Josh Jung, the Texas Rangers third baseman and the team’s first round pick in 2019, has been diagnosed with a labral strain in his left shoulder, per the beats. He reportedly had discomfort when lifting weights, with an examination indicating the strain. He will be evaluated next week, and there’s no time frame on when he will be ready as of now.
The good news, such as it is, is that this is Jung’s non-throwing shoulder. The bad news is shoulder injuries — particularly labrum injuries — can be serious, and Jung could miss a significant period of time.
Jung is considered one of the team’s top prospects, and the thinking had been that he would have a strong shot at claiming the Opening Day third base job. Jung might have made it to the majors at some point last year, but for a foot injury that cost him the first couple of months of the season. The start of the season appears to possibly be in jeopardy for the second year in a row for Jung.
In Jung’s absence, Isiah Kiner-Falefa would seem likely to be the team’s starting third baseman. IKF appeared to be displaced with the addition of Marcus Semien and Corey Seager and the expected emergence of Jung, and was seen as a possible trade candidate. If Jung is not expected to miss a whole ton of time, the Rangers could still potentially move Jung, with Andy Ibanez seeming to be the most likely alternative to IKF in that case.