Jake Arrieta isn’t the only pitcher expected to miss serious time this year. According to multiple reports, closer David Robertson underwent Tommy John surgery on Thursday, effectively putting him on the shelf through the 2020 season.
Robertson, 34, developed a Grade 1 flexor strain in his right elbow back in April, and has been laid up ever since. There was some speculation that he might be able to begin a throwing program in mid-May, but he was shut down shortly after playing catch and did not make any significant progress in the months that followed. He underwent both Tommy John surgery and a procedure to repair the flexor tendon on Thursday and will require 14-16 months of recovery.
Prior to his injured list assignment, the veteran closer struggled through just seven appearances in the majors, issuing four runs, six walks, and six strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. It’ll be some time before he can work back up to the totals he produced with the Yankees in 2018, during which he recorded five saves with a 3.23 ERA, 3.4 BB/9, 11.8 SO/9, and 1.5 fWAR through 69 2/3 innings.
Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.
That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.
Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.
It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.