Just a week after losing right-hander Alex White to Tommy John elbow surgery the Astros lost another potential starter, right-hander John Ely, to the same surgery.
Ely, who was acquired from the Dodgers in a trade back in December, began the season at Triple-A after failing to win a rotation spot during spring training. He tossed four shutout innings in his only appearance there before being shut down and will miss the entire season.
Ely led the Pacific Coast League in ERA last season, going 14-7 with a 3.20 ERA and 165 strikeouts in 169 innings, but has a 5.70 ERA in 115 innings as a big leaguer through age 27.
As feared earlier this week, Astros right-hander Alex White needs Tommy John elbow surgery and will miss the entire season.
White was set to be the Astros’ fourth starter before complaining of elbow soreness late in spring training, so this is a very tough break for a pitcher whose stock had already dipped quite a bit in the past couple seasons.
White was originally the Indians’ first-round pick in 2009 and has been traded twice, going from Cleveland to Colorado in the Ubaldo Jimenez deal and from Colorado to Houston in the Wilton Lopez trade. He’ll be 25 years old by the time he throws another pitch in the majors and has a 6.03 career ERA in 149 innings so far.
Alex White was set to be the Astros’ fourth starter, but he injured his elbow late in spring training and now the 24-year-old former first-round pick may be headed for surgery.
Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle reports that nothing official has been decided yet, but White is “starting to accept the idea of Tommy John surgery.” He’s already been placed on the 60-day disabled list with what is being called a strained elbow.
White was the Indians’ first-round pick in 2009, got traded to the Rockies as part of the Ubaldo Jimenez deal in mid-2011, and was sent to the Astros in December for Wilton Lopez.