- Matt Cain will have season-ending surgery on Monday.
Matt Cain’s season is officially over. Bone chips coming out next Monday.
— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) August 4, 2014
Dr. James Andrews has been a very busy man the last few weeks, with his latest patient being Matt Cain. Everything seems fine with Cain’s UCL, as San Francisco Giants fans breathe a sigh of relief, sort of. However, Cain has bone chips in his elbow that he needs to have removed which will likely keep him out for the remainder of the season.
Since 2012 though, Cain hasn’t seemed to be as dominant as he once was, going 8-10 with an ERA of 4.00 in 2013, and he has an ERA of 4.18 with a record of 2-7 this season. Win/loss records aren’t necessarily representative of how well a pitcher is pitching most of the time, but in his case when he was pitching well in the past, the Giants were winning games. Not that a 4.18 ERA is bad, but for one of the highest paid right handed pitchers in the MLB, it’s not good at all. On the plus side, Cain is only 29, so he does have a good amount of solid pitching left in him.
It would most likely be in the best interest to shut him down for the rest of the season, even if he is cleared to play at any point, just in case. The Giants owe Cain, over $50 million over the next three years, (with a team option for 2018) so they shouldn’t gamble on an injury. Bone chips are simply little pieces of bone that irritate the ligaments and joints in the elbow. Even though this isn’t said to be a serious injury, it’s not something that should be gambled on. It is possible this has been something that has been bothering him the last season and a half so that could be the reason behind his regression. There is no doubt Cain can still be a dominant pitcher, but it’s best to take any injury to an elbow as slowly as possible.
The Giants are 58-50 and second in the NL West, the loss of Matt Cain might hurt, but San Francisco still has one of the best team ERA’s in all of baseball, so they should be fine.