5:35pm: The Red Sox have announced the news. Dr. Neal ElAttrache will perform the operation next week, on May 15.
5:20pm: Top Red Sox prospect Jay Groome will miss the remainder of the 2018 season and part of the 2019 campaign due to a UCL injury that will require Tommy John surgery, reports Sean McAdam of the Boston Sports Journal. Groome, the 12th overall pick in the 2016 draft, will have the surgery either later this week or early next week, per McAdam.
Groome, 19, missed much of the 2017 campaign due to a flexor strain in his left arm as well, throwing just 55 1/3 innings on the season as a whole. He’s yet to pitch this season, either, after opening the season on the disabled list with what the team called a similar flexor issue to the one that plagued him last year.
Obviously, given his age and the fact that he’s yet to pitch above A-ball, Groome wouldn’t have factored into Boston’s immediate plans anyhow. Losing a year of development and adding a major arm surgery to his medical file at a young age, however, is a disconcerting outcome all the same. It also saps some of Groome’s trade value, lessening the possibility that he could be used to acquire a key piece in trades this summer as the Sox look to bolster their standing in a competitive AL East.
Heading into the 2018 season, Groome was a consensus Top 100 prospect throughout the league, ranking 83rd per Baseball America, 85th per MLB.com, 78th per Baseball Prospectus and 98th per Fangraphs. He’s touted as a potential top-of-the-rotation arm given an above-average fastball and a knockout curveball, but it now looks as though the 2020 season will be his best bet at turning in a full season of development at the minor league level.
It’s been a rough start to the season for Boston’s farm system, with Groome now requiring Tommy John surgery and infield prospect Michael Chavis already having been hit with an 80-game suspension following a failed PED test.