Cardinals left-hander Brett Cecil underwent surgery this week to alleviate carpal tunnel syndrome in his left wrist and through his forearm, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Twitter link).
Cecil, 32, wasn’t expected back until at least the end of May after being placed on the 60-day injured list when the club claimed right-hander Merandy Gonzalez off waivers on Opening Day. Whether this injury substantially pushes back his timeline isn’t yet clear. Because the surgery isn’t common among big league pitchers, there’s little in terms of historical precedent to use as a barometer. David Price’s carpal tunnel issues were a storyline last season, but the Red Sox lefty didn’t undergo surgery.
Signed to a four-year contract in the 2016-17 offseason, Cecil logged a respectable 3.88 ERA in 67 1/3 innings in his first season with St. Louis but posted a 6.89 mark over 32 2/3 innings during an injury-shortened 2018 campaign. He began the season on the shelf due to a shoulder sprain and would later miss time due to a foot injury as well.
The Cardinals still owe Cecil the remainder of this year’s $7.5MM salary as well as a $7MM salary for the 2020 season. Cecil’s injury currently leaves Andrew Miller as the only left-hander in manager Mike Shildt’s bullpen, though the Cards also have lefty Tyler Webb in Triple-A and on the 40-man roster should the need for a second southpaw become more pronounced.