The Miami Marlins appear to be stuck with their eighth consecutive season under 500. Even if Martin Prado and Kyle Barraclough return from the disabled list, the season has come to a close for shortstop J.T. Riddle and right-handed starter Edinson Volquez. Both players will require surgical repair of injuries and will miss the remainder of the season.
Volquez was sidelined on July 17th with tendonitis in his left knee, but the impending surgery is for a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament repair (commonly called “Tommy John surgery”). This will be the second Tommy John surgery for Volquez’s right elbow during his baseball career.
Riddle was diagnosed with a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He will require surgical repair as well, which is scheduled for August 11th.
Volquez was the Marlins’ Opening Day starting pitcher this season, so spending the last two months of the season on the disabled list is a significant blow to an already struggling team.
It is extremely rare for Tommy John surgery to sideline a player for less than 12-months. Even with expedited rehab and therapy, Volquez will most likely miss the majority of the 2018 season as well. Whether he sets foot on the mound next year could have a big impact on Volquez’s career with the Marlins. The 34-year-old pitcher
signed a $22 million contract with the Marlins for two years during the offseason. If he is able to return late next year, it will be at the tail end of the agreement.
Volquez was initially placed on the disabled list July 6 with tendonitis of the left knee. Part of the recovery involved a rehab throwing program, during which Volquez repeatedly suffered from elbow pain. The medical staff requested an MRI. Unfortunately for the Marlins and especially Volquez, the images showed a partially torn ligament in his elbow.
Cincinnati-based Dr. Timothy Kremchek, of Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, performed Volquez’s initial Tommy John surgery in 2009. Now eight years later, Volquez has chosen to return to Dr. Kremchek. Kremchek is widely recognized as one of the best sports medicine surgeons in Major League Baseball. The ligament reconstruction is scheduled for Friday, August 4th.
When Volquez was playing for the Cincinnati Reds and underwent the first Tommy John surgery, he returned to the big league mound a little ahead of schedule. From surgery to his first return pitch in the majors was about two weeks shy of 12-months. There is some speculation on his return schedule this time around, but nothing is for certain.
Edinson Volquez pitched only 92 1/3 innings, making 2017 the only season he hasn’t pitched 170+ innings since 2011. Even without the 80+ additional innings rounding out the season, his personal highlight of the season is probably the team’s best moment, too. The right hander pitched a no hitter at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 3rd.
Riddle’s SLAP Tear
For JT Riddle, surgery brings to an abrupt end what had been a robust rookie season for the shortstop.
The Marlins originally called Riddle up in early April, then for good the following month. Riddle hit a robust three homers, 13 doubles, and 31 RBI. In fact, Riddle’s season has been so strong that the Marlins traded shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to the Tampa Bay Rays.
According to FanGraphs, Riddle posted just as strong of defense as Hechavarria. His salary is significantly lower, so it seemed like an overall good move for the team until the injury. Riddle is tied for second place in the National League for Defensive Runs Saved by shortstops.
Riddle’s season ended abruptly as the result of a diving slide at a ball. His shoulder pain lasted several weeks, and the 25-year-old noticed almost no improvement. The official diagnosis was a SLAP tear of his left labrum. A “SLAP tear” is an acronym for “Superior Labral Tear Anterior to Posterior,” in reference to an injury to the glenoid labrum.
Since it is Riddle’s non-dominant arm, the Marlins medical and coaching staff anticipate a full recovery in time for spring training.
To read the complete story as written by Clark Spencer and published by the Miami Herald, please click here.
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