When Lamet hit the DL to open the year, the expectation was that it was only to allow him a brief rest after some elbow pain cropped up. Instead, a closer look evidently revealed damage to his ulnar collateral ligament. As Cassavell notes, the young righty hoped at first to rehab rather than undergoing surgery, but ultimately elected to bite the bullet and have the procedure.
It came as something of a surprise when Lamet was brought up to the majors early in the 2017 campaign. But he quickly proved he belonged, showing a strong fastball-slider combo that played in the rotation despite the fact that he only went to his third pitch (a change) in less than one of every twenty deliveries. The 25-year-old Lamet ended the year with a 4.57 ERA over 114 1/3 innings. He recorded 10.9 K/9 on an 11.8% swinging strike rate while permitting a few too many walks and dingers (4.3 and 1.42 per nine, respectively).
Though there are obviously still some elements of Lamet’s game in need of being smoothed out, the hope was that he would continue to advance while providing solid innings at the MLB level. Now, he’ll be staring down a lengthy rehab process. When the 2019 season gets underway, Lamet will already have accrued 1.130 days of MLB service, so he’ll be primed for potential Super Two status if he goes straight back to the majors once he finishes his rehab.