Tommy John elbow surgery has claimed another young pitcher and this time he’s not even in the pros yet. Stanford right-hander Cal Quantrill, projected by many to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft, will undergo Tommy John surgery this week.
Quantrill is the son of longtime big leaguer Paul Quantrill and followed up a fantastic freshman season by getting off to a good start as a sophomore this year, but now he’ll miss the remainder of this year and likely a big chunk of 2016 as well.
However, as we saw with Lucas Giolito and the Nationals in 2012 and Jeff Hoffman and the Blue Jays in 2014 teams are now willing to invest first-round picks in pitchers sidelined by elbow injuries in the hopes that they’ll return to their previous form.
Unhappy with their in-house options among left-handed relievers the Mets “have been scouting” Orioles southpaw Brian Matusz, according to Dan Martin of the New York Post.
Josh Edgin undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery leaves the Mets especially lacking in lefty reliever candidates and Matusz has fared well since shifting to the bullpen full time in 2013.
He has a 3.26 ERA in 146 career appearances as a reliever, compared to a 5.51 ERA in 68 starts, and Matusz has racked up 122 strikeouts in 116 relief innings. He’s set to make $3.2 million this season and is under team control for 2016 as well.
Matt Harvey isn’t even officially back from his Tommy John surgery yet and now another young Mets starter is bound for the same operation and year-long rehab.
Zack Wheeler has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament and, while no decision has been made yet, Tommy John surgery is considered “likely.”
Wheeler was the sixth overall pick in the 2009 draft and the Mets stole him from the Giants in exchange for a few months of Carlos Beltran in mid-2011. He debuted in 2013 at age 23 and has thrown 285 innings with a 3.50 ERA in the majors, striking out 8.5 batters per nine innings and working in the mid-90s with his fastball.
He struggled in his spring training debut, allowing six runs while recording four outs, as Wheeler walked two batters and plunked three others. He was then scratched from his Saturday start, but the Mets initially downplayed the severity of the injury and there was originally no MRI exam even scheduled.
Wheeler’s injury robs Mets fans of seeing him alongside Harvey in the rotation until next season and also greatly decreases the odds of general manager Sandy Alderson trading starter Dillon Gee.
Philadelphia signed Aaron Harang for $5 million to eat some innings in a rebuilding season, but now the veteran right-hander is having back problems.
Harang was scratched from Saturday’s scheduled start with lower back discomfort, which has now caused him to miss two outings already.
Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg told Jim Hawkins of CSNPhilly.com that “it’s just a little muscular thing” and “I’m not too worried.”
Still, back problems for a 37-year-old are always worrisome.
Baseball-Reference.com is the world’s best, most essential baseball website (except for this one, of course) and its creator, Sean Forman, went the extra mile to create a stat page for Will Ferrell after his spring training exploits Thursday.
Here’s a screen shot featuring some of the fun:
Check out the whole thing: Will Ferrell on Baseball-Reference.com.