Jason Motte gave his elbow injury some time to see if he could avoid going under the knife, but Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the Cardinals closer will have Tommy John surgery.
That means Motte will miss the remainder of this season and will likely be out for at least the beginning of next season as well, when he’s under contract for $7 million.
Mitchell Boggs struggled attempting to replace Motte in the ninth inning, but Edward Mujica has grabbed hold of the closer role and the Cardinals have Trevor Rosenthal and now fellow rookie Carlos Martinez as hard-throwing setup men.
Motte saved a league-leading 42 games last season in his first year as a full-time closer at age 30, posting a 2.75 ERA and 86/17 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. He was shut down in mid-March and an MRI exam two weeks later revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament.
Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.
Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”
Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.
The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.