San Diego Padres pitcher Casey Kelly will undergo Tommy John surgery in April and will miss the entire 2013 season due to an elbow injury that has kept him out of action since mid-March, according to Scott Bair of the North County Times.
Kelly experienced soreness in his right throwing elbow and underwent tests last week that revealed damage that will warrant the procedure. Kelly last pitched on March 7 and was expected to be a big part of the open competition for the Friars’ fifth spot in the starting rotation. The 23-year-old will require at least one year of rehab before he’s likely able to resume any throwing and potentially much longer before he’ll be back on the mound.
In six starts with the Padres last season, Kelly collected a 6.21 ERA in 29.0 innings. He struck out 29 batters and walked 10.
San Diego acquired Kelly from the Boston Red Sox as part of the blockbuster deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez to the East Coast. In return, the Padres received several prospects, including Kelly, who were expected to be key components of the Padres effort to rebuild.
Tommy John surgery is performed when a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament occurs and reconstruction is required. Many notable pitchers such as have had the procedure done and have had successful careers afterward. Most recently, C.J. Wilson, Ryan Madson, Brian Wilson and Stephen Strasburg had it done. At Kelly’s young age and if there are no complications, he should be able to continue to develop into a viable major-league pitcher without issue.
For the Padres, it’s a painful blow, as the No. 5 starting role was a possibility for Kelly. If he didn’t fill it, he could have been an asset in the bullpen. Freddy Garcia, Anthony Bass and Tim Stauffer are among the other spring training hurlers competing for the job.
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