Rangers Lose Hurley For ’09

The Rangers’ 2009 season is already starting to look eerily similar to that of 2008.

Eric Hurley, a righthander that Texas eyed for a starting rotation slot, is likely to miss the season after undergoing surgery Wednesday to repair a torn rotator cuff, according to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Hurley, a first-round pick in 2004, had spent the offseason trying to get his shoulder ready. This after the Rangers shut him down in August shortly after a July 27 start in which the Athletics battered him for six earned runs in only two innings.

His departure from the staff came in a year when the Rangers lost Brandon McCarthy in spring training to shoulder inflammation—and he did not pitch until August—and also endured injuries to Luis Mendoza, Kason Gabbard and Eddie Guardado. Sidney Ponson, one of their better midseason pitchers, was released after a reported run-in with manager Ron Washington.

Rated as BA’s No. 3 Rangers prospect entering 2008, Hurley failed to make the Texas rotation out of spring training, then struggled in April at Triple-A Oklahoma but recovered to earn his first career big league start on June 12.

But he was just 1-2, 5.47 in 24 2/3 innings and showed a fastball only in the 88-90 mph range.

Along the way, he took two weeks off to deal with shoulder inflammation and, on a rehab assignment, injured a hamstring while running and missed two more weeks. Then came the July 27 start, and Hurley was done for the season.