As mentioned on our most recent episode of The Catbird Speaks, while the baseball world was buzzing over the Jose Quintana trade, it was also announced that Nate Jones would require surgery on his right elbow, knocking him out for the rest of the 2017 season. It’s a shame that we won’t get to enjoy Jones pitching this season, and he won’t be a trade chip this deadline or even this offseason. Although every surgery bears risk, this one was to clear up scar tissue and relieve pressure on a nerve in his right elbow, rather than say, Tommy John surgery. Rick Hahn predicts he will make a full recovery and arrive at Spring Training next year without restrictions.
Speaking of Tommy John surgery, unfortunately it’s looking like that procedure will be necessary for Zack Burdi. Taken 26th overall in last summer’s amateur draft, the flamethrowing closer has mostly excelled in Triple-A, striking out just over 33% of the batters he has faced. Instead of seeing Burdi in Chicago this season, it seems likely Burdi will be shelved until the 2019 season.
It is worth noting that Tommy John surgery does have a failure rate of roughly 15%, which is not insignificant, but missing the time shouldn’t hurt Burdi too much in the long-term from a skills development standpoint. His outlook has always been that of a single-inning reliever, and once he’s had a chance to iron his command back out following rehabilitation he should be ready to jump into the major league bullpen.
Photo credit Marilyn Indahl & USA Today