Tigers right-hander Artie Lewicki will undergo Tommy John surgery next week, manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters this morning (Twitter link via Evan Woodbery of MLive.com). The timing of the surgery makes it likely that the right-hander will miss all of the 2019 season. This will be the second Tommy John surgery of Lewicki’s young career, as MLBlcom’s Jason Beck notes (on Twitter), giving the organization all the more reason to employ a more conservative approach to his rehab.
Lewicki, 26, has a strong track record in Triple-A but has not yet had that success carry over to the big league level. He’s given the Tigers 38 1/3 innings in the Majors this season, recording a 4.89 ERA with 7.0 K/9, 3.3 BB/9, 0.93 HR/9 and a 40.3 percent ground-ball rate along the way. He posted a 2.03 ERA with terrific K/BB numbers in Triple-A last season, though, and owns an overall 3.79 ERA with 8.5 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 in 92 2/3 innings at the top minor league level.
The injury to Lewicki seems likely to cost him his 40-man roster spot in the offseason, though it’s common in these instances for a player to be retained after clearing outright waivers and remain with the organization to continue his rehab work the following season.