The Cardinals will be without left-handed reliever Ryan Sherriff for the remainder of the 2018 season and for much of the 2019 season after the southpaw underwent Tommy John surgery today. Sherriff himself broke the news in a since-deleted Instagram post, though Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets that the team has confirmed the operation took place.
Sherriff, 28, made his big league debut with the Cards last season, tossing 14 1/3 innings with a 3.14 ERA, a 15-to-4 K/BB ratio and a whopping 65 percent ground-ball rate. That impressive showing came on the heels of similar numbers in Triple-A, where he posted a 3.19 ERA with 7.9 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 56.2 percent grounder rate in 53 2/3 innings.
[Related: St. Louis Cardinals depth chart]
He’s only been healthy enough to toss a combined 9 2/3 innings between Triple-A and the Majors this season, however, during which time he’s allowed seven runs on the strength of 14 hits (including a pair of homers). In a best-case scenario, he’d be available as a bullpen option late in the 2019 season.
Tyler Lyons, Brett Cecil and Austin Gomber give the Cardinals a trio of left-handed options for their big league bullpen, though Lyons and Cecil have struggled, while Gomber has just two MLB appearances (including a rough outing tonight). With Sherriff now out of the equation for the duration of the season, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Cardinals explore some depth additions in the short term, although left-handed bullpen help seemed like a possible deadline target for the St. Louis front office even before today’s news.