Doctors have told Baltimore Orioles reliever Tippy Martinez that his left rotator cuff is "worn out" and that the damage is too extensive for surgery.
However, Martinez, 36, said he has no plans to retire, even though doctors have offered him little hope that his shoulder, even if rehabilitated, would hold up for an entire season.
Martinez, who will not play again this season, said he planned to get an opinion from at least one other doctor. Even if that opinion agreed with the first, he would still try to play next year.
"It definitely doesn't look good," he said. "I'm going to wait and get a second opinion. You never know. I could still throw 89 mph this spring, so I don't want to quit without giving it one more shot. I realize I'm going against all the odds, but I'm going to do everything I possibly can."
Martinez, who has one more year left on his contract, said he planned to rest the shoulder for a couple months, then begin an extensive rehabilitation program to prepare for spring training in 1987.
He said he planned a program of throwing, running and weight-lifting, and that he would seek the guidance of a world-class javelin thrower "who gave me some advice about training recently."
Martinez appeared in only 14 games this season, pitching 16 innings. He had one save this season and four last season. In 1982, 1983 and 1984, he saved a total of 54 games, pitching 103 1/3 innings in 1983.
"He still wants to pitch and has confidence he can pitch," Orioles General Manager Hank Peters said. "We'll go along with him."