Padres outfielder Kyle Blanks, who was bothered by right elbow problems all year and went on the disabled list May 17, will have Tommy John reconstruction surgery on the elbow and miss the rest of the 2010 and possibly part of 2011. He’ll have the operation on Friday.
Position players tend to have fewer hurdles to clear from some of the injuries, like Tommy John surgery, that often knock pitchers out for a year or even two, so I’d expect Blanks to be on a quicker timetable back than most pitchers would be.
You can only hope that the elbow problems a) will be properly and permanently fixed and b) were at the core of Blanks’ 2010 struggles, where he struck out nearly every other at-bat and couldn’t break the Mendoza Line.
It’s worth noting that Blanks’ uncertain status could keep Adrian Gonzalez in a Padres uniform longer than initially expected. Blanks was expected to succeed Gonzalez at first base once the Padres star was traded, but now, there’s no clear candidate to replace Gonzalez, and if Blanks has rehab setbacks, he may be out until after next year’s trade deadline. The Padres’ three other in-house options to replace Gonzalez would be AAA players Mike Baxter and Kyle Phillips and Double-A first baseman Matt Clark.
Best of luck to Blanks on his surgery and recovery; hopefully, when he finally comes back, he’s in 2009 form or better.