Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mike Gonzalez needs Tommy John Surgery

I know i'm late on this, seeing as how news of Mike Gonzalez requiring elbow surgery was broke two days ago but according to and, left-hander Mike Gonzalez will be requiring Tommy John Surgery on his throwing elbow. He will likely miss 12-16 months meaning he could miss a big part of next year.

When team physicians informed Bobby Cox on Friday that Mike Gonzalez was going to need season-ending Tommy John elbow ligament transplant surgery, it didn't really surprise the Braves skipper. For most of the past week, he was fearfully expecting this revelation.

Every time Gonzalez indicated that he wasn't feeling any pain in his left elbow, Cox thought back to 1999, when John Smoltz was saying the same thing. By the time Spring Training rolled around the next year, Smoltz found himself undergoing the same surgical procedure that awaits Gonzalez.

"All of the symptoms in my mind were sort of there because [the velocity] dropped off and there was no pain," said Cox, who removed Gonzalez from a May 15 game against the Nationals because his normally lively fastball was topping out at 84 mph.

Some may remember that Gonzo's health was a concern back when the Braves traded for the light's out closer in exchanger for power-hitting first baseman, Adam LaRoche. But he was cleared multiple times by doctors and he passed all physicals. Also included in that deal was top ten prospect for the Pirates, Brent Lillibridge, who is a year maybe two away from the big leagues. And with LaRoche struggling mightily in Pittsburgh it would seem as though the trade seems like a wash right now. I was in huge favor of the deal and I still am, before the elbow complications, he was pitching lights out, 2-0 1.59 ERA 2 SV's 1.59 WHIP, and seeing as how most people who come back from Tommy John Surgery throw harder, I think he'll be fine. I'd rather him have the surgery now, since we have two guys that can close out games(Soriano and Wickman) this year as oppose to next year when we may not have Wickman for much longer, we should be fine.

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