May 6, 2016
The Oakland Athletics confirmed that right handed pitcher Chris Bassitt will undergo surgery for UCL reconstruction, ending his 2016 season prematurely. When Bassitt began experiencing elbow pain a few weeks ago, he was hoping that physical therapy and rest would be enough to alleviate the pain. After being placed on the 15-day disabled list citing an “Ulnar collateral ligament strain,” Bassitt was told by two physicians that he would require surgery. Also called “Tommy John surgery” a UCL reconstruction was the best route for him. This was the news he expected, since an MRI revealed fraying of his UCL. Still, Bassitt was hoping to play as long as he could with the A’s, if surgery could be avoided.
One of those physicians is MLB Super Surgeon Dr. Tomothy Kremchek of Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. Beacon is a Cincinnati-based sports medicine provider, and the largest independent orthopaedic group in the region. It’s no wonder Chris Bassitt would choose to consult Dr. Kremchek after the surgeon operated on Felix Doubront in early April. Doubront’s season ended similarly when it became apparent the left handed pitcher needed a UCL reconstruction.
Chris Bassitt has scheduled his Tommy John surgery with Dr. Kremchek for his elbow injury for Friday. After the best course of action was recognized, Bassitt didn’t want to procrastinate. Since average recovery time for a player’s first UCL surgery can be 12- to 18-months, the right-hander could be back on the mound as early as May 2017. It’s a long road of physical therapy, re-training, and monitoring, but Bassitt will be able to throw without pain.
Throughout his five starts with the Athletics this season, Bassitt threw 23 strikeouts in 28 innings pitched, but on the April 28 game against Detroit, he allowed a career high of 10 hits, resulting in 7 runs–another career high–in less than 3.5 innings. A lot rides on the starting pitcher, but Bassitt clearly wasn’t feeling 100%. He was having difficulty controlling the ball, and admitted that he was having trouble with his curveball and slider, and that he couldn’t throw offspeed.
MLB fans, and Oakland A’s fans in particular, are looking forward to seeing Bassitt back in the rotation. It may not be until mid-way through the 2017 season, but at least he’ll be pitching without pain.
To read additional details about Chris Bassitt’s UCL reconstruction, as covered by Joe Stiglich and published in CSN Bay Area, please click here.