The Cincinnati Reds have announced that RHP Homer Bailey has torn his UCL and will required the infamous Tommy John surgery. He is ruled out for the rest of the 2015 season.
“After consulting with (team medical director) Dr. Kremchek and other orthopaedic surgeons, we determined the best option with the most predictable outcome is to surgically repair the ligament,” said Reds General Manager and President of Baseball Operations Walt Jocketty. “It does not appear the injury is at all related to the right elbow flexor mass injury Homer sustained late last season.”
The Reds expect the right-hander to be back and healthy sometime in 2016, but could miss a huge chunk of the 2016 season depending on how the rehab progress goes.
RHP Homer Bailey to have “Tommy John” surgery. Is expected to return during the 2016 season.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 1, 2015
Not pleasant news for both parties, as Bailey is currently in the second year of a six-year $105 million dollar deal with Cincinnati. Originally, the Reds decided to shut down Bailey for two months and put him on the 60-day disabled list to figure out what to actually do with the righty. Last year he was shut down early for arm problems as he underwent surgery to repair a flexor mass strain in September. He started 2015 on the 15-day disabled list.
Bailey made two poor appearances this year before being sent back to the DL.
In his first start of the season, he struggled allowing five runs on nine hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings without striking out a hitter. Bailey touched 95 mph with his fastball in the first few innings, but lost velocity quickly.
Looking to rebound from his previous start Bailey again went 5 2/3 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. He struck out three, walked one and gave up seven hits while yielding two earned runs on solo homers. Velocity was still a problem for Bailey, getting clocked between 89-91 mph on his fastball. His fastball in 2014 averaged 94 mph so there was concern about significant drop in velocity.
This seemed like an inevitable decision once the 28-year old was indefinitely out for 60 days. In his nine year MLB career 2012 and 2013 are his only seasons were he made 30 starts, pitched 200 or more innings and had a above average league ERA. His track record shows when healthy he can be very effective, but the injury bug has bitten Bailey again and again.
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