On Monday, we learned that Angels closer Keynan Middleton was seeking a second opinion after being diagnosed with damage to his ulnar collateral ligament. That second opinion confirmed that Middleton will need season-ending Tommy John surgery. The Angels announced the news on Thursday, adding that the right-hander will meet with team doctors to discuss the timeline and a formal plan of care.
Middleton, 24, showed flashes of greatness in his brief time as the Angels’ closer. He racked up six saves with a 2.04 ERA and a 16/9 K/BB ratio in 17 2/3 innings. His 2018 is finished and he likely won’t appear until late in the 2019 season at the earliest as well.
Jim Johnson, Cam Bedrosian, Blake Parker, and Justin Anderson are all in the mix to handle save situations. The Angels haven’t had many opportunities while Middleton has been out so far as the club lost two games and won one in walk-off fashion. Anderson got the save on Monday.
Indians outfielder Bradley Zimmer is out for the year after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, the team announced Saturday. The projected recovery timetable spans anywhere from 8-12 months, which puts Zimmer’s return in the second half of the 2019 season, assuming that all goes well.
Zimmer, 25, had not made an appearance for the Indians since June 3. He racked up a cumulative nine weeks on the major- and minor-league disabled lists this season and will have finished his year with a .226/.281/.330 batting line, seven extra-base hits, and four stolen bases in 114 plate appearances.
The outfielder reportedly sustained his season-ending injury during a workout in Triple-A Columbus, where Cleveland.com’s Joe Noga says Zimmer began feeling discomfort in his shoulder after completing a set of one-handed throwing drills. Comments from club manager Terry Francona suggest that the Indians have every reason to believe that he’ll make a full recovery by next summer, though it’s not yet clear whether or not he’ll need additional time to readjust to a full workload when he takes the field again.