For the third time during Spring Training, a member of the Atlanta Braves pitching staff could be forced to have Tommy John surgery, and this time, it is a member of the bullpen in Cory Gearrin.
Gearrin has “ligament involvement” Wren said and will get a second opinion from Dr Andrews next week. TJ surgery could be on horizon for him
— David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) March 29, 2014
David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Gearrin has a ligament issue with his UCL, and despite seeking a second opinion, it is widely considered to be likely that he will undergo Tommy John surgery. The 27-year-old Gearrin was forced to leave an appearance earlier in the week with this arm injury, and while it wasn’t immediately thought to be serious, this isn’t exactly a shocking outcome.
Gearrin was penciled in as a member of the bullpen in 2014, and while he is mostly a right-handed specialist, Fredi Gonzalez hasn’t been hesitant to use him (for better or for worse) against hitters from both sides of the plate in high-leverage spots. In his stead, it is likely that left-hander Ryan Buchter will make the Opening Day roster (he was recalled when Gearrin was placed on the DL on Saturday), but until that announcement is official, nothing would surprise me.
The stable of arms for the Braves is a bit of a mess right now, but we wish Gearrin the best in his recovery.