Rangers right-hander Clayton Blackburn will undergo Tommy John surgery, as MLB.com’s TR Sullivan was among those to report on Twitter. The news comes after Blackburn dealt with elbow issues all spring long.
Blackburn, who was acquired this time last year from the Giants, was once a highly regarded prospect but has yet to earn his first MLB call-up. That may well have come in the current season, but the 25-year-old will instead spend the year rehabbing.
A former 16th-round draft pick, Blackburn has spent most of the past three seasons at the highest level of the minors. In his 355 1/3 innings at Triple-A, he owns a 4.00 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9.
Blackburn still has an option year remaining and won’t burn it in 2018. He is already on the 60-day DL, so there are no immediate 40-man ramifications. But it remains to be seen whether the Rangers will be able to to carry him through next offseason, when there will inevitably be a variety of roster pressures to account for.