Red Sox minor-league reliever Michael Gettys took to Instagram on Thursday to announce that he is going to have surgery to repair a herniated disc in his lower back.
“If you know me, for the past six years I’ve made comments or complained about my lower back always being tight (jokingly sometimes),” Gettys wrote. “Since the middle of 2016 I have been playing and living with a herniated disc in my lower back. Only few people know how bad it really bothered me. I’ve had extreme muscle spasms, referred pain into my hip and groin, and extreme nerve pain radiating from my low back down my leg (sciatica). I haven’t been able to tie my shoes properly, bend over or sit for long periods of time without nerve pain. I’ve pushed and pushed. Now is the time to get it fixed as it has affected my quality of life and career.
“Only a handful of times in the past few years have I really felt like myself physically,” he continued. “I will be getting surgery to remove the herniation that is constantly on my nerve. I am at peace with it because I know I will be pain-free in my daily life and my playing career. I’ve always been a man of faith, I give God control of it all. I have always been resilient and I’ve never quit anything. I plan to come back better than ever in my personal life and playing career!”
Gettys first joined the Red Sox organization as a minor-league free agent in November 2020. At that point in time, the 27-year-old was an outfielder and former second-round draft selection of the Padres in 2014 who spent the first six years of his professional career in San Diego’s farm system.
A right-handed hitter, Gettys opened the 2021 minor-league season with Triple-A Worcester and saw playing time at all three outfield positions for the WooSox before being placed on the development in early August. Later that same month, Gettys had successfully been converted into a pitcher and was working as a reliever with the rookie-level Florida Complex League Red Sox down in Fort Myers.
Boston first re-signed Gettys to a minor-league deal that November. Between High-A Greenville and Double-A Portland last season, the righty pitched to a 2.23 ERA and 4.21 FIP with 31 strikeouts to 15 walks over 40 relief appearances spanning 48 1/3 innings of work. As a member of the Sea Dogs bullpen, he forged an ERA of 0.48 (4.00 FIP) with eight strikeouts to eight walks across 18 outings and 18 2/3 innings.
Gettys was expected to return to Portland for the start of the 2023 campaign after re-signing with the Red Sox last November, but he was placed on the 7-day injured list earlier this month because of back issues. Those back issues have now progressed to the point where the 6-foot-1, 217-pound hurler will go under the knife in hopes of getting them resolved.
With that, it seems unlikely that Gettys — who turns 28 in October — will be able to pitch this season, though his timetable has not yet been determined. Taking that into consideration, it is worth mentioning that the Georgia native can once again become eligible for minor-league free agency at the end of the year.
(Picture of Michael Gettys: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)