season after shoulder surgery

Oakland, Calif. – When rest, rehab, a platelet-rich plasma injection and everything else he tried didn’t get his damaged left shoulder strong enough to return to the field, Tom Murphy was left with no other option but to last. Wanted – surgery.

Ahead of Thursday’s game, manager Scott Servais announced that the veteran catcher has decided to undergo season-ending surgery to repair damage to his left shoulder’s rotator cuff and torn labrum.

Murphy has been battling a left shoulder problem for the past few seasons. Compared to last season, his shoulder has either completely or partially moved a handful of times.

The most recent disorder occurred during an attempt to tag a runner on the plate at T-Mobile Park on May 6. Murphy walked off the field shortly after playing, licking his hand.

An initial return attempt a few weeks later ended when he felt some discomfort while hitting the tee.

“He did everything possible to get back,” Servais said. “He took so many different treatments to try to get it back and go. Just wasn’t taking it. It was time for him to stop, which is tough for him.”

After several years riding the shuttle from Class AAA to big leagues with the Rockies, Murphy had found a permanent big-league home when the Mariners acquired him just ahead of the 2019 season.

At the time of splitting with Umar Narwaz in the role of a platoon, Murphy had a breakout season, hitting a .273/.324/.535 slash line with 12 doubles, one triple, 18 homers and 30 RBIs in 75 games. was posted. The Mariners decided to trade Narvaez after the 2019 season and walked away with what was expected to be Murphy’s primary catcher in 2020.

However, a pair of his left legs during “summer camp” leading to the COVID-shortened season resulted in a strange fracture that didn’t heal properly. He missed the full 60 games of 2020. Timing and discomfort in both shoulders led to a decline in the opening season and he spent the season trying to recover at the plate. His return to the role of a platoon and his ability to work with the opening pitching staff helped him rebound slightly towards the end of the season.

He was having a productive 2022 season in the platoon role, posting a .303/.439/.455 slash line with 10 hits in his first 14 games before injury.

“It’s tough for him and it’s tough for us,” Servais said. “He means a lot to our team and what he does behind the scenes, even when he is not playing to help our pitchers and catchers. The biggest thing is that he has to be healthy and after that we will bring him back.

Servais believes that Murphy will be ready to go for the next season.

“If there’s anyone who’s going to come back from this, it’s going to be Murph,” Servais said. “He works very hard, stays in shape and does whatever he can with his body to get back on the field. Then again, it won’t happen this year. But he’ll be back.”

Murphy’s loss was compensated by a brilliant game from Cal Raleigh. The switch-hitting catcher, who spent time with Murphy last season, has played his part in the primary catching role.

In his last 28 games, Raleigh has a .228/.308/.544 slash line with five doubles, eight homers, 18 RBIs, 10 walks and 28 strikeouts. He has been worth 1.2 battles in that time frame, bettering the Blue Jays (2.2), Wilson Contreras (2.0) of the Cubs and Jose Trevino (1.9) of the Yankees.

After playing the first two games of the series, Raleigh dropped out of the lineup for Thursday’s afternoon game.

“We need to give him a day off and it’s difficult when he’s playing not only at the plate but also behind the plate,” Servais said.


Left-handed pitcher Roenise Elias, who was named for the assignment on June 20, has cleared the waiver and accepted a one-time assignment to Class AAA Tacoma. He is expected to join the Rainiers in Sugar Land, Texas, over the next day or two.

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