Chris Withrow has a torn UCL, Tommy John surgery recommended.

Chris Withrow

Dodgers pitcher Chris Withrow has a torn UCL in his right elbow. (Getty Images)

In April, Chris Withrow‘s 99-mph fastball had him on a fast track to pitching in key situations in the Dodgers’ bullpen. Now, he’s on track to join a growing list of pitchers who need Tommy John surgery.

The Dodgers announced Thursday that Withrow has a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament of his right elbow. Team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache made the diagnosis last Friday, two days after Withrow was optioned to the minor leagues to make room for Hyun-Jin Ryu on the active roster. Withrow hasn’t pitched since.

Dr. ElAttrache recommended Tommy John surgery. Withrow is seeking a second opinion next week, according to a Dodgers spokesperson.

Twenty major-leaguers and another 22 minor-leaguers — including Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling are known to have had the surgery since the beginning of spring training.

The Dodgers placed Withrow on the 15-day (major league) disabled list five days ago (retroactive to May 21) but did not announce the transaction at the time.

Based purely on his game-by-game velocity chart, it’s not clear when Withrow suffered the tear:

Courtesy of BrooksBaseball.net

However, Withrow’s had consistent trouble finding the strike zone since roughly mid-April:

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.