The Mariners experienced a worst-case scenario this morning when it was announced that starting pitcher Drew Smyly will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a torn UCL:
Smyly, acquired over the offseason for centerfielder Mallex Smith, shortstop Carlos Vargas, and pitcher Ryan Yarbrough, was never able to throw a pitch for the Mariners in the 2017 season. He was nearing a return and was set to throw a simulated game when the setback happened.
This, of course, means multiple (very bad) things for the Mariners:
- Drew Smyly may never throw a pitch in a Seattle Mariner uniform. Smyly only had two years of control left when the Mariners acquired him this offseason, and with the recovery time generally taking a year or more, there’s a very non-zero chance Smyly never makes it back before his contract is up. If he does get back, you’re talking maybe one or two months of pitching from a guy coming off one of the more major sports-related surgeries one can have. This is bad.
- This also means the Mariners, who find themselves in a battle for a wild card spot this year, will need to weather the storm without one of their very best arms. With multiple starters suffering from ineffectiveness, injuries, or both, it puts all the more pressure on the Sam Gaviglios and Christian Bergmans of the world to succeed.
At the end of the day, though, this just sucks for Drew Smyly and I wish him nothing but the best in his recovery. I genuinely hope I get to see him pitch for the Mariners one day.