No, no fist pump, this is bad
I can see how you might think I'm some kind of fortune teller or evil jinxer from the future. A few days ago, I posted about Brett Anderson, talking about how his initial rehab recommendation didn't necessarily mean he wouldn't have to undergo Tommy John surgery, which he ultimately had. Now, via everybody on Twitter, we get this:
# reliever David Aardsma underwent MRI exam Thursday, and recommended Tommy John surgery.
Aardsma, like Anderson, had his elbow examined and was told that he could try rehabbing rather than go right under the knife, in the hopes that his UCL would heal from a partial tear on its own. But Aardsma's rehab, like Anderson's rehab, didn't go as desired, so upon further evaluation, it's been determined that surgery is necessary. There is no other course of action, so long as Aardsma wants to continue his career.
It's obviously a lousy break for a guy who began the year sidelined after hip surgery. Aardsma's been through more over these past several months than he's deserved, and now he's looking at at least another 11-12 months of inactivity and, later, rehab. Stephen Strasburg is looking to come back to the Majors after TJS in roughly a calendar year. Aardsma's approximate best-case scenario, then, is that he's good to go next August.
In the short-term, this doesn't mean much for us or the Mariners, although the front office may now think twice about dealing Brandon League before the deadline. In the medium term, this is bad for next year's Mariners, as they'll be without a good reliever for at least much of the season, if they even choose to bring Aardsma back. He's a certain non-tender candidate over the offseason, as the M's won't want to pay him millions of dollars to not pitch for a while, so we'll see if he's re-signed at a low base.
So, in sum, Aarsdma's down. That blows. On the plus side, you can't round a street corner these days without passing someone qualified to perform a ligament replacement operation, so Aardsma should be fine when he comes out of this. Now we cross our fingers for Shawn Kelley. I like Shawn Kelley quite a bit and would very much like to see him pitch soon. This can't happen to us twice, can it? Can it?