We already knew that Joel Hanrahan was having season-ending surgery to repair the flexor tendon in his right forearm, but doctors didn’t rule out the possibility that he would also require Tommy John surgery. Well, the worst-case scenario played out today.
Hanrahan’s agent, Mike Dillon, confirmed that his client had Tommy John surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. He also had a bone spur removed. It usually takes pitchers at least one year to make it back from Tommy John surgery, so he figures to miss the early part of the 2014 season.
The Red Sox acquired Hanrahan from the Pirates during the offseason to serve as their closer, but he only made nine appearances with the club. The 31-year-old is due to become a free agent this winter and will likely have to settle for an incentive-laden contract.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo suffered what appeared to be an awful injury during Sunday’s game against the Pirates, twisting his ankle while attempting to field a bunt. An MRI revealed that he has a lateral sprain of his right ankle, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Rizzo will wear a walking boot for five to seven days before being reevaluated.
Given that there are only two weeks left in the regular season, it seems doubtful Rizzo would be able to return to aid the Cubs’ NL Wild Card chase. The club entered Monday leading the second Wild Card by a game over the Brewers.
Rizzo, 30, is batting .289/.404/.516 with 26 home runs, 93 RBI, and 88 runs scored in 592 plate appearances on the year. Victor Caratini started at first base for Monday’s game against the Reds. The Cubs may also use Ian Happ, Willson Contreras, and Jonathan Lucroy at first base while Rizzo is out.