Royals left-hander Tim Collins will require a second Tommy John procedure after his previous elbow graft failed, the team announced to the media (including Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star). Collins underwent his first TJ surgery in March 2015 and subsequently missed the entire season.
Collins was limited to just 21 innings in 2014 due to a strained flexor tendon in his left elbow. Between that injury and two Tommy John surgeries, it’s fair to wonder if Collins’ pitching career is in serious jeopardy. Though he won’t be able to pitch until late in the 2017 season (at the earliest), Collins isn’t giving up, telling Dodd and other reporters that he’s ready to once again go through the arduous rehab process. “I’m still young. I’m 26,” Collins said.
The southpaw posted a 3.54 ERA, 9.4 K/9 and 5.2 BB/9 in 211 relief innings for the Royals from 2011-14. Despite his control issues, Collins had good splits against both right-handed (career .675 OPS) and left-handed (.702 OPS) batters and held all hitters to a modest .226/.334/.353 slash line.
The Royals avoided arbitration with Collins by agreeing to a one-year, $1.475MM salary for the coming season, and MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that K.C. will have to eat that salary since the club doesn’t insure one-year contracts. Collins also earned $1.475MM for his lost 2015 season, so you can count on that same figure for Collins’ third and final trip through the arb process next winter if Kansas City decides to hold onto the lefty. Since Collins could be out until 2018, however, the Royals could look to re-sign him at a lower salary after a non-tender.