Braves GM John Coppolella says lefty Andrew McKirahan will miss the entire 2016 season after tearing an elbow ligament earlier this week, Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. As we noted earlier today, McKirahan appears likely to have Tommy John surgery. If he does, it will be his second time having the procedure, having also undergone it in 2012.
McKirahan went from the Cubs to the Marlins in the Rule 5 Draft prior to last season, then headed to Atlanta on a waiver claim. He missed half of 2015 due to a PED suspension, but was a regular in the Braves’ bullpen down the stretch. For the year, he posted a 5.93 ERA in 27 1/3 innings, although he had 7.2 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 and threw a fastball that reached into the mid-90s. As Cunningham notes, McKirahan already faced an uphill battle in making the Braves’ Opening Day roster this season, since the organization has a variety of potential bullpen lefties, including veterans Ian Krol and Alex Torres along with Matt Marksberry, Hunter Cervenka and 2015 Rule 5 pick Evan Rutckyj.