When the Twins announced last week that starter Scott Baker needed an elbow procedure and would miss the rest of the 2012 season, they claimed that his ulnar collateral ligament was fine and that it was his flexor pronator tendon that required repairing.
That was either incorrect or untrue.
According to MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger, Baker underwent Tommy John reconstructive surgery on his throwing elbow Tuesday in New York after Dr. David Altchek found significant damage involving the 30-year-old right-hander’s UCL. What was once a six-month recovery is now sure to be a 12-month one.
Baker, 30, registered a solid 3.14 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 123/32 K/BB ratio across 134 2/3 innings last season. But the Twins are all but certain to decline his $9.25 million club option for the 2013 campaign.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Mets starter Steven Matz has been pitching through pain for most of the season. He may need surgery to fix a nerve issue in his elbow. Matz was sidelined in spring training with an elbow injury and made his regular season debut on June 10.
Matz, 26, has struggled over 13 starts, posting a 6.08 ERA with a 48/19 K/BB ratio in 66 2/3 innings. Many were scrambling for explanations for his pitching woes and now they have it.
According to Carig, the Mets let Matz skip his bullpen sessions to help him pitch through the pain. Given the Mets’ shoddy history of dealing with injuries, that’s not a good look for the club.
Carig noted on Twitter that Jacob deGrom offers some optimism for Matz’s case. deGrom underwent right elbow surgery to repair ulnar nerve damage last September and bounced back to have a great season this year.
Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to throw three innings in a simulated game on Monday. That simulated game went so well, he threw an extra inning, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start next and could be activated towards the end of next week.
Kershaw, 29, has been on the disabled list since July 24 with a lower back strain. That put the pause button on another outstanding season. He’s carrying a 15-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.
The 87-35 Dodgers have run away with the NL West, needing some combination of 20 wins and 20 Rockies losses (19 for the third-place Diamondbacks) to officially clinch the division. While the Dodgers are all but mathematically assured of reaching postseason baseball, the club would still like to get Kershaw as ready as possible over the next month-plus.