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.
Another day, another Braves pitcher headed for Tommy John elbow surgery. This time it’s reliever Cory Gearrin, who has decided to go under the knife after getting three different opinions that confirmed his torn ulnar collateral ligament.
Gearrin suffered the injury late in spring training, although it’s hard not to trace his problems back to being worked extremely hard by manager Fredi Gonzalez early last season. At one point Gonzalez used Gearrin eight times in a ten-game span and the side-arming right-hander missed the whole second half with shoulder problems.
It’s a shame, because at age 28 he was finally ready to take on a full-time bullpen role after dominating at Triple-A for three seasons. And now he’ll miss the rest of this season and likely part of 2015 after joining teammates Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy in needing Tommy John surgery.
Braves reliever Cory Gearrin likely needs Tommy John surgery after being diagnosed with a partial ligament tear in his right elbow, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Gearrin, though, will seek a second opinion before making a decision.
Gearrin injured his elbow in the last week of spring training. He didn’t have a particularly productive spring, finishing with a 6.35 ERA in 11 1/3 innings. Gearrin, who turns 28 on April 14, has posted decent numbers at Triple-A over the last three seasons and was slightly above average at the big league level in 31 innings compiled in the first half of last season with the Braves.
Gearrin wasn’t high up on the bullpen depth chart, but he is just the latest in a long line of Braves pitchers to succumb to the injury bug. He joins Brandon Beachy, Gavin Floyd, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor, and Jonny Venters on the shelf.
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