Pitchers facing Tommy John surgery
Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins
Marlins ace Jose Fernandez will require Tommy John surgery after an elbow injury that was first described as a “sprain,” but now a full-blown tear of his ulnar collateral ligament. Fernandez still has a $2 million signing bonus from a few years ago, is making $635,000 this year and, by the time his elbow is healed, will be on track to make millions and millions more.
*Career statistics through 2013: IP: 224.1, WHIP: .97, Ks: 257, ERA: 2.25
Martin Perez, Texas Rangers
Around the same time starter Matt Harrison was placed on the disabled list for the second time, the Rangers received more bad news when they learned starter Martin Perez has a partially torn UCL which may require Tommy John surgery.
*Career statistics through 2013: IP: 213.2, WHIP: 1.39, Ks: 144, ERA: 4.13
Josh Johnson, San Diego Padres
Josh Johnson signed a one-year, $8 million deal with San Diego in the hopes of staying healthy and building up his value in the majors’ most pitcher-friendly environment, but now he’s headed for a second Tommy John surgery after going under the knife the first time in 2007.
*Career statistics through 2013: IP: 998, WHIP: 1.27, Ks: 915, ERA: 3.40
Erick Fedde, UNLV (potential top-10 draft pick)
We learned earlier that East Carolina University right-hander Jeff Hoffman will undergo Tommy John surgery and now another potential top-10 pick will join him.
According to Aaron Fitt of Baseball America, UNLV pitcher Erick Fedde also needs Tommy John surgery. Listed at 6-foot-4 and 180 pounds, the lanky right-hander posted a 1.76 ERA and 82/21 K/BB ratio over 77 innings this spring. Fitt writes that Fedde has attracted attention from MLB teams due to “a fastball that has reached 97, a quality slider and changeup, a tall, athletic frame and an advanced ability to pound the strike zone.”
Jose Cisnero, Houston Astros
Though he doesn’t quite carry the profile of a Kris Medlen or Jose Fernandez or A.J. Griffin or Matt Moore, Jose Cisnero is scheduled to undergo the reconstructive elbow procedure and is done for the remainder of the 2014 season, and will probably miss the first half of the 2015 campaign as well.
*Career statistics through 2013: IP: 48.1, WHIP: 1.72, Ks: 46, ERA: 4.66
Jose Campos, New York Yankees
Most forget the storied Michael Pineda-Jesus Montero trade actually involved a total of four players, with Hector Noesi joining the Mariners and Jose Campos going to the Yankees. Now Campos is on the shelf for New York after he underwent Tommy John surgery.
*Minor League career statistics through 2013: IP: 283, WHIP: 1.16, Ks: 270, ERA: 3.37
Johnny Hellweg, Milwaukee Brewers
The 25-year old right hander underwent season ending Tommy John surgery on April 29th.
Hellweg, the No. 7 Brewers prospect according to MLB.com, felt a pop in his right elbow during an April 20 start for Triple-A Nashville and left the game nine pitches later. He was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament two days later in Milwaukee.
*Career statistics through 2013: IP: 30.2, WHIP: 2.20, Ks: 9, ERA: 6.90
A.J. Griffin, Oakland Athletics
The right-handed starter has been dealing with an elbow issue since the middle of March. He has tried rehab but failed to show progress so after getting a second opinion he has decided to go forward with the surgery.
The 26-year old will miss the rest of the 2014 season and possibly the beginning of 2015.
*Career statistics through 2013: IP: 282.1, WHIP: 1.13, Ks: 235, ERA: 3.61
Ivan Nova, New York Yankees
Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova has decided to undergo Tommy John elbow surgery after a second opinion agreed with the initial diagnosis of a torn ulnar collateral ligament. He plays to get the surgery Tuesday April 29.
The 27 year old will miss the remainder of this season and the beginning of the 2015 season.
*Career statistics through 2013: IP: 517.0, WHIP: 1.38, Ks: 393, ERA: 4.05
Matt Moore, Tampa Bay Rays
After prematurely exiting from a start on April 7, Matt Moore will undergo Tommy John surgery after discovering he has a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament. While the 24-year-old left hander tried to rehabilitate his elbow, it’s now confirmed surgery is the best option.
He will undergo surgery April 22 and will not make a return until the 2015 season.
*Career statistics through 2013: IP: 33.7, WHIP: 1.33, Ks: 333, ERA: 3.56
Jameson Taillon, Pittsburgh Pirates
Jameson Taillon underwent Tommy John surgery Thursday, April 10. Taillon will need at least 12 months of rehab, and probably won't be a realistic rotation option for the Pirates until sometime around the 2015 All-Star break.
The 22-year old right-hander is Pittsburgh's top pitching prospect but unfurtunately won't be able to help them in the 2014 season.
*2013 statistics in the minors: 3.73 ERA, 143 strikeouts in 147.1 innings.
Bobby Parnell, New York Mets
29-year old New York Mets closer, Bobby Parnell has planned to undergo Tommy John Surgery on Tuesday April 8, 2014. He was diagnosed with a partial tear on April 1st, after a blown save in the season opener the day before. Parnell has chosen to have the surgery without attempting rehab first because the recovery requires 10-14 months and he does not want it to impact him in the 2015 season. He will be joining his teammates Matt Harvey and Jeremy Hefner who both underwent the surgery last year.
*Career statistics through 2013: Games saved: 36 IP: 307.1 ERA: 122 Ks: 280 WHIP: 1.39
Chad Billingsley, Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley has work to do to reclaim his place in the Dodgers starting rotation. Former Cy Young Award-winners Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke headline a well-recognized staff. Hyun-Jin Ryu impressed last season and should be the team’s No. 3 starter. From there: Josh Beckett, Dan Haren and Paul Maholm block Billingsley’s path. On April 24, 2013, the 29-year old underwent Tommy John surgery. His recovery is going better than expected and is projected to re-join the Dodgers’ staff in early May.
*Career statistics through 2013: Games Started: 190; IP: 1,175.1; Record: 81-61; ERA: 3.65; Ks: 1,037*
Jason Motte, St. Louis Cardinals
Late in the 2011 season, Jason Motte assumed closer duties for a team that desperately needed one. The 31-year old was everything the Cardinals hoped for and more. Motte finished 2011’s regular season with nine saves down the stretch and five saves in the postseason. He went on to have a career-year in 2012, finishing with 42 saves, tying Craig Kimbrel to lead the NL, and a sub 1 WHIP. Motte became the first Cardinals pitcher in franchise history to record every save. On May 7, 2013, Motte underwent Tommy John surgery. He is expected to be back in the Cardinals bullpen sometime this May.
*Career statistics as of 2013: Games: 282; IP: 260; Saves: 54; ERA: 2.87; Ks: 273; WHIP: 1.069*
Gavin Floyd, Atlanta Braves
The Chicago White Sox picked up Gavin Floyd’s $9.5 million option for 2013 expecting Floyd to continue to be a key part of the team’s starting rotation. Instead, Floyd was 0-4 in five starts, eventually landing on the disabled list. On May 7, 2013, the 31-year old underwent Tommy John surgery and is expected to be out for most, if not all, of the 2014 season.
*Career statistics as of 2013: Games Started: 187; IP: 1,151.1; Record: 70-70; ERA: 4.48; Ks: 903
Jonny Venters, Atlanta Braves
Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel have been a formidable duo in the back-end of the bullpen for the Atlanta Braves over the last few seasons. On May 16, 2013, the 29-year old lefty underwent his second Tommy John surgery of his career (his first was in 2005 as a minor leaguer); the first two-time surgery recipient on this list. Venters is expected back sometime in 2014.
*Career statistics as of 2013: Games: 230; IP: 229.2; ERA: 2.23; Ks: 258; WHIP: 1.241*
Joel Hanrahan, Free Agent
Closer Joel Hanrahan emerged as an All-Star for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011 and 2012 before being traded to the Boston Red Sox prior to the start of the 2013 season. Hanrahan’s season was quickly derailed in just two months; he struggled in nine appearances and eventually was placed on the DL. On May 17, 2013, the 32-year old underwent his first Tommy John surgery. Dr. James Andrews, who routinely performs the surgery for many major leaguers, also repaired Hanrahan’s torn flexor muscle and removed bone spurs. Hanrahan is currently a free agent.
*Career statistics as of 2013: Games: 362; IP: 404.2; Saves: 100; ERA: 3.85; Ks: 441; WHIP: 1.401*
Eric O'Flaherty, Oakland Athletics
The former Seattle Mariner and Atlanta Brave underwent Tommy John surgery on May 21, 2013. The 29-year old reliever signed a two-year, $7 million contract with the Oakland Athletics in the offseason and is expected to be available sometime in July.
Career statistics as of 2013: Games: 373; IP: 319.1; ERA: 2.85; Ks: 245; WHIP: 1.245
Daniel Hudson, Arizona Diamondbacks
Daniel Hudson was the key player involved in a July 30, 2010 trade that sent Edwin Jackson from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Chicago White Sox. Hudson struggled with the White Sox, but the light bulb quickly came on in Arizona. Hudson finished the second-half of the 2010 season with a 7-1 record, 1.92 ERA and 70 strikeouts over 79 innings. Hudson built off of a strong finish to 2010 by winning 16 games in 2011, and helped the Diamondbacks win the 2011 NL West Division Championship. On June 18, 2013, the 27-year old had his second Tommy John surgery and is expected back for spring training 2015.
*Career statistics as of 2013: Games Started: 58; IP: 381.1; Record: 28-17; ERA: 3.68; Ks: 304*
Dylan Bundy, Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles have high expectations for 21-year old Dylan Bundy after making him the fourth-overall selection in the 2011 MLB Draft. Bundy had Tommy John surgery in June 2013, and is currently working towards returning sometime mid-season, possibly in June. He is still expected to be the Orioles’ future ace.
*Career statistics as of 2013: two major league appearances; expected call-up sometime in June*
Jason Marquis, San Diego Padres
San Diego Padre and journeyman starting pitcher Jason Marquis had Tommy John Surgery in August 2013. The 35-year old was effective with a 9-5 record with a 4.05 ERA in 117.2 innings pitched last season. In a recent throwing session, Maqruis looked impressive, and is expected to be ready to take the mound again for the Padres sometime in June.
*Career statistics as of 2013: Games Started: 309; IP: 1,921; Record: 121-114; ERA: 4.56; Ks: 1,137*
Rafael Betancourt, Free Agent
In August 2013, Colorado Rockies reliever Rafael Betancourt underwent Tommy John surgery. Betancourt has been one of the most consistent relievers in MLB over the last decade. The soon-to-be 39-year old remains a free agent, but plans to rehab and wants to stay with the Rockies.
*Career statistics as of 2013: Games: 635; IP: 646.1; ERA: 3.19; Ks: 684; WHIP: 1.091*
Matt Harvey, New York Mets
On Oct 22, 2013, New York Mets’ ace Matt Harvey underwent successful Tommy John surgery to repair his torn ulnar collateral ligament. Despite having his season cut short, Harvey enjoyed success in 2013 including: posting one of the National league’s lowest ERAs (2.27), finishing fourth in NL Cy Young Award Voting and, perhaps the 25-year old’s most proud accomplishment to date, starting the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field, becoming the third Mets pitcher in history to do so along with Tom Seaver (1970) and Dwight Gooden (1986 and 1988). Harvey’s expected return-date is Spring Training 2015.
*Career statistics as of 2013: Games Started: 36; IP: 237.2; Record: 12-10; ERA: 2.39; Ks: 261*
Cory Luebke, San Diego Padres
San Diego Padres pitcher Cory Luebke recently underwent Tommy John surgery to repair the tear in the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow. On Feb 18, 2014, Luebke, like several other pitchers on this list, joined an exclusive club of pitchers who have needed to have the surgery twice in their professional careers. Dr. Andrews said the odds of anyone needing a second surgery of this type were rare. Luebke had his first surgery on May 23, 2012, and hasn't thrown a pitch in the majors since April 27, 2012. Luebke’s expected return date is Spring Training 2015.
*Career statistics as of 2013: Games Started: 25; IP: 188.1; Record: 10-12; ERA: 3.25; Ks: 195*
Luke Hochevar, Kansas City Royals
Kansas City Royals pitcher Luke Hochevar underwent Tommy John surgery on March 7, 2014 after consulting with teammate Bruce Chen and manager Ned Yost. The 30-year old, former first-overall pick in 2006’s MLB draft, has been considered a disappointment since he debuted in 2007, but seemed to have started to turn the corner in 2013. He finished with a 5-2 record, 1.92 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 70 innings pitched. Hochevar is expected to return sometime in early 2015.
*Career statistics as of 2013: Games Started: 128; IP: 841.1; Record: 43-61; ERA: 5.10; Ks: 613*
Kris Medlen, Atlanta Braves
Kris Medlen is no stranger to Tommy John surgery, having had the procedure done on Aug. 18, 2010. The Braves organization decided to take his recovery slowly, and the results paid immediate dividends when Medlen returned in 2012. Medlen, at one point, was counted on to be the future ace of the Atlanta Braves pitching staff. In 2012, the 5’9 right-hander worked his way from the Braves bullpen to full-time starter, and the results were impressive – finishing the regular season with a 10-1 record (his only loss was in relief) and 1.57 ERA. This spring training, like Luebke, Medlen received word that he would once again need to have the surgery. The surgery was performed on March 19, 2014. He is expected to miss all of 2014, and possibly, the early portion of 2015.
*Career statistics as of 2013: Games Started: 61; IP: 512.2; Record: 34-20; ERA: 2.95; Ks: 434*
Brandon Beachy, Atlanta Braves
Jarrod Parker, Oakland Athletics
After the Athletics won the 2012 AL West Division championship, Jarrod Parker was poised to be the breakout performer on the staff. After a down year in 2013, the 25-year-old underwent his second Tommy John surgery on March 24, 2014. He is expected back sometime early in the 2015 season.
*Career statistics as of 2013: Games Started: 62; IP: 384; Record: 25-16; ERA: 3.68; Ks: 275*
Patrick Corbin, Arizona Diamondbacks
24-year-old lefty Patrick Corbin underwent his first Tommy John surgery performed by Dr. Andrews on March 25, 2014. In over 208 innings, Corbin finished with a 14-8 record, 3.41 ERA and 178 strikeouts. The Diamondbacks were counting on Corbin to be their ace this season and beyond, but will now have to wait until 2015 at the earliest to have the lefty back in the fold.
*Career statistics as of 2013: Games Started: 49; IP: 315.1; Record: 20-16; ERA: 3.80; Ks: 264*
Bruce Rondon, Detroit Tigers
After a solid debut in 2013, 23-year old Tigers right hander Bruce Rondon will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the remainder of the 2014 season. Rondon finished last season with 30 strikeouts and a 3.45 ERA in 28.2 innings pitched. The Tigers were counting on Rondon to be the team’s set-up man in 2014, but with his loss and the departure of reliever Joaquin Benoit to the Padres, the Tigers bullpen seems to be one of the team’s weakest spots heading into 2014.
*Career statistics as of 2013: Games: 30; IP: 28.2; ERA: 3.45; Ks: 30; WHIP: 1.36*
Cory Gearrin, Atlanta Braves
After receiving opinions from three separate doctors, Braves’ Cory Gearrin will undergo Tommy John surgery after partially tearing a ligament in his elbow. The 27-year-old reliever will be sidelined all of 2015.
*Career statistics as of 2013: Games pitched: 77, ERA: 4.28, IP: 69.1, WHIP: 1.399, Ks: 68