Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitching prospect Ross Stripling went to Los Angeles to meet with Dr. Neal Elattrache after feeling pain in his right elbow.
Stripling felt some pain after appearing in the Dodgers’ opening Cactus League game and was sent to get reevaluated. He admitted to feeling the pain earlier in the spring, but didn’t mention it to trainers or the coaching staff.
According to J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News, Stripling received some unfortunate news on his elbow:
Ross Stripling will have Tommy John surgery tomorrow.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) March 4, 2014
Stripling is undergoing surgery as soon as possible, likely to be able to return in the spring for the 2015 season. The injury is a devastating blow to one of the Dodgers’ top prospects, who was expected to possibly reach the big leagues this season. Stripling was being slightly considered for the fifth spot in the starting rotation and was given his first chance to show the coaching staff he was ready. Since being drafted by the team in the fifth round of the 2012 MLB Draft, Stripling quickly climbed the ranks in the minor leagues, reaching Double-A last season as a 23-year-old. He finished last season 8-4 with a 2.82 ERA in 27 games between Advanced-A and Double-A.
The 24-year-old was expected to start the year in Double-A and be a possible candidate to join the Dodgers during the season if needed. Everything will now be pushed back another year, assuming the surgery and rehab goes well for Stripling. Tommy John surgery is fairly common these days and most pitchers recover within the year. The Dodgers currently have two players recovering from the operation in Chad Billingsley and Scott Elbert. Both are on track to recover fully and join the team during the season.
Stripling seemed to be in good spirits following the news via his official Twitter account:
Tommy John surgery scheduled for tomorrow morning. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers. Everything happens for a reason!
— Ross Stripling (@RossStripling) March 4, 2014
It’s unfortunate that it’s such a serious injury for one of the Dodgers top prospects and hopefully Stripling comes back stronger than ever.
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