The elbow ligament sprain that sidelined Cincinnati Reds pitcher Homer Bailey last week and earned him a spot on the team's 60-day DL is apparently one that won't simply get better with time.
The team announced Friday that Bailey, in just the second year of the 6 year, $105 million contract he signed prior to the 2014 season, will need Tommy John surgery on his right throwing arm.
RHP Homer Bailey to have "Tommy John" surgery. Is expected to return during the 2016 season.— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 1, 2015
Homer, of course, missed most of Spring Training this year as well as the first two weeks of the season after having surgery to repair a torn flexor mass tendon in his right throwing arm last fall, an injury that cut short his 2014 season. I'm sure that's not exactly the way he, the team, or Reds fans hoped the first two years of that contract would materialize.
Homer, who will turn 29 years old on Sunday, made just a pair of starts in this, the 9th season in which he's been a part of the big league club, and he tossed just 11.1 innings while seeing a noticeable decline in his average fastball velocity (of over 3 full mph). That's a far cry from the kind of success he displayed in the 2012 and 2013 seasons, when he logged a total of 417 IP with a 3.58 ERA and 110 ERA+, threw two no-hitters, and displayed the kind of dominating peak that at one point had him as the #1 pitching prospect in all of baseball.
As if that wasn't damning enough news, it appears that Louisville Bats 1B/OF Donald Lutz is also set for a lengthy rehab stint, as he too had an Ulnar Collateral Ligament in bad enough shape to necessitate Tommy John surgery, which happened Friday morning.
Lutz, who is still on the Reds 40-man roster, had not yet made his 2015 debut with the big league club despite having spent stints with them in both 2013 and 2014, and the Big Knockwurst was hitting just .190/.292/.262 in 48 PA in AAA so far this season.
Best of luck to both in their recoveries, which will take roughly a full year, barring setbacks.