The Diamondbacks announced that righty Luke Weaver has been diagnosed with an injury to his right ulnar collateral ligament and flexor pronator but will not undergo surgery. Instead, he’ll “be treated conservatively.”
Weaver and the D-Backs did not arrive at this conclusion without quite some thought. He was checked out by four different physicians, per manager Torey Lovullo. The injury turned out to be rather significant — last we checked in, it had been labeled a forearm strain — but not quite bad enough to warrant a procedure that would likely have cost Weaver the remainder of this season along with a big chunk of 2020.
It’s obviously preferable to avoid Tommy John surgery whenever possible, since it’s a major procedure that isn’t foolproof and require a lengthy layoff. That said, there’s also some real risk in holding off when it may well be warranted. If a rehab approach fails to take, it can make for a delay that pushes back the ultimate return date.
Though it’s good to hear that the injury is on the mild side, there’s really no sugarcoating UCL issues. There’s enough time for Weaver to make it back to the mound this season, if all goes well in the healing process and there aren’t setbacks when he tries to ramp back up. But the injury will still rob him of a big portion of the present season and will hang over his head thereafter.
Weaver still holds plenty of promise. He boosted his stock after landing with the Snakes on the heels of a messy 2018 effort, opening the current season with 62 1/3 innings of 3.03 ERA ball while recording 9.8 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9. So long as he’s able to heal up, the 25-year-old should have many good years ahead of him. And the Diamondbacks have ample time to receive further production, as Weaver will be under team control through at least 2023.
Well if he waits a few months and it doesn’t work out he still has 2 off seasons to rehab. At this late date any projections for him to pitch in late 2020 are wishful thinking…..
Man this is rough to hear. He’s been lights out. Hope he recovers well and doesn’t rush back. We need him completely healthy.
Has this approach ever worked long term?
Beat me to Tanaka.. 5 years now since he got hurt?
That was my initial thought as well. I am an Angels fan, so this sounds alot like Garret Richards.
I will say this though, it probably is prudent to hold off on surgery at the moment. If there is the slightest hope he can avoid surgery, he is going to hold onto it.
If he has surgery tomorrow, all of 2020 is basically toast. MAYBE he is able to come back in like August of 2020, but that is if all goes extremely well. But opening day 2021 is a realistic rehab whether he has surgery tomorrow, or say November of this year.
might as well get the surgery out of the way now. resting never works if surgery is in question. just get it over with.
Show Me Your Tatis
Shame. He was actually making the Goldschmidt trade look like a win for AZ. Obviously you’d rather have Goldschmidt all other things equal but the Diamondbacks are paying Weaver peanuts while Goldschmidt is owed over $100m. Cya in 2021!
Could someone please just figure out why so many pitchers are having to get TJ surgery? Until the last 20 years or so, it was a rare occasion for pitchers to get laid up for two years! Now it’s like at least 50% are having to get cut on within two years or less of their draft! Something teams used to do to keep players healthy just isn’t being utilized! Nolan Ryan, Jim Palmer, among others, took the ball every 5th day and never had TJ surgery. Now it’s as common in baseball as getting a filling in your tooth. Just saying.