In a crippling blow to the Texas Rangers, three-time All-Star Yu Darvish announced Friday that he will undergo ligament-reconstruction surgery on his right elbow, otherwise known as Tommy John surgery.
Last Friday, one day after throwing ten of twelve pitches for strikes in his first game of spring training, an MRI showed partially torn ligaments and inflammation in Darvish’s right elbow. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said that Tommy John surgery expert, David Altchek, recommended the procedure after examining Darvish on Tuesday.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the good news—if that term can be used in light of Darvish’s injury—is that the Rangers made headway last year fortifying the bullpen and giving meaningful innings to Rangers pitchers Nick Tepesch and Nick Martinez. Moreover, the team has high expectations for Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez, the 2013 first-round draft choice. Daniels told the News that Gonzalez is either ready for the majors or on the verge of being so.
ESPN reported that the day after surgery was recommended, Darvish was seen in uniform long tossing in the outfield, using his left arm. Darvish is a right-handed pitcher.
The Rangers coughed up $107 million dollars three years ago to land the Japanese pitching sensation. Darvish receives $56 million of that over six years while the remaining $51 million and change went to the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Japan as a posting fee.
Darvish was 10-7 with a 3.06 ERA in 22 starts last year. Overall he is 39-25 in 83 starts for the Rangers, with 680 strikeouts in 545 1/3 innings. In 2013, he led the majors in strikeouts with 277.