David Aardsma to undergo Tommy John surgery next week

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David Aardsma hasn’t thrown a pitch in the big leagues this season. And now it’s very likely we won’t see him again until latter part of the 2012 season at the earliest.

Greg Johns of MLB.com reports that Aardsma will undergo Tommy John surgery late next week in California. The 29-year-old right-hander has been rehabbing a sprained ulnar collateral ligament over the past two months, but surgery was deemed necessary following an MRI exam on Thursday.

Aardsma took to his Twitter account this evening to confirm the news.

Unfortunately my season is over. I guess I wasn’t meant to pitch this year. I will undergo elbow surgery next week.

I can say we’ve exhausted every avenue before we made this decision. But I WILL BE back and ready next year. Thank you all for your support.

Aardsma posted a 2.90 ERA and saved 69 games from 2009-2010. He injured his elbow in May while on a rehab assignment from January hip surgery.

Brandon League has run away with the closer’s job during his absence, posting a 3.44 ERA, 25/7 K/BB ratio and 23 saves over 36 2/3 innings this season. He was recently named to his first All-Star team.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.