Roger Salkeld entered the operating room earlier this week with a chance to pitch in 1993. When he exited, that chance had gone.
Salkeld, a record-setting pitcher at Saugus High and the Seattle Mariners’ first-round pick in 1989 when he signed for $225,000, on Tuesday underwent reconstructive surgery on his right shoulder capsule. He will miss the 1993 season, his second in a row after sitting out this season because of a sore shoulder.
The operation, performed by Dr. Frank Jobe at Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood, began as an arthroscopic procedure, Salkeld said, but the doctors decided that reconstruction was necessary.
“None of the tests showed anything (that would require surgery),” he said from the Saugus home of his parents. "(The doctors) just went in and looked and did what they had to do.”
Salkeld, 21, said he immediately will begin a yearlong rehabilitation program and added that it might be at least three months before he can throw a baseball.
A right-hander who was invited to the Mariners’ major league spring training camp, Salkeld was expected to start the 1992 season in triple-A Calgary and finish it in the starting rotation in Seattle.
But it was in Arizona that the shoulder pains started.
"(The pain) just gradually kept getting worse and worse,” said Salkeld, whose fastball had been clocked in the mid-90-m.p.h.-range before the injury.
Salkeld missed the entire season and the Mariners had planned--until Tuesday--to have him pitch in the Arizona Fall League.
“This is obviously a major disappointment to us,” Seattle General Manager Woody Woodward said.
At Saugus, Salkeld was 30-7 with a school-record 404 strikeouts in 266 innings. As a senior, he posted a 13-1 record, led the Centurions to the Southern Section Division 3-A title game and was the 3-A player of the year.
He began his pro career in 1989, at the Mariners’ short-season Class-A team in Bellingham, Wash. He was 2-2 with a 1.29 earned-run average. In 1990, he played for Class-A San Bernardino and posted an 11-5 record with a 3.40 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 153 1/3 innings.
Salkeld started 1991 at double-A Jacksonville, Fla., where he was 8-8 with a 3.05 ERA and 159 strikeouts in 153 2/3 innings. He was promoted to triple-A Calgary, where he went 2-1 with a 5.12 ERA and had 21 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings.