Dodgers reliever Todd Coffey will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ulnar collateral ligament that requires Tommy John elbow surgery.
Coffey was visited on the mound by the team trainer after complaining of elbow soreness during Monday’s appearance, but stayed in the game and actually struck out two of the final three batters he faced. And then an MRI exam showed a partial UCL tear.
This will be the second Tommy John surgery for Coffey, who underwent the operation 12 years ago and went on to throw 439 innings with a 4.10 ERA before his elbow gave out again at age 31.
He’ll likely be sidelined until the middle of next season, which means the Dodgers will almost surely decline their $2.5 million option for 2013 and instead pay Coffey a $300,000 buyout.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.