Nationals right-hander Aaron Barrett requires surgery on his right elbow, manager Matt Williams told reporters, including MASNsports.com’s Dan Kolko (Twitter link). Kolko adds that it’s “looking like it’ll be Tommy John” surgery. MLB.com’s Bill Ladson tweets that Tommy John is “most likely” to be the outcome for Barrett.
The 27-year-old Barrett has been a solid contributor to the Washington bullpen over the past two seasons, firing 70 innings of 3.47 ERA ball to go along with a 10.8 K/9 rate, a 3.5 BB/9 rate and a 44.9 percent ground-ball rate. He’s averaged a strong 93.8 mph on his fastball in those 70 innings. Sabermetric figures like FIP, xFIP and SIERA all feel that Barrett’s ERA is higher than it should be, projecting marks ranging from 2.43 to 3.09.
If Tommy John surgery is indeed the outcome for Barrett, then he’ll of course miss the remainder of the season and perhaps all of next year as well. He’d have a chance to pitch next September if able to recover in a year’s time, though many recovery processes take longer than that, so it’s possible that he’ll be sidelined until Opening Day 2017. Barrett has been on the disabled list since early August due to a sprained right elbow.