Right-handed Rockies pitcher Rayan Gonzalez will likely require Tommy John surgery, Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports via Twitter. Gonzalez suffered an apparent elbow injury in his most recent spring outing.
The 26-year-old reliever was added to the 40-man roster over the offseason and had seemed slated to take up a slot on the bullpen depth chart. While there was never any expectation that Gonzalez would crack the active roster to open the season, he’d likely have been one of several interesting young arms to take up residence at the highest level of the minors.
Gonzalez showed enough in 2016 to lead the Rox to protect him from prying rivals in the Rule 5 draft. Last year, over 52 Double-A frames, he worked to a 3.12 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 while allowing only 44 hits (just two of which were home runs).
As MLB.com’s Thomas Harding explained at the outset of camp, Gonzalez seemingly made yet more strides in the Arizona Fall League, where he allowed just three earned runs on seven hits over 11 2/3 innings. Beyond the results, he had impressed the organization with improvement in his fastball command, which had often been fleeting (4.1 BB/9 lifetime walk rate) over his time in the minors.