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’ll go under the knife Tuesday, with Dr. James Andrews doing the honors.
He’ll miss the remainder of this season and likely some of 2015 as well. Nova is making $3.3 million this year and he’s arbitration eligible again next season, so the Yankees could decide to tender him a contract and pay similar money hoping he can make a second-half impact. He’d also still be under team control in 2016.
Nova was terrible before being shut down, allowing 19 runs in 21 innings, but he was very effective last season with a 3.10 ERA in 139 innings and is still just 27 years old.
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.