Padres Robbie Erlin to Have Tommy John Surgery
The Padres got bad news Tuesday after learning that Robbie Erlin will have to undergo Tommy John Surgery after an MRI revealed a “significant tear” in his ulnar collateral ligament. The surgery will end the 25 year old left hand pitcher’s season after he was forced into the rotation following the injury to Tyson Ross and recalled from AAA. He had a good relief appearance, two good starts, and then a rough outing last weekend leading to the Padres getting him checked out.
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Erlin missed some time you might remember in 2014 after he had been called up to help out the injury-ravaged 2014 Padres rotation. That time he had been able to rehab, but this time he decided it was best to just do the surgery.
“They left it completely up to me, whether we wanted to try to rehab it or have surgery, and after talking with everybody, the trainers and physical therapists and doctors, it was pretty apparent that rehab might not do it this time.”
Padres manager Andy Green was certainly disappointed in hearing the news, from a team and personal perspective:
“You hate to lose Robbie like that, from just a human perspective,” Green commented. “The guy has invested his life into being a Major League pitcher. He’s here, he was throwing the ball very well, and then you have something like this happen.”
Indeed in today’s game you can never have too much pitching. The Padres have Brandon Morrow rehabbing currently after signing Josh Johnson two years ago and seeing him needing another TJ surgery and never pitching for the team.
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I can’t help but compare Erlin to Padres draft pick Corey Luebke. At 25 years old in 2011 he appeared in 46 games for the Padres, starting 17 and showing a lot of promise for the future of the franchise. He started the 2012 season in the rotation, going 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA before needing TJ surgery the first time. He signed a large contract after that 2011 season and the Padres essentially paid him $11M to rehab until buying out his contract at the end of last season. This year he has latched onto the Pittsburgh bullpen but struggled in 3 appearances before being put on the Disabled List.
The Padres hope that Erlin can rehab from this latest injury and be back and ready to help the team down the stretch in 2017 and hopefully ready for another shot at the rotation in 2018. He would still just be 27 and many pitchers find success following surgery. We wish him well.