ANAHEIM -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia said on Wednesday that injured right-hander Kelvim Escobar is unlikely to return this season after battling through shoulder problems that have plagued him for the past two seasons. Escobar suffered a setback stemming from his only start this season when his right shoulder became inflamed after allowing two runs over five innings against the Tigers on June 6. It was just the latest setback for Escobar, who missed the entire 2008 season while recovering from a torn labrum and the resulting surgery.
Escobar hasn't seen any progress in his shoulder since it became inflamed, so Scioscia knows it's a long shot that the righty will return to the team this season. "At this point, it doesn't seem that way," Scioscia said of the possibility of Escobar returning. "But obviously he's still rehabbing." Scioscia hoped before the season that the 33-year-old right-hander would be a key contributor to the starting rotation after winning 18 games with a 3.40 ERA two seasons ago. Without Escobar, Scioscia will have to lean on several young starters down the stretch. For now, Escobar will continue to meet with team doctors in case his shoulder begins to respond, although it seems unlikely in Scioscia's eyes. "The medical department and Dr. [Lewis] Yocum keep tabs, but with Kelvim, each passing day means there's less and less chance he'll return," Scioscia said. "His shoulder isn't responding, and there's not really new news there."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.