Lucas Giolito isn’t the only first-round pick to need elbow surgery before his first pro season was over, as the Royals announced that No. 5 overall pick Kyle Zimmer had a “minor procedure to remove loose bodies in his right elbow.”
Zimmer is expected to be sidelined for 6-8 weeks, which is a far cry from Giolito likely missing 12-18 months following Tommy John surgery, and the Royals issued a statement saying that the “procedure on Zimmer was anticipated based on physical exam during the draft process.”
Zimmer, who was selected out of the University of San Francisco and signed for $3 million, made nine starts with a 2.04 ERA and 42/8 K/BB ratio in 40 innings between rookie-ball and low Single-A. Not bad for a guy with “loose bodies” in his elbow that entire time.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.