Florida righthander Karsten Whitson, a Freshman All-American in 2011, will be sidelined to start his junior season, the school announced today in a brief press release, which did not specify how long he will be out.
“Karsten has been battling continued shoulder fatigue,” Florida baseball head athletic trainer Pat Hassell said in the two-paragraph release. “We have pursued a conservative management plan to treat this issue. Karsten is evaluating further options at this time that will allow for a healthy and productive return to baseball.”
Baseball America has learned that Whitson will meet with Dr. James Andrews today, and more details about the nature of his injury could emerge by this afternoon.
Whitson, the unsigned No. 9 overall pick in the 2010 draft, turned down a $2.1 million offer from the Padres and attended Florida, where he had a strong freshman year (8-0, 2.45) but an injury-marred sophomore season. Gators officials blamed lingering forearm tendinitis for limiting him to just 33 innings last year, and he left the Cape Cod League after three innings due to shoulder stiffness last summer.
He flashed his characteristic explosive stuff—a mid-90s fastball and a wipeout slider—during the fall and even at times during practice this spring, but he continued to be dogged by shoulder discomfort, although examinations have revealed no obvious structural damage in the past. Whitson refused to speak with Baseball America for a College Preview feature story last month, further clouding his health status.