Clemson head coach Monte Lee says catcher Chris Williams will have to undergo surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right shoulder, an injury that occurred when he dove back to the bag at first base on a pick-off play against Nevada on May 7.
“It basically keeps your shoulder socket in place,” Lee said on Friday. “It is a sub-luck shoulder, where it pops in and out of place. He tore the ligament that kind of keeps the ball and socket in place.”
Lee anticipates Williams will return to Clemson for his senior after slipping from being a top 3-round pick to the 31st round in the 2017 Major League Baseball. The junior was selected 919 overall by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Williams, who is from Garden Grove, Calif., batted .261 with 14 doubles, 14 homers, 51 RBIs and two steals in 49 games (42 starts) in 2017, a season that saw him suffer two injuries overall. He also injured his wrist in the preseason and missed the first part of the season.
The shoulder injury caused Williams to miss the last month of the season at catcher, and though he tried to designate hit and pinch hit, he finished the year just 2-for-28 at the plate. Before the injuring he was hitting over .300 and he led the Tigers in home runs and RBIs.
“Basically, his shoulder was sliding in and out of place,” Lee said. “He does not have a labrum tear or a rotator cuff tear.”
Lee said Williams will not be allowed to throw for three months and will not be completely 100 percent for six months.
“We feel like he is probably going to miss a portion of the fall,” Lee said. “But, he should be able to hit some throughout the fall. He is going to be able to work behind the plate in workouts. He will probably not be able to catch live in a game, but we feel like he will be at a hundred percent by the time the spring rolls around.”
In two seasons at Clemson, Williams is a career .253 hitter with 19 doubles, a triple, 22 home runs and 89 RBIs in 106 games.