Jacob deGrom will undergo surgery to repair a rupture in his right ulnar collateral ligament, thus ending his debut season with the American League West-leading Texas Rangers after signing a five-year, $185 million contract this winter. The decision to have surgery was made following an MRI on deGrom’s troublesome right elbow, according to general manager Chris Young on Tuesday.
“We’ve got a special group here, and not being able to be out there and help them win, that stinks,” deGrom added, wiping away tears and hesitating numerous times. “It’s a disappointment because I wanted to be out there helping the team.”
The two-time National League Cy Young Award winner hadn’t thrown since April 28, when he left the game early against the New York Yankees for the second time in three starts due to injury concerns. The surgical news came a day after deGrom was placed on the 60-day disabled list due to elbow discomfort.
Young stated that the most recent MRI revealed more inflammation and substantial structural injury to the ligament than the scan taken after deGrom left the game against the Yankees. Young did not specify whether deGrom will undergo Tommy John surgery or another procedure to restore the UCL, but he did say that the surgery will take place next week.
“The MRI results indicate that we have not made any progress. In fact, we have identified some ligament damage,” Young said. “This is undoubtedly a difficult setback for Jacob and the Rangers. However, we believe this is the best decision for Jacob’s career. We are optimistic that he will make a complete recovery.”
Young and deGrom, who turns 35 later this month, both stated that they want to have the right-hander back by the conclusion of next season. Both expressed relief at learning what was wrong with their elbow.
Texas has won all six games Jacob deGrom has started (2-0), but the right-hander has only pitched 3013 innings. He has a 2.67 ERA, 45 strikeouts, and four walks in 45 innings pitched. He tossed 323 scoreless innings against the Yankees in his final start before exiting due to arm pain.
Last Wednesday, before returning to Florida for the birth of his third kid, deGrom threw his sixth bullpen session in Detroit.
“There were days when I felt really fine and days when I didn’t. “I was essentially on a roller coaster there for a while,” deGrom said. “They originally stated that we only observed inflammation… Getting an MRI immediately following a pitch, I believe anyone would have inflammation. So, you know, I was hopeful that it would leave and that I would be okay. However, it did not pan out that way.”
After spending his first nine major league seasons with the Mets, deGrom was recruited by the Rangers in free agency. Injuries limited him to 15613 innings over 26 starts during his last two seasons in New York.
Before missing the final three months of the 2021 season due to right forearm tightness and a dislocated elbow, DeGrom recorded a career-low ERA of 1.08 over 92 innings.
After being shut down late in spring training due to a stress reaction in his right scapula, the four-time All-Star didn’t make his first major league start until August 2 of last year.