Overwork ’em and let ’em go. That what the Braves decided to do to reliever Cory Gearrin on Tuesday, releasing him seven months after he underwent Tommy John surgery.
Gearrin, 28, had a 4.28 ERA in 77 relief appearances for the Braves from 2013, striking out 68 in 69 1/3 innings.
In 2013, Gearrin made the Braves out of spring training for the first time and got off to a great start. Too great for his own good, in fact. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez used him eight times in a 10-day span in late April. By the end of May, he had appeared in 30 of Atlanta’s 54 games. He started struggling, got sent down and then finished the season on the shelf with shoulder tendinitis. He came down with the sore elbow last spring and had Tommy John surgery a week into the regular season.
Gearrin might not be the only rehabbing pitching the Braves cut loose this winter. Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy are similarly coming back from Tommy John surgery, only they’re arbitration eligible and are set to make a lot more money than Gearrin, who was earning the major league minimum. Medlen received $5.8 million last year, while Beachy earned $1.45 million. One or both could be non-tendered in December.
The elbow injury epidemic simply can’t be stopped.
CSNWashington.com’s Mark Zuckerman reports that Marlins right-hander Henderson Alvarez was removed from his start Wednesday night against the Nationals after experiencing stiffness in his pitching elbow. Alvarez had delivered five scoreless innings against the Nats, lowering his season ERA to 2.97.
The talented 24-year-old is likely headed back to Miami to undergo an elbow exam, and we wouldn’t rule out the involvement of Dr. James Andrews.
Andrew published a position paper Wednesday on the increase of major elbow injuries.
Tommy John surgery has already claimed Jose Fernandez, Matt Moore, Kris Medlen, A.J. Griffin, Martin Perez, Patrick Corbin, Brandon Beachy, Ivan Nova, Josh Johnson, Jameson Taillon, Bobby Parnell, Bruce Rondon, Luke Hochevar, David Hernandez, Cory Gearrin, and Jose Cisnero in 2014.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.com reports what we feared to be the case: Jose Fernandez has been diagnosed with a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament of his pitching arm and Tommy John surgery is gonna happen. He’ll get a second opinion from the Marlins team doctor, but there isn’t much reason to be optimistic here.
Fernandez joins Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy, Cory Gearrin, Patrick Corbin, Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin; Matt Moore, Ivan Nova, Josh Johnson, Bobby Parnell, Luke Hochevar, Bruce Rondon and Jameson Taillon. All just this year.
They ought to build a monument.