After performing Tommy John surgery on Felix Doubront April 12, 2016, Dr. Timothy Kremchek of Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine may be operating on another Oakland A’s pitcher. This time, right-handed Chris Bassitt is the victim of overuse. Bassitt may be able to postpone surgery, depending on the severity of the tear in his ulnar collateral ligament.
That’s why he is traveling to Cincinnati, Ohio to speak with one of the foremost baseball surgeons in the country. After some time with the White Sox, Chris Bassitt has pitched 114 innings across two seasons with the A’s. He started to notice that he was pushing the ball more and that his fastball wasn’t as fast as usual. In fact, all of his throws were different than usual. The twenty-seven year old commented that his slider went straight, his curveball did nothing, and he “literally” couldn’t throw offspeed.
It’s unfortunate timing for Bassitt, whose contract with the A’s expires at the end of the season. According to Dr. Kremchek, a player’s first Tommy John surgery can take anywhere from 12- to 18-months for a full recovery. On the 15-day disabled list with what has been diagnosed as a “UCL strain” in his right elbow, Bassitt may be able to suffer through the rest of the season with physical therapy and rest.
Looking into the future, though, Bassitt’s stats certainly won’t improve until after a Tommy John operation. Dr. Kremchek has performed over 3,000 of the elbow surgeries, and he knows what it takes to get an MLB pitcher from the table to the mound. Oakland Athletics fans are waiting to see if Bassitt can manage without surgery, or if he’ll be out of commission for the rest of the season.
To read the story as written by Susan Slusser, published for the San Francisco Chronicle, please click here.
To read the story as written by Charlie Wilmoth, published on MBL Trade Rumors, please click here.