MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch had the awful news first:
The MRI on RHP Ivan Nova last night has revealed a partial tear of ulnar collateral ligament of his right elbow. He will be placed on the disabled list today and will be further examined tomorrow in New York by Yankees team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad.
A torn UCL (even a partially-torn one) pretty much always leads to Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery, which would sideline Nova through the early part of the 2015 season. He posted an impressive 3.10 ERA with 116 strikeouts in 139 1/3 innings last summer for the Yankees but had surrendered 32 hits and 19 earned runs in 20 2/3 frames this year.
The 27-year-old joins a long list of high-profile pitchers who have suffered torn elbow ligaments in 2014. Some of those names: Matt Moore of the Rays, Patrick Corbin of the Diamondbacks, Kris Medlen of the Braves, Jarrod Parker of the A’s, Brandon Beachy of the Braves, and Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.