The Texas Rangers have been hit with the dreaded Tommy John surgery after Martin Perez required the operation after damaging his left elbow.
Perez joins a long list of pitchers in MLB who have had the surgery since the start of the 2014 season. The Venezuelan pitcher has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow and will be out of action for 12-18 months, according to MLB.com.
The 23-year-old consulted teammates Joakim Soria and Colby Lewis who have had the surgery in the past and fully recovered. According to Perez, the decision was not an easy one but the pitcher understood if he carried on playing with the injury it could end his baseball career for good.
Perez told MLB.com: “They [Soria and Lewis] told me it’s not easy but if you’re strong in your mind, you can do what you have to do. It’s happened to a lot of players, now it’s happened to me. I’ll be all right. I’ll have the surgery, work hard and be back strong next year.”
The Rangers young starlet made the decision after it was discovered the ligament had a partial tear and could get worse without surgery. The operation, a frequent procedure in MLB, will be done on May 19 by Dr Keith Meister.
The injury news will come as a bitter blow to the Rangers fans after Perez had begun the season strongly. He held a 4-0 record with a 1.42 ERA in his first five starts but lost momentum which could have been down to the injury.
In his last three outings for Rangers, Perez pitched a 0-3 record with a 3.64 ERA over those games. Perez didn’t complain about any pain from his elbow until his last start on May 10 against the Red Sox where he allowed six runs in 3 2/3 innings in an 8-3 loss.
The pitcher is the 15th player in the MLB to require the Tommy John surgery since the start of the season.
The youngster made his MLB debut with the Rangers in June 2012 and overall has a 15-12 record. Just a few weeks ago Perez threw nine shutout innings against the Oakland Athletics to gain his second career complete game.
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